Lost in Translation became an idea in my head after I had lived in Sweden for three and a half years. When you meet Swedes one of the first questions they ask is “Why Sweden?”. And I respond “My wife is Swedish.” “Typical” they say. Exactly. Typical.
Typical is a good way to describe life in Sweden. In fact I had never heard the word typical more until I moved here. “Typical Swedish” is a phrase you hear often, and mostly from Swedes. Swedes have very strong social norms and a lot of set ways of doing things, which can be provocative for many foreigners. Causing the most enthusiastic of immigrants to feel “lost”.
After living here a few years I’d met a lot of different people like me who were sharing a similar experience of living in Sweden. People who had gone through a lot of emotional turmoil living here. Me included. Because as an immigrant you really go through the whole roller coaster of emotions.
It hit me that I wanted to create a show that served this experience. A show that did not shy away from the emotions and the vulnerability that comes with uprooting yourself and living in Sweden. A show that put Swedes, foreigners and their cultural differences on stage in an entertaining way where we can laugh at them, and also learn from them and hopefully shrink the divide a bit in our minds.
Improv at its core is based on fundamentals that unite people. The core of improv is to accept, and by saying yes and accepting you go on marvelous adventures and bring loads of new people and experiences into your life. This show for me has really been about accepting this experience and accepting Sweden on a deeper level. At the same time having a lot of fun.
“Love refugee” is a term you hear often about people like me who moved to Sweden because they fell in love with a Swede. Since that experience is near and dear to my heart I wanted love to be the theme of the show. The stakes don’t get any higher than with cross cultural love. That is why the second act of the show is an improvised romantic comedy. I describe it as a Rom Com that is not afraid to go there. One thing I have discovered about this experience, is that when you have moved to another country for love the emotions are not too far from the surface. They can be almost tangible at times. So the improvisers have been encouraged to really push themselves into vulnerability, which is not always comfortable, and just try and stay in it. The goal is to serve the experience, take it serious, and at the same time go crazy with it.
Please come on out. Be part of the conversation. Come to the show with all your baggage and let it out. It is a bit of entertainment/therapy.
See you there!