So tonight, A., the former model and aspiring producer, got us tickets to see MacBeth. In Swedish.
Good thing I knew the plot: so-called "weird" sisters talk a lot of nonsense and predict man will become king of Scotland instead of merely a lowly Thane (what the hell is a thane anyway?), man tells his wife, who is, shall we say, a tad ambitious and she, using an equal dose of berating and wile (which included crotch-grabbing in this particular version) urges man to kill current king, which he does, making a bloody mess in the house, and then he kills lots of other nice people and makes a lot more bloody messes, then wife develops somnambulistic obsessive-compulsive disorder and can't stop washing her hands in her sleep which eventually kills her (who knew one could die of a somnambulistic obsessive-compulsive disorder?), then man goes out with a bang, Rambo-style, except instead of singlehandedly killing an English army with thousands of soldiers, he is killed, but pitifully and offstage.
I went because a friend of mine, the former model and ex-girlfriend of the new-age popstar, was playing Lady McDuff and one of the witches. The former model and ex-girlfriend of the new-age rockstar goes to Sweden's equivalent of RADA.
Naturally, I thought she was the best of the lot - she sure screamed when they slit her throat! In fact, she was the only one who really moved like she belonged on stage, everyone else was a tad stiff as they walked back and forth across the stage purposelessly, although I assume they were great elocutionists. Of course, since I have enough trouble following Swedish when it's not Shakespeare, perhaps I was paying too much attention to the movement and not enough to the words. It would be accurate to say that the first part of the play flew up and hundreds of feet over my head.
However, the second part - which is much more exciting and in fact, downright creepy if you ask me - well, I understood most of it. What helped, of course, is that all the great speeches are in the second half:
"...bort, förbannade fläck..." (that would be how I recall the out, damned spot speech - when I try to find a translation on the web, all I come up with are detergent sites) and the "Imorgon, och imorgon, och imorgon..." speech (er, I bet you could guess that that means tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow).
It's so nice that my friends are making sure that while the husband is away, I'm being taken care of - not only did we see the play, but A. and her boyfriend C., the fashion photographer and his daughter, O., and me had dinner afterwards at my favorite Thai restaurant down the block, Koh Pangang (they write your name on a board when you come in because they don't take reservations and you almost always have to wait for a table; the Swedish King came to the restaurant once and they even made him write his name on the board and wait like everyone else. Now that's Sweden for you. I love that story.)
But the husband is back tomorrow, and despite wishing I could be with him, part of me thought that it would be kind of nice to be on my own for a little while. Yet as always, I think it will be fun - I'll read and write and watch t.v. and not feel guilty about being a slug but I end up bored after one evening and by the time I'm ready to go to sleep that night, I'm wishing he was there beside me in bed.
Which he will be tomorrow.
The Swedish phrase for the day is Shakespeare- tragedi. I'm not going to bother to translate that, because if you can't figure it out, you shouldn't be reading this in the first place.
- by Francis S.