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BWW Review: LIFE SUCKS/LIVET SUGER at Playhouse Teater


The production runs from 20th of October till the 27th of November

BWW Review: LIFE SUCKS/LIVET SUGER at Playhouse Teater

Opening night at Playhouse Theater in Stockholm

Playhouse Theater has an ability to select good and current plays and what could be more relevant now than a play called Life Sucks by Aaron Posner, because life has done that for the past year and a half when the theaters had to close due to the pandemic. But tonight it was time for the premiere and the champagne glasses were filled with bubbles and the atmosphere was welcoming and high before the doors to the salon opened and the rows filled quickly.

Life sucks is based on Chekhov's Uncle Vanja. Uncle Vanja (Peter Eriksson) lives on an estate with his niece Sonja (Moa Niklasson) and Babs (Astrid Assefa). Sonja's father The Professor (Ole Forsberg) is visiting with his third wife, the beautiful irresistible Ella (Marie Robertsson) together with Vanja's best friend the handsome Dr Aster (Anders Berg) and Knipan (Kajsa Ekström). The role performances are top notch and everyone is very impressive. The interaction between the actors is well-oiled and the characters are all given their own space to tell their own story, which is why their lives suck.

Vanja and Dr Aster are both in love with Ella, who is not completely happy with how the marriage has developed while the women are drawn to Dr Aster except for Knipan who has not come across the love of her life. It is very unhappy love, jealousy, relationship drama so of course it can be perceived as Life Sucks. But subtle lines that are delivered with perfect comic timing are rewarded with many wonderful redemptive laughs by the audience and even the actors have a hard time keeping up with laughter when the audience is given several opportunities to interact in the play. A winning concept even though it was a bit unusual for the audience to become more and more comfortable in it.

The set design by Pia Wiik was simple and effective and gave the feeling that we were at Vanja's home. Virtually everyone was on stage all the time, but when they were not actively participating in a stage, they sat in a "separate" room in the house, on the stairs as observers of what was happening on stage. It also reinforced the feeling that everyone was inside the house but in different rooms, or out in the garden on the other side of a large barred window.

Life Sucks is a comic gem and a wonderful energy boost, just what the theater audience both needs and is worth seeing. The ensemble was rewarded quite abundantly with flowers and standing ovations that did not want to end. Another success by Playhouse!

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From This Author Annette Stolt