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This is the second volume in a series that presents plays by Sweden's greatest living playwright in English. Lars Noren is generally considered Sweden's greatest playwright since August Strindberg. He has written about 75 plays that combine humor, a powerful emotional impact and the search for new forms of expression, which are regularly performed throughout the Nordic and This is the second volume in a series that presents plays by Sweden's greatest living playwright in English. Lars Noren is generally considered Sweden's greatest playwright since August Strindberg. He has written about 75 plays that combine humor, a powerful emotional impact and the search for new forms of expression, which are regularly performed throughout the Nordic and European countries. Although his work has been translated into various languages for the stage, we are exclusively publishing Noren's plays in book format in English-a project started in spring 2013 with Two Plays: And Give Us the Shadows and Autumn and Winter. This volume includes: Demons (1982), a very dark comedy that is an expressionist take on Albee's A Delicate Balance and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, set in a Stockholm apartment on the eve of a funeral; Act (2000), about a power struggle between a female terrorist on a hunger strike and the doctor who tries to make her eat again, set in a German prison; and Terminal 3 (2006), a beautiful, sparse play set in a hospital waiting room where a young couple is there to welcome the birth of their first baby and a middle-age couple is there to identify their dead son. Translator Marita Lindholm Gochman was born in Sweden and came to America in 1964, where she has had a rich theatrical career. In 1985, she translated her first Noren play into English, The Last Supper, and since then has worked with him on 25 of his plays-making her Noren's foremost English language translator. Since 1987 Ms. Gochman has served as a board member of Circle in the Square, The International Theatre Institute, and The Signature Theatre. "Lars Noren, regarded by many as the greatest Swedish playwright since Strindberg, has dealt with the love-hate relationships of modern dysfunctional families in emotionally powerful and sombre plays spiced with absurd humour." -Encyclopedia Britannica Online "He has made the present time our home and exposed the anxiety beneath the surface of the welfare state." -Per Wastberg, former chairman of International PEN and editor-in-chief of Sweden's largest daily newspaper"


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This is the second volume in a series that presents plays by Sweden's greatest living playwright in English. Lars Noren is generally considered Sweden's greatest playwright since August Strindberg. He has written about 75 plays that combine humor, a powerful emotional impact and the search for new forms of expression, which are regularly performed throughout the Nordic and This is the second volume in a series that presents plays by Sweden's greatest living playwright in English. Lars Noren is generally considered Sweden's greatest playwright since August Strindberg. He has written about 75 plays that combine humor, a powerful emotional impact and the search for new forms of expression, which are regularly performed throughout the Nordic and European countries. Although his work has been translated into various languages for the stage, we are exclusively publishing Noren's plays in book format in English-a project started in spring 2013 with Two Plays: And Give Us the Shadows and Autumn and Winter. This volume includes: Demons (1982), a very dark comedy that is an expressionist take on Albee's A Delicate Balance and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, set in a Stockholm apartment on the eve of a funeral; Act (2000), about a power struggle between a female terrorist on a hunger strike and the doctor who tries to make her eat again, set in a German prison; and Terminal 3 (2006), a beautiful, sparse play set in a hospital waiting room where a young couple is there to welcome the birth of their first baby and a middle-age couple is there to identify their dead son. Translator Marita Lindholm Gochman was born in Sweden and came to America in 1964, where she has had a rich theatrical career. In 1985, she translated her first Noren play into English, The Last Supper, and since then has worked with him on 25 of his plays-making her Noren's foremost English language translator. Since 1987 Ms. Gochman has served as a board member of Circle in the Square, The International Theatre Institute, and The Signature Theatre. "Lars Noren, regarded by many as the greatest Swedish playwright since Strindberg, has dealt with the love-hate relationships of modern dysfunctional families in emotionally powerful and sombre plays spiced with absurd humour." -Encyclopedia Britannica Online "He has made the present time our home and exposed the anxiety beneath the surface of the welfare state." -Per Wastberg, former chairman of International PEN and editor-in-chief of Sweden's largest daily newspaper"

37 review for Three Plays: Demons, Act, and Terminal 3

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    “It is not I who breaks with the realistic frame; it is the realism that eventually becomes so concentrated that it can only be expressed through hallucination.” Lars Norén I was recently introduced to Lars Norén by my amazing Goodreads friend, Thomas. Norén's DEMONS was the first work we chose for a "buddy read". Norén is considered Sweden's greatest playwright since August Strindberg. Strinberg's influence ~~ his early plays in particular ~~ think Miss Julie and The Dance of Death ~~ is str “It is not I who breaks with the realistic frame; it is the realism that eventually becomes so concentrated that it can only be expressed through hallucination.” Lars Norén I was recently introduced to Lars Norén by my amazing Goodreads friend, Thomas. Norén's DEMONS was the first work we chose for a "buddy read". Norén is considered Sweden's greatest playwright since August Strindberg. Strinberg's influence ~~ his early plays in particular ~~ think Miss Julie and The Dance of Death ~~ is strongly felt in Norén's writing. Frank and Katarina have been married for years, though from the outset it's clear that anger and hatred govern their life together. After his mother's funeral, Frank returns to their home with her ashes. He has been phoning all day, but there has been no answer, and he suspects Katarina of infidelity. They begin the barbed insults that grow more brutal and rancorous as the long evening wears on. What is not made clear is Frank’s incestuous love for his mother. This becomes clearer as the night progresses. Dreading the thought of spending the evening alone with Katarina, Frank invites Tomas and Jenna, a couple from their building, to come up for drinks. Before the younger couple arrives. One drink follows another, and the tension builds as the hatred between Frank and Katarina increases to dangerous levels. Soon, Tomas and Jenna are behaving much like Frank and Katarina and choosing sides. Their psychological and physical attacks are some the cruelest you will see on stage. With the women out of the room, Frank propositions Tomas sexually, as the two play an aggressive game of catch with a valuable glass vase. At first, it appears he is only trying to make Tomas uncomfortable, then it seems his desire is genuine, then once more, he is only trying to make Tomas uncomfortable. Frank is a master at keeping his foes off balance. Disgusted, Tomas knocks Frank around the room; it is a very sexualized beating. The scene between Frank and Tomas was brilliantly written. Perhaps it was the best scene in the play. It would be interesting to see a one act play between the two of them. It would be extremely interesting to see this adapted to same sex couples. It would definitely change the dynamics between them, but I would keep Frank's affair with a woman ~~ that would make this affair the ultimate betrayal. Katarina then plays her trump card, announcing that Frank is impotent, saying that only bizarre fantasies like watching her make love with other men excite him. She says that on a trip to North Africa he urged her to bring young boys back to the room with her. Tomas attempts to makes love with Katarina, though we find out that for all her bravado, Katarina is a frigid nymphomaniac. As dawn breaks, Frank and Katarina are left alone in the living room, festooned with hundreds of small candles. Producing a hammer and nails, Katarina crucifies Frank on the floor amidst the flickering candles. The soul-crushing psychological warfare being waged here is born of desperation. Katarina is desperate for some show of emotion from Frank, who is unflagging in his stoic refusal. He tells Katarina he loves her but he does not like her, and when she fears he will hit her, he promises he will do it only when she is certain he will never do it again. Frank admits there are times when he wakes up in bed next to her and can only think of how helpless she is and how she must be protected. Frank, too, craves tenderness but does not know how to ask for it. Whether or not he is gay is less important than his inability to admit how much he needs to feel loved. He is deeply hurt when Katarina says all he has ever been is a way of passing the time after the devastation of her break-up with her only real love. It is unfortunate that we are never given a chance to see a more sympathetic side to these characters, because it is hard to feel much empathy for their suffering. Marianne and Johan from Scenes From a Marriage , and George and Martha from Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. are much more likable and therefore we care more about their fates. In the end, do you care about the fates of Katarina and Frank, or are you relieved to be away from them and not be like them? Nothing occurs behind closed doors here. Nothing ~~ physically or emotionally. Katarina and Frank and Tomas do not have filters ~~ poor Jenna. She is like a toilet to the other to defecate on ~~ and she has no one to blame but herself. This is a very good play ~~ not a great play. There is very little plot to Demons; it is the dialogue that keeps your attention ~~ that and the highly sexualized nature of the play. My main gripe with Demons is Norén's use of sex to keep the action moving along. After a while, the nudity and sex becomes mundane. Nudity cannot make up for a missing plot. Strindberg, Albee, and Bergman have all covered this territory before, and more successfully. I can't help but think that if Norén was writing about his own inner demons and this was a way to exorcise them. If Norén were to rewrite this play today, we would see more plot and a better-rounded portrait of Katarina, of that I’m certain. Frank really is a bastard, but he comes off in a much better light than Katarina and yet, she has been victimized by Frank. She tries, but she cannot fight at the same level he does. Norén is a brilliant playwright. I have no doubt of that and I am excited to read his later works.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    Wow, this was a long and arduous but rewarding journey. Demons is classic Norén and what he does so incredibly well. Starting out in a quite ordinary setting, he introduces hostility and ugliness in relationships already from the beginning. Later in the play, he twists everything one notch too hard and I feel almost relieved as if we went out of the realm of reality and are now watching a distortion of it. However, after a few pages of this, the baseline has shifted and now reality really is thi Wow, this was a long and arduous but rewarding journey. Demons is classic Norén and what he does so incredibly well. Starting out in a quite ordinary setting, he introduces hostility and ugliness in relationships already from the beginning. Later in the play, he twists everything one notch too hard and I feel almost relieved as if we went out of the realm of reality and are now watching a distortion of it. However, after a few pages of this, the baseline has shifted and now reality really is this harsh and twisted and the pain you feel with the characters comes back with a vengeance. Anyone familiar with his works, such as "Night is mother of the day" will know exactly what I'm talking about here. Act was interesting, but far too short to catch my interest and really invoke my feelings. Some interesting themes were touched upon, but ended before they begun. Terminal 3 on the other hand, was another great one. This one I would love to see adapted for the stage. Claustrophobic, ethereal and surreal -really enjoyed this one. This was a buddy read with Kenny and you should go read his review!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tereza

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cecilie

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie Ghallab

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marianne Frenhofer

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  9. 5 out of 5

    EB

  10. 4 out of 5

    Davit

  11. 4 out of 5

    Philippa

  12. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pourya

  14. 5 out of 5

    Simone

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gurami

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marija Gardasevic

  17. 5 out of 5

    Greg Petroff

  18. 4 out of 5

    Addie

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    Florin Caracala

  20. 4 out of 5

    Saba

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zeb

  22. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Manouchou

  23. 5 out of 5

    Niki

  24. 4 out of 5

    Fabfabian

  25. 4 out of 5

    Darren Mitton

  26. 5 out of 5

    William Mego

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ruben

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    Carole Swann

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mia Vallet

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael sinkofcabbages

  31. 4 out of 5

    Philip

  32. 5 out of 5

    Agustina

  33. 5 out of 5

    Stephen J

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Lam

  35. 4 out of 5

    Tudor Dreve

  36. 5 out of 5

    Nana Mensah

  37. 5 out of 5

    Sanela Hamzic

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