Attentatet på Dramaten. En studie av Alf Sjöbergs uppsättning av Marika Stiernstedts drama. The Outrage at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. A studie of Alf Sjöberg's stageing of Marika Stiernstedt's drama.

Eva Martinsson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The thesis deals with the Swedish author Marika Stiernstedt's drama The Outrage and Alf Sjöberg's production of it at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in 1944. The production process is followed from the birth of the drama to the production's encounter with the audience. The thesis examines what the drama and the production tell about the unrest of those times and about political and ethical antagonisms. The focus is on the extent to which the Swedish policy of neutrality limited what could be said on the national stage. The presentation begins with an account of the context of external censorship. The Swedish neutrality policy is presented as are its consequences in the form of restrictions on free speech. Subsequently Marika Stiernstedt is presented as a public figure and here the focus is on her political and ethical involvement as it appears in articles, books of reports and lectures. The chapters concentrate on the drama The Outrage and Alf Sjöberg's production of it. Marika Stiernstedt works on the drama with the director Olof Molander as her adviser. This collaboration results chiefly in dramaturgical alterations to the original text. The dialogue becomes more realistic and runs more smoothly. A "neutralisation" of the drama with regard to time and place is also effected and finally there is a shift to an ideological direction. An erotic eternal triangle drama is changed into an ideological one. Through an analysis of the sets and a comparison between Sjöberg's director's script and the text of Stiernstedt's drama it is shown how, by using set designs, music and sound effects, Alf Sjöberg again makes it clear that the drama takes place in Paris and that the occupation power is Germany. In addition the themes of resistance and freedom are both intensified. The reviewers' reception of the performance is also studied and it is apparent that the message is regarded as topical. Themes such as the antagonism between Fascism and humanism and the individual's stand against oppression from outside are also pointed out. In the reviews the neutral profile of the Royal Dramatic Theatre is also discussed. The final chapter discusses the Royal Dramatic Theatre's repertoire policy during the Second World War respecting the extent to which the theatre was willing to conform with the neutrality policy of the Swedish government. The scrutiny shows that the then theatre manager, Pauline Brunius, followed the existing regulations. However, there are signs of both external and internal censorship since some plays were not accepted for performance and others were vetted in advance. The production of The Outrage is also put into this context and it proves that when external censorship was changed to internal censorship it was primarily the dialogue and obvious symbols that were affected, whereas that which was conveyed by visual or auditive systems of signs was allowed to pass.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Comparative Literature
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2000 Oct 21
ISBN (Print)91-631-0083-5
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2000-10-21
Time: 10:15
Place: Kulturanatomen sal 201, Biskopsg 7

External reviewer(s)

Name: Helander, Karin
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: [unknown]


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Languages and Literature

Free keywords

  • ethical questions.
  • antfascism
  • censorship
  • Swedish neutrality
  • The Second World War
  • The Royal Dramatic Theatre
  • Theatre
  • directing
  • Dramatic art
  • Teatervetenskap

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