History of Western Theatre: 17th Century to Now/Scandinavian Post-WWII

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Among Swedish playwrights, a prominent place is accorded to Lars Norén (1944-?), among whose plays is the drama "Natten är dagens mor" (Night is mother to the day, 1982). Stig Dagerman (1923-1954) should also be remembered for his play "Den game av sanning" (The truth game, 1949).

Lars Norén, 2007

"Night is mother to the day"[edit]

"Night is mother to the day". Time: . Place: Sweden.

Stig Dagerman described how deeply a son can resent his father's infidelities towards his mother. Dagerman with his wife Anita Björk, 1950s

"The truth game"[edit]

"The truth game". Time: 1940s. Place: Sweden.

Knut's wife, Alma, has just died in a butcher's shop. Their son, Bengt, receives the news very badly. He accuses his father of being at least partly responsible for her death because of his frequent absences. Knut denies this, though admitting he had an adulterous relation. Knut's sisters, Alice and Frida, quarrel about who should obtain the best items among the dead woman's wardrobe. Bengt resents seeing his paternal aunts wear his mother's clothes. He tells Berit, his girl-friend, he sometimes follows his father to the cinema house, where his mistress, Gun, works as a cashier. Although unsure whether his mother knew about their adultery, he yet accuses Knut of indifference to her, once buying a dress that did not fit. Indeed, he once heard his mother say: "It looks as if it were bought for someone else." Irritated at these accusations, Knut divulges he has evidence that his wife had her own adulterous relation. After mentioning that Gun will come to their house the next day, Bengt threatens to affront her. "I will remind myself she killed my mother," he says. In Gun's cabin, Bengt confronts his father one more time. "We must not judge others, Bengt," Knut affirms, to which he answers: "Yes, we must, we must judge crimes." Bengt wishes to speak to Gun alone, which Knut at first does not agree with, but then relents. Bengt tells Gun he would have liked to place her against the wall, except there are no more walls. Unafraid, Gun asks him whether he liked his mother. He admits that was not the case, being especially disgusted at the sight of her fat body. After she locks the cabin door, Bengt places his head on her knees. She strokes his hair. Bergit, unable to enter, is forced to turn away. Months later, she tells Bengt she knows about his relation with Gun but yet loves him still. On the anniversary of his mother's death, Bengt learns that his father and Gun have published their wedding banns. Knut gives Alma's possessions to his sisters as gifts. Although Bengt is unwilling to accept his father's gift, a watch, Gun ties it on his wrist.