"Rainbow Warrior" musical focuses on environmental activism

6:46 min

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the sinking of Greenpeace's first Rainbow Warrior ship off the coast of New Zealand. A new musical makes a nod to the ship just premiered at Viktor Rydberg High School in Stockholm. The story of the Rainbow Warrior musical begins with a present-day punk rocker who, 20 years after the ship goes down, has an apocalyptic dream. Radio Sweden's Ryan Tebo went down to the Maxim Theater to talk with the cast and crew recently during the last few days' rehearsals.

"I would say that it is a story about activism but we want to inspire people to become everyday activists," said Edvin, who is playing one of the two leading roles in the musical.

The activism in the production is not just on the stage though. Students involved in marketing and promotion of the musical have done an ad campaign that mimics activist actions, from the stencil-spray-painted posters in metro cars, to students marching through the city in costume, with posters for the musical. Some posters had slogans, like "See the musical! Save the environment!"

There are 73 students involved with all areas on and behind the stage. The few positions not filled by students are being performed by teachers from the school.

Teacher Malin Hasselquist is directing the musical and says that even thought the play deals with the subject of radical activism, school administration has been very supportive.

Co-writer of the musical, Christer Johansson, says that the story is not about the Rainbow Warrior and that the audience understands the environmental issues through the perspective of the very personal relationships of the characters.