BWW Review: SPRING AWAKENING at Teater Prisma

BWW Review: SPRING AWAKENING at Teater Prisma

In 2016, West End Stockholm was founded by Thomas Creutz, Mikael Hansson and Bengt Kämpe. and a couple of musicals has been played so far. The name West End Stockholm is genius, as it is located as far west you can go by the subway in Stockholm. What else should you name a Production Company and in a western suburb in Stockholm.

The autumn musical is Spring Awakening, a musical I have not seen before and I did not know much about. It opened on Broadway in 2006 and won 8 Tony Awards, of which one was for best musical. The musical is written by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater based on a book and play from 1891 by the German author and satire Frank Wedekind. So, a story that's over 125 years old, how modern can it be? Very modern indeed! Teenage problems now and then seem to be the same. Searching for love and identity and the need to succeed in school. The action is in the 1890s, but the music is rocky and modern and the youngsters who play have a great energy and they have so much fun on stage!

In the 1890's, you did not talk openly about sex and boys and girls did not go to the same school. In the musical we will follow 12 young people on their way into the adult world. The story starts when Wendla (Elin Wessbladh) once again is told that her sister had a baby delivered by the stork. Wendla does not really believe in the stork any longer and ask har mum how babies are made. Her mother is very embarrassed and says it happens when a married woman loves her husband in a way only she can. This is an explanation she will bitterly regret later. At the same time in a boys' school, the boys are interrogated in Latin. One of the boys, Moritz, (Benjamin Sundström) sits and daydreaming and does not manage to tell his part in latin. His good friend Melchior (Teodor Wickenbergh) the star of the class and the teachers' favorite tries to help him. But the strange teacher is convinced that when you are wrong you have to be told so. The school does not accept any weakness and failures. To be dismissed from school is a shame for the family. The boys are fantasizing about girls and their bodies. The idea to keep boys and girl apart does not make them less interested in the opposite sex at all. Wendla and Melchior are childhood playmates and meet each other again and one thing leads to another, with devastating consequences. Mortiz gets dismissed and this is something his dad cannot forgive, what are they going to say in the church? The story is also about girls abused at home by violent fathers and mothers looking away or doing anything to avoid shame, at any cost.

The other youngsters in the story are Martha (Siri Flovin), Ilse (Lovisa Forsell), Thea (Ebba Irestad), Anna (Rebecka Iron), Liéze / swing (Hanna Thelander), Georg (Kalle Tunell), Hanschen (Johan Bergman), Ernst Fredrik Karlsson) and Otto (Joel Lättman). The adults are played by Thérese Neaime, Erika Dittmer, Anders Hedlund and Pål Jacobson.

Almost everyone in this musical are new faces for me and it's great fun that there are so many new talented musical artists. However, I saw Teodor Wickenbergh this summer as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. As Maria Magdalena he did not sing so much, which I thought was a shame. I was really pleased to hear him sing a lot more tonight. Will not be surprised if he appears on any major stage soon ae he really has a good voice. Elin was wonderful as Wendla. Nice voice and interpreting the character of Wendla very well. But the characters which affected me most were probably Benjamin Sundström as Moritz and Lovisa Forsell as Ilse. Mortiz who is unable to live up to his father's expectations and Ilse who has been thrown out from home and struggling to survive.

The ensemble is very good and interacted perfectly with each other. A cost with many great voices. Lots of energy on stage and they convey feelings in a great and believable way.

The scenography was simple, functional and effective. Stylish and effective lighting. Good musicians led by Johan Mörk. Director is Thomas Creutz. The translation by Fredrik Fischer and Linnea Sjunnesson is modern.

This fall in Stockholm is probably one of the strongest in musical theatre for several years and Spring Awakening is a part of it. I recommend anyone to take the green subway line west and get off at Hässelby Gård and go to Theater Prisma. If you like musical, do not miss this Tony-winning musical. And it's almost free as well, only 280 SEK (less than 30$). But you need to speed up, it's only played until October 13th.

Tickets are on sale at:

http://www.westendstockholm.se/biljetter/

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From This Author Annette Stolt

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