I don’t know about you but comedy isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when I think of Stockholm – or even Sweden in general. Sure, there’s Torkel Pettersson yukking it up in the Fares films and Fredrik and Filip have been known to amuse on television, but for me Sweden brings to mind Bergman before belly laughs.
That’s all changing, though: for more than a decade Stockholm has seen a growing number of improvisation companies popping up around the city, some working out of a theatre, others more of a roaming band of excitable clowns.
Some companies perform exclusively in Swedish, others exclusively in English and some offer a mix of performances in both, including one which currently hosts an evening called Lost in Translation, which spotlights the absurdities and hilarity of being a foreigner in Sweden.
So, if you’re in the mood for some laughs, whether it’s in Swedish, English or Swenglish, here’s three of the best:
Improvisation & Co
Stockholm’s only truly international improv company currently has two shows running in English – the aforementioned Lost in Translation and the hilarious Action Improv 2.
Hagagatan 48. Phone: 08 30 81 33
Stockholm’s Improvisations theater
Offering the most extensive range of improv classes (more than 700 students per year), Improvisations theater performs roughly 90 shows a year on their own stage, taking the show to international festivals the rest of the year. Known for specialising in long-form improv. Check website for shows, which run through the spring.
Sigtunagatan 12, 113 22 Stockholm
These three women tend to pop up around the city, sometimes at Kulterhuset, sometimes in a small pub, sometimes working with another improv group. Founding member Helena Z represents The Improvements at the Berlin International Improv Festival, March 2013. Camilla performs in two different shows at Teater Brunnsgatan 4 during the Spring.
All three companies offer classes, private instruction, workshops and private entertainment for parties or corporate events.
words // Judi Lembke