Last Saturday was the premiere of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival at the Swedish Finnish Uusi Theatre in Stockholm. The Director Emil Sandberg says that the themes, language, identity and alienation in the book felt anxious for the bilingual theatre.
– The new country, which Shaun Tan’s story is set in, is as foreign to all beholders of different cultures and languages, but thus equally available, says Sandberg.
The performances are played on either Finnish or Swedish entirely dependent on the audience, but also dominated by a ringing nonsense language spoken by the inhabitants of the foreign city, completely incomprehensible to both the protagonist as well as the audience. Sandberg says that the entirely wordless graphic novel invites you to a dramatic performance, just as the movement and sounds from actors and stage design opens up a possibility to give the story new interpretations. The performance is played by three actors: Sanna Sandberg, Jaakko Kulmala and Sannah Nedergård, and is set at Uusi Theatre’s home stage at Hälsingegatan 3 in Stockholm. The music has been composed by Yyves Diop.
/Elina Druker, member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury