Attending a Spex – in Swedish

Truth be told, even though I live in Sweden and am currently learning Swedish, I don’t need the language too much to get by on a daily basis so I don’t use it a lot in everyday life. (Note to self: this must change)

So, when the opportunity arose to watch a play entirely in Swedish, I was insecure but I went for it. The play was a Spex – amateur theatre that originated in Scandinavia centuries ago. They’re usually satirical musicals.

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The interesting part is that the audience plays a role too – it can decide whether a song should be replayed by clapping for a long time, thus not letting the actors continue. Then, the fun part is that the song being replayed cannot be the same: the lyrics stay the same but the music and the performance of the actor/actress must change.

A couple of my classmates and I decided to be brave enough to go and we were prepared – in case we didn’t understand the jokes, we were just going to laugh along and not draw attention to our poor Swedish language skills.

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Much to our amusement and excitement, the great pretending was largely unnecessary! We understood most of it and we had so much fun!

So, the Spex was about Napoleon and it was an all-women performance. I was astonished at the professionalism: the stage, costumes, the singing – everything was on a much higher level than we had expected from amateur theatre.

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Sorry for the iPhone photo quality, using the shutter on my DSLR would’ve been too noisy.

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Written by Dena

10 Mar 2015