I was visited by two members of Swedish parliament a few weeks ago and we talked about a Swedish production of Waiting for Godot performed in the community by convicts who escaped during one performance and were never to be seen again.
I find it fascinating that this Didi and Gogo (because in my imagination that is who they played, not Pozzo or Lucky) who on stage did not move after asking and answering, “Shall we go?” “Yes, let’s.” were truly considering going–bolting even–each time they exchanged these lines.
In searching for more information my eyes have been opened to the numerous cases of something similar–a situation that I had never even singularly considered.
Sju tre (1999) is the most controversial theatre production in Sweden in modern times. Lars Norén, a well-known playwright and director, staged a dialogue involving three real convicts, of whom two were outspoken Nazis. Shortly after the last performance, the latter two men were involved in a bank robbery in which two policemen were killed. These scandalous events are discussed from three different perspectives, all, however, revolving around the uncertain boundaries between aesthetic, ethical, and political issues. By virtue of its performative impact, the theatrical event proved to be directly linked with critical questions of democracy, although conceivably at the expense of the artistic integrity of the director and the theatre as creator of public opinion.