Photo: Maja Suslin/Scanpix

Swedish domestic strife in a stranger's flat

Theater in your apartment
4:31 min

Imagine you're at the theater, about to watch a play. You wait for the curtain to rise, but it never does. That's because there are no curtains--at least of the red velvet kind--in this theater. In fact, the theater is just an ordinary flat in Stockholm. It might even be yours.

The owner of this apartment on the island of Kungsholmen is out of town, and the person who just unocked the door happens to be an actor. His name is Kristian Hallberg. Later this evening, he and Anna Sóley Tryggvadottir will perform their play, "True Love Will Find You in the End", right here in the living room.

Their drama is about broken relationships, so the actors thought that private flats would provide just the right kind of intimacy they were after. Hallberg sits on the couch for most of the performance, while Tryggvadottir sits at the table. The audience nestle in among the two actors, "wherever they can fit in".

During pauses in the performace, the actors exploit the normal apartment noises, like the shower or the coffee maker or the radio, as their sound effects.

Hallberg is adamant that the concept is no gimmick. In fact, the idea to turn ordinary apartments into theatrical spaces came long after the play's concept originated.

The play's producer posted signs all over town that read, "Do you want a relationship drama in your living room?" The theater group offered to pay 150 dollars in compensation, and there were more responses than they knew what to do with.

Hallberg and Tryggvadottir picked a handful of them to use and urged the owners to keep the spaces unaltered.

Tryggvadottir says the responses to the play are varied, but that it brings some to tears. One person even said she wanted to go home and break up with her partner after seeing it.

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