The Arty Farty Stuff

Since spring 1996, I've been involved in a few things at some theaters in and around Stockholm.

May 1996 - May 1997:

Rehearsing, then performing Puntila at The Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm. I played the electric bass in the orchestra/gang. Amazingly, I was also asked to do a small acting part that was originally intended for the legendary Sven Lindberg. After some deeep thinking, I accepted. It proved to be a thrilling experience on the main stage! Puntila opened Sep 14, 1996, directed by Thorsten Flinck, to very favorable reviews. But the best things was: The audience loved it! Some nights, the reactions were such you thought you were at a rock concert. So the run was extended twice, and the final show was May 6, 1997. We did 74 shows in all. The main characters were played by Börje Ahlstedt, Mikael Persbrandt, Stina Rautelin and Staffan Göthe. Thorsten sang the songs that sort of moved the thing along.

November 1996

Thorsten did a play called Knox, written by Lena Wiktorin at The Radio Theater. At first, he wanted me to do 'only' the music, but suddenly there was a small acting part there as well.

Klassfiende Poster

May - June 1997

Thorsten asked me once again for music. This time we were at the Teaterhögskolan, the University College of Acting, Stockholm. Class Enemy by Nigel Williams was performed by some of the graduating students: Maria Bonnevie, Alexandra Rappaport, Ulrika Carlsson, Stefan Norrthon and Daniel Sjöberg. Assistant director was Charlotta Larsson and it was a whole lot of fun. There was also lots of stress involved, because of things beyond my control I had only ten days to write and record the music. But I managed, and I'm still pretty proud of the outcome. In fact, everything was really great about those shows. I should know, I saw almost all of them. Everything was so easy, almost like everyone was her/him self .
Ulrika Carlsson

August 1997

There was a short film made for Swedish Televison's UR about one of the actresses from Class Enemy, Ulrika Carlsson. Some of my music from the play was used in that production as well. I've forgotten the name of the producer, sorry about that...

October 1997 - December 1997

Rehearsing as bass player for the ill fated Cabaret for Riksteatern, Sweden's Nationwide Theater, at their headquarters 20 miles outside of Stockholm. The director, Thorsten Flinck, fell ill and the whole project collapsed more or less. I felt I couldn't perform my best in the prevailing circumstances and took the anguishing decision to leave about a month before the opening night. I didn't have any 'parachute' of any kind when I left, but I couldn't go on. It would have killed me mentally, I'm not joking.

December 1997 - February 1998

Charlotta Larsson directed Staffan Göthe's child's play Blått Hus Med Röda Kinder at Plaza, Stockholm. She wanted me to write some music, but, because of the Cabaret disaster, I was mentally drained. So we re-used some of the Class Enemy stuff instead.

December 1998

Radioteatern again. Thorsten Flinck again. August Strindberg's Fordringsägare. The best script I've ever read! Although I must admit I haven't read that many... Anyway, I wrote some music that triggered some directing ideas, but looking at the final result I'm not that pleased. Sorry to say that, but you can't win them all.

January - February 1999

Solveig Nordlund needed some music for her short drama documentary film about a ticket collector in the Stockholm subway. She got some from me. A very different job from working with theater music. The film opened in September.

August 1999 - January 2000

Back at The Royal Dramatic Theatre. The play this time was for children, the Norwegian classic Klas Klättermus, directed by Eva Dahlman. Main actors were Claes Malmberg as The Fox (a part you'd thought was written for him), Eva Röse as Klas and Magnus Roosman as Mårten. Also featured were Claes Månsson, Anita Wall, My Holmsten and Sven Lindberg. My first task was doing the arrangements. When we went into rehearsals I was also band leader and bass player. As well as master of the loops. The band was Sara Edin, electric and acoustic violin, mandolin, saw, shaker; Kenny Håkansson, electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin; Håkan Möller, Nord Lead, mandolin, melodica; Pelle Alsing, snare, bass drum, electric percussion, glockenspiel. Btw, I also played some acoustic guitar.

Tickets went on sale October 5, and by November 7 we were told that all 47 shows were sold out. The play opened December 5 and ran through January. Reviews were a mixed bag, some loved it and some little old ladies (as expected) hated the new music ... The kids loved it, though! The interaction was total! Sören Brunes provided the wonderful scenography that made the whole she-bang truly 3D.

July 2000

A second, short run of Klas Klättermus. We were supposed to do 11 shows between July 19 and July 29, but sadly enough, the last three of the sold out houses were cancelled due to illness.

August-September 2000

The play Huset som Rut glömde (The house that Rut forgot) was a big success.
Directed by Charlotta Larsson, written by Eva Brise, it featured Stina Zacco, Lo Kauppi, Suzanna Dilber and Sofia Helin from Teaterhögskolan. It opened September 14 at Teater Replica. Reviews were great, and the audience found it. Great, as it was fun doing the music.

October 2000 - May 2001

The music rehearsals started October 23, 2000 at Stadsteatern for Liza Tetzner's Sotarpojken. Unfortunately, a lot of things went wrong and director Thorsten Flinck was replaced by Johan Huldt three days before the re-scheduled opening night, December 3. Fortunately, stage designer Sören Brunes, dress designer Inger Persson and composer Ulf Dageby all went along with the new concept. So did I, after a lot of soul searching. New opening night was January 25. Mixed reviews, which was not surprising considering the extremely short rehearsal period for a play at the big main stage.

I played bass and lead the extremely wonderful young band: Thomas Eby, vibraphone, oudu, bongos, drums; Felicia Nielsen, synth; Anders Enge and Mårten Holmberg , both of them on acoustic and electric guitars. The run of the play was extended. Until May 23 we had the great fortune to play Ulf's best songs in many years.

January - April 2001

January through March, I composed for Fool For Love by Sam Shephard. Directed by Charlotta Larsson, it opened March 3 at Sigurdteatern in Västerås. The play toured Västmanland for 31 dates, mostly in high schools. The music was not live, but on CD. Lots of loops and synths, of course. Helping me out on lap steel, slide guitar, acoustic guitar, dobro and mandolin was my old friend Staffan Astner. And on oudu, bongos and assorted plings and plongs my new friend Thomas Eby. You could also hear some harmonies by Hanna Wanngård.

October 2003 - April 2004

October 7, 2003, saw the start of rehearsals of Nysningen (The Good Doctor) at Stadsteatern here in Stockholm, Sweden. It's a 1973 Neil Simon adaption of some early Tchechov short stories. A great script, directed on the main stage by Johan Wahlström. At his assistance was a small, stellar cast of actors, headed by Robert Gustafsson. Also onboard were Rolf Skoglund, Yvonne Lombard, Olof Thunberg, Sanna Krepper, Harleen Sandelin and Joakim Gräns.

The music was composed by Ulf Dageby and after some initial confusion about the orchestration - for a long time there was talk about a heavy metal trio - the final band consisted of just two people: Monica Ramos on harp (!) and me on laptop (!).

We opened Dec 12, 2003 and played until April 25, 2004.

January - February 2009

I was asked to be the one-man band in a micro opera at Teater Brunnsgatan Fyra. Words by Kristina Lugn, music by Ulf Dageby, directed by Johan Wahlström. Along the chaotic way it was changed to a musical. And then changed again, to a play with some pre-recorded music tacked in at the end... So, fourteen days before opening night, March 6, there was no need for my character. What a frustrated letdown this journey turned out to be...

All the time
And the beat goes on...

Back to the body!