• Sweden's news in English

Brit wants musical to challenge prejudice

James Savage · 12 May 2006, 17:37

Published: 12 May 2006 17:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The show draws its inspiration from the anti-capitalist riots that exploded across the world in the late nineties. Set in the British capital in 1999, it follows the lives of Bosnian couple Jarni and Petra as they struggle to adapt to life there.

Jarni (Daniel Wiland) had been a doctor back in Bosnia, and finds the work he is doing in London to be beneath him. “We’re educated people and they treat us like trash,” he complains.

The turning point for him and Petra (Kinga Szabadváry) comes when he rescues a young man who has been injured in a fight with a bunch of football hooligans. This man turns out to be The Warrior (Daniel Engman), a leader of ‘Action Today’, an eco-terrorist group.

Jarni slowly gets sucked into Action Today, a path that eventually leads to his destruction.

Big political questions permeate the play, something Pattie is comfortable with – his father, Sir Geoffrey Pattie, who wrote the libretto for the musical, was a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s government, and Pattie fils is the Conservative leader of the local authority in East Hampshire, southern England.

But Pattie is not out there to confirm conservative principles – he wants the play to challenge them. He refuses to condemn the eco-warriors outright:

“They’re on the right track, but violent demonstration is not the way forward.”

“It is right to talk about the environment, but it is wrong to do it by violent means. I’m showing the fallout of that.”

Making Bosnian immigrants into the heros of the play is another way of challenging conservative views of migration – a subject that causes controversy not only in Britain, but also in Sweden, America and elsewhere.

“I want white, middle-class, Western people to see that immigration is to society what oxygen is to the body.

“I want conservative people to fall in love with my immigrants, and then take one away from them.”

The decision to premiere the play in Sweden, with Swedish actors, was mainly down to chance. Pattie is old friends with producer Steve Martin, who introduced him to Sweden-based Brit David Hynes, a composer. Pattie persuaded Hynes to set his script to music, and the team later brought in Swedish musician Jan Sjönneby to arrange the score.

With so many Swedes already involved, it seemed a natural step to produce the play in Stockholm.

“Muhammad had to go to the mountain,” Pattie explains.

Finding actors was surprisingly easy, and the cast includes stars of the Swedish stage versions of Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables and Rent.

“The Swedish cast is fantastic to work with, they’re very well trained and they’re physically fantastic to look at,” he says. Indeed, watching the cast in rehearsals, it is only the strong performances that make the tall, smooth-skinned Vikings credible as unwashed English class-warriors threatening to “bring down the hoardes of money-men”.

The play is performed in English, and will run for just five performances. Pattie hopes to start a longer run next year, for which the dialogue, although not the song lyrics, are likely to be translated into Swedish. But his ambition doesn’t end there – eventually, he wants to take the show to London.

Ever the politician, he has a battle plan to create a buzz around the play, not only in Sweden, but also back on home territory.

“Our plan is to make the British theatre desparate for us,” he says, with all the self-assurance of a politician.

Story continues below…

London –the Musical, opens on Friday, 12th May, at 8pm

Performances Saturday, 13th May, 3pm and 7.30pm

Sunday, 14th May, 3pm and 7.30pm

Location: Dieselverkstaden, Sickla, Stockholm.

For more information and tickets www.londonthemusical.com

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available