Your Living City was invited to an extraordinary show, which ironically was about the most ordinary thing we have in our lives… the Swedes. Yes the Swedes and Swedishness, something we who live in Sweden deal with every day of our lives, but sometimes something so difficult to understand. If you, like me, have left your homeland and bought that one way ticket to Sweden deciding to settle here for good, you know what I’m talking about. Sweden doesn’t necessarily come with an instruction manual, although it should. But since it doesn’t, ‘How to Become Swedish in 60 minutes‘ is the perfect show for us all.
The show starts with a little journey through Swedish history from the vikings to Ikea and Volvo in the funniest of ways. History was never as amusing as this. Then we get the show’s host Niklas Engdahl, who with all the style that a Swede is ought to have, will walk you through a series of basic principles every person should adopt in the pursuit of becoming the perfect Swede. And that is the ultimate purpose of this comedy show, to turn you into the best possible and most dutiful member of the Swedish society.
Some of the principles we get to learn during the course of the show include: how to talk like Swede, how to queue like a Swede (even if it’s only two of you queueing); how to fika like a Swede; how to give loooooong directions like a Swede; just to mention a few. And every lesson will come with masterfully well explained examples performed hilariously by Niklas Engdahl. Also including some traditional Swedish dancing and singing together with the audiece.
The show is much more than a stand up comedy routine, it is a hilarious blend of incisive and visual observations of the Swedish human condition, their attitudes, struggles and everyday life. You will laugh and learn and at the end of the show leave the theatre feeling 100% Swedish.
And last but not least, you will learn everything about Lagom… Yes, that seemingly insignificant word, that is loaded with so much meaning in Swedish culture. Irony on top of more irony. Niklas Engdahl will make sure that you not only learn about not being too much or too little of anything and all that this word implies… But he will also make sure you don’t leave the theatre before you learn the lyrics of the Lagom song and have it playing in your head for hours, perhaps even days and moths after the show. And I kid you not, we could hear people singing the Lagom song blocks away from the theatre after the show was finished.
So if you need one or two lessons in Swedishness, that will definitely stick in your head, or if you’re feeling your inner-self crying for some sweet Swedification, GO and see ‘How To Become Swedish In 60 Minutes‘. It will bring light onto all those things you never really understood about Swedes and make them a part of you so that you might become a converted Swede yourself! I really wish I had seen this show earlier, at least before going to the Systembolaget for the first time and having the cashier ask me to show my ‘leg’ – a.k.a. legitimation… you know what I mean.