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Swedish stage braces for naked Englishmen

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Swedish stage braces for naked Englishmen
11:01 CEST+02:00
English-speakers in Stockholm and Uppsala looking for a slice of home language culture should leave a day or two free in October for some skillful, crazy fun - and some nudity - when two celebrated performance groups take to the stage.

One of the plays, “Hamlet - a stand up”, is set to play exclusively at the Boulevardteatern in Stockholm. It is a solo performance by the head of the theatre, Roger Westberg, who’s been doing the award winning show for almost 20 years.

“No need for more attendees because in Hamlet: A Stand Up, Westberg takes on the whole cast of characters of Shakespeare's classic tale and easily peoples the stage better than 20 people could,” critic Lyssa Mandel writes in a review for New York theatre website nytheatre.com.

Westberg displays an impressive ability to switch between the dozens of different characters from one second to another, and has left audiences astounded around the globe with his near schizophrenic acting.

Along with composer and musician Jörgen Aggeklint, Westberg has won awards in Sweden and Cairo, among other places, for his single handed impersonation of the classic.

“It’s not our production, but it’s done very skillfully and it’s very funny,” said Paul Kessel, head of the Reginateatern in Uppsala, regarding the Hamlet parody.

Kessel is himself responsible for bringing an English language performance to Sweden.

The English "physical" theatre group Spymonkey is set to bring its latest offering, their much lauded variety show “Swedish LOVE iN”, set to go up at both the Reginateatern in Uppsala and Stockholm's Boulevardteatern.

Throughout their 14 years of performing, the troupe's four actors have made a name for themselves with black comedy as well as a vivid play on sex.

“There’s some nudity, but it’s made for comedy, not filth,” Kessel laughed.

“And it’s mainly the men, and they’re not that great looking.”

He goes on to describe the group as “unbelievably skilled, unbelievably funny, and totally crazy.”

“They don’t hold back,” he concluded.

Boulevardteatern producer Anna Holmkvist is also thrilled with the upcoming visit from Spymonkey's group of comedic actors.

“These are hysterically fun people who’ve had great success in London with sold-out shows,” she told The Local.

But the success of the UK-based group stretches far outside the country's borders.

A year after members Toby Park, Petra Massey and Aitor Basauri founded the group in 1997, they premiered their debut comedy “Stiff”. It was an immediate hit show, although one of the members, Paul Weilenmann, was replaced by Stephan Kreiss in 2000.

The group has now toured several continents and 17 different countries, piling up awards along the way. Best Comedy at the Brighton Festival, and a Total Theatre award to name a few.

In 2003 the group was asked to create and perform a comedy for world renowned Canadian theatre group Cirque du Soleil, which turned into a cooperation that lasted for two years.

“Hamlet, a stand up” plays at Boulevardteatern on October 13th, 20th and 27th, and November 15th and 22th, at 1pm and 7pm. Tickets are 220 kronor ($30) for adults, 170 kronor for seniors and students, and 110 kronor for youth up to 19 years old.

Spymonkey’s “Swedish LOVE iN” plays at Boulevardteatern on October 7th and 8th at 7pm and tickets are 250 kronor for adults, and 110 kronor for people aged 19 and under.

Spymonkey performs at Reginateatern on October 11th through 14th at 7pm, and on the 15th at 6pm, and tickets are 260 kronor for adults, and 120 kronor for students and people under 26.

Competition:

For a chance to win tickets to the shows at Boulevardteatern, please answer the following question:

Where is the original play "Hamlet" set?

Please submit your answers to The Local by email and specify which show you would prefer to go to. Leave your name and contact information. Winners will be contacted by theatre staff.

The competition is now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted a response.

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