For many travelers to Stockholm who might be interested in English-speaking plays and productions, the drama group Spuds and Sill produces amateur theatre in Stockholm and is a part of the Swedish Irish Society. In late 2009, Irish producer Maura Heverin established the group and since then (starting in January 2010), the drama society has been putting on plays and productions around town.
Their first production hit the stage in May 2010, with two performances of A Wake in the West, a comedy set in the west of Ireland in the 1980’s. It got great reception from Stockholm audience and encouraged the drama society to continue in its endeavour to perform Irish drama in Sweden.
So, Slow Travel Stockholm reached out to Heverin to take us behind the scenes of the drama society and tell us more about their upcoming plans.
When was Spuds and Sill founded and how did the concept come about? And the name?
Amateur theatre is popular in Ireland as nearly every parish or area has a hall or community centre to stage plays. It’s a social thing which brings a community together.
I missed seeing Irish drama and wondered – Could we do the same here?
So the Spuds and Sill group was born at an intimate meeting of the Swedish Irish Society in an Irish pub in Stockholm in the winter of 2009. The name brings together Ireland and Sweden – potatis och sill (potatoes and pickled herring) is a common dish in Sweden and spuds is a word commonly used in Ireland instead of potatoes.
What types of productions do you put together, how often, and where can travelers to Stockholm catch the productions?
Our focus is on Irish drama. Last year’s play was The cripple of inishmaan by Martin McDonagh. We have also done plays by the Irish playwright Hugh Leonard. We have done dramatisations of excerpts of James Joyces’ Ulyesses.
We normally have our big production in the spring. We have been in various theatres around town and this year, we are in Skarpnäck kulturhuset. Our play this year, Another Peace, is the second we have done by Niall Balfe, an Irish playwright based here.
In a small town in rural Ireland, Bernie and Paul Quinn, owners of the local shop and Post Office, are still trying to come to terms with the death, almost a year before, of their son, Stevie.
Stevie’s girlfriend Imelda is struggling to escape the confines of the family farm. His best friend, Shane, is dreaming of finding his own way out. Meanwhile, a bitter election campaign is in progress for a seat on the county council, with local girl Lisa Comerford battling to upset the status quo.
Another Peace follows their fortunes as they try to make their peace with life in modern-day Ireland.
How has the reception been so far? What are your current productions and plays in progress?
We have gotten very good reception to our productions which spurs us on to keep doing it. We don’t have a regular rehearsal space either. For our first play in 2010, we rehearsed in the cellar of an Irish pub in Gamla stan. We have had rehearsals in our homes too.
We try to do other smaller pieces during the year. For example, as part of the Samhain festival, at the end of October.
More on “Another Peace” by Spuds and Sill
Dates – April 17-18
Location – Skarpnäck kulturhuset
You can buy your ticket in advance up until 3pm on Friday April 17 at which point we will close online sales. Tickets are subsequently available at the door for SEK 150 in cash only. You should also carry some cash for the intermission bar – Buy tickets here