By: Kai Teo
Photos and video: Reza Sharifi
Event: Visitor from Mamaroneck – MAF, Malmö Amatörteaterforum
Date: Wednesday, 12 June ’13
Director: Fraser James MacLeod
Cast: Fraser James MacLeod, Johanna Larsson, Ulrika Pettersson, Emilia Nilsson, Jasmin Salih
Entry: 60 sek
Our rating: 4/5
There are plays that take your breath away with their expansive sets, elaborate costumes and enormous casts. This is not one of them.
A mini production inside a 20-seater theatre, Visitor from Mamaroneck is so tiny you might not even have noticed it. And if you’ve missed this little play, you’ve made a huge mistake.
There was no popcorn, no red carpet, no fanfare. But when the lights dimmed, real magic unfolded right in front of our very eyes.
The stage was instantly transformed into a hotel suite in New York, and the audience was immediately transported through space and time. We found ourselves intrusively peering into the not-so-intimate lives of an old married couple that was supposedly celebrating their wedding anniversary.
Except that it was a celebration of all the doomed marriages in the world.
The stage was so near to our feet that it was a little claustrophobic. It felt almost too close for comfort. Too real to be a play. And the scenario, too familiar to be detached from.
Fraser, who played Sam, was brilliant at every single point. His flawless portrayal brought me to those moments when I first moved to Malmö – extremely ecstatic about everything, optimistic about love and life, and perpetually having drunken butterflies in my stomach while drowning myself in romance.
Johanna was Karen. No one could’ve pulled off the role better. Her cold, icy demeanour, her unflinching seriousness, her suffocating self-righteousness. Every facet was so convincing that I found it hard to believe that she wasn’t playing herself.
The tension was built up perfectly. It was stifling. The lines were delivered very naturally. And that was stifling as well. At many points, I was fucking irritated at how close to our hearts the scenes pricked. They were so reflective of our own failed relationships that it made me tear. So ridiculously true that it tickled me to uncontrollable outbursts of laughter.
Not sure if the others felt it. They didn’t laugh as much. And I was certain that they didn’t cry. Maybe that’s un-Swedish. But let’s not get into this discussion here.
The performance was 0% frills, 100% brilliance. And how the set, the costumes, and the acting worked seamlessly together to deliver the flood of rollercoaster emotions, fucking beautiful.
Or maybe there was something in the wine they served.
If you didn’t manage to catch it last week, mail Fraser James MacLeod and the producers might just decide to have an encore performance.