Svenska Dagbladet 2013-03-20
Cross-border, chaotic entertainment!
Cabaret Stravaganza Companhia de Teatro Os Satyros at Unga Klara
Extravagance means exuberance, so Cabaret Stravaganza is a very well suited title for the Brazilian performance guesting Unga Klara in Stockholm for five days in collaboration with Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts, SADA.
In São Paulo the group is recognized for having been the driving force in thetransformation of a troubled area of the city with their work and their interactive performances. Also in Stockholm they do an effort to create contact. Swedish actresses such as Ulrika Malmgren and Katta Pålsson from Darling Desperados take part in the performance and spectators are invited to participate in the buzy and noisy beginning.
Cabaret Stravaganza is inspired by the German cabaret tradition with several very different acts, Abba music, light show and changing of costumes. It’s visually extravagant and cross-border when it comes to the portrayal of sex and gender. But mostly it means men acting in women’s clothing, never vice versa from what I can recall. On the other hand, we get to see a Brazilian actress in a long dress and a tiara offering her underwear to the King of Sweden, through a shiny white washing machine. One of the main themes, creating an order in the creative chaos of the stage, is the relationship between men and machines, mobile phones, computers, Ipads and artificial body parts.
The cabaret deals with the living body, the spare-part-human and the robot. How we look for our identity via the mirror. So of course, the mother of Snow White takes part in a whirling cape with a shiny red apple in her seductive hand. In spite of the mortality of her project she constitutes a resting point in a performance where Antonin Artaud, the spokesman of the Theatre of Cruelty aiming straight for the senses, is a declared lodestar. This rest is well needed for an audience occupied bringing an order in everything happening.
An other resting point is Simon Norrthon in the part of Himself, as much as it is possible. He has negotiated to smoke real cigarettes, and leads on audience and fellow actors to an orgy of smoking, much more provoking than the more classical (fake) blowjobs. This unrestrained puffing is in the same class as when Andreas Boonstra destroyed the control number of a lottery ticket a couple of years ago, risking to lose a million kronor (NB; Andreas Boonstra is a Swedish actor and director with his own company).
Os Satyros of São Paulo gives generously from their exuberance, invites to dance and includes the audience. But they don’t manage to transform us into the happy community that Unga Klara did in their best moments. Not this night, but maybe the next…