Västerbottensteatern (the Västerbotten County Theatre) have hosted their outdoor summer theatre for 30 years. This makes it the longest-running summer theatre in Swedish Lapland and for their anniversary, Västerbotternsteatern have selected one of the most beloved fairy tales in Swedish literature.VIDEO: SF's TRAILER FROM THE BROTHERS LIONHEART
With a perseverance equal to that of the undying summer light, Västerbotternsteatern have been running an outdoor summer theatre for 30 years. Rain or shine. They have told stories such as “Peer Gynt”, “Hemsöborna” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. For the 30th anniversary of their outdoor theatre, they have selected one of the great classics of Swedish literature, Astrid Lindgren’s “The Brothers Lionheart”.
“I have always dreamt of taking ‘The Brothers Lionheart’ to the stage”, explains director Ronny Danielsson. “It mirrors humanity, it shows us how loyalty and friendship are the pillars of a peaceful world.”
In 1973, “The Brothers Lionheart” was published as a book. In 1977 it was made into a film by director Olle Hellbom. Most children who grew up in the 70’s and later know the story of the seriously ill Karl, later known as Skorpan, who jumps out of the window of a burning house with his brother Jonatan and is subsequently reunited with him, on the other side of the stars, in the land on Nangijala. “Through Thorne Rose Valley, Cherry Valley, Nangijala and Nangilima, we encounter hope, bravery and love in the struggle against a tyrant enslaving his people”, explains Ronny. “And the brothers succeed, they overthrow the tyrant and his evil dragon and free all oppressed souls.”
The play will be staged amongst hanging birches and meandering streams at scenic Medlefors. The stage is built in polished aluminium, so as to reflect the surroundings. Audience capacity is greater than ever. As is the number of amateur participants. Costumes and scenography have been inspired by “Game of Thrones” and late medieval mystery plays. Swedish Lapland’s most dedicated outdoor theatre certainly isn’t holding back for their 2018 summer play.
“We wish to create an experience that will immerse the audience in a land of fairy tales and campfires”, says Francesca Quateym, Artistic Director of Västerbottensteatern “and performing in the natural setting of our surrounding landscape as a backdrop does feel exciting.”
“The Brothers Lionheart” is a classic tale. One of good and evil. But it also stands out amongst children’s stories. It doesn’t avoid difficult subjects. When first published, some critics considered the book outright inappropriate, not least because of how it dealt with the subject of death. The initial criticism quickly faded however and “The Brothers Lionheart” became one of Astrid Lindgren’s best-loved stories, with only “Pippi Longstocking” being translated into more languages. This says a lot, as Astrid Lindgren is the Swedish author translated into the greatest number of languages. 101, to be precise. To say that Västerbottensteatern’s production of “The Brothers Lionheart” is an absolute must-see in the summer of 2018, can hardly be regarded as anything other than stating the obvious.
“The Brothers Lionheart” is a drama for all ages, featuring music, songs and poetry. It is produced by Västerbottensteatern at Medlefors. The play has two acts and Swedish fika (beverages and pastries) will be served throughout. It will be performed on 20 occasions between June 16 and July 15. Tickets can be bought online at www.vasterbottensteatern.se or at the Skellefteå Tourist Office.