Maken, Sweden

Designed by: Johanna Mårtensson
For client: Riksteatern (The Swedish National Touring Theatre) Floor area: 40.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Nominated for: Set Design of the Year

Maken 01
© José Figueroa

Maken. Act One. Actors on photo; Jesper Feldt, Miriam Forsberg, Karin Bengtsson.

About the Project

Maken (swedish for Husband) is a play based on a book by Gun Britt Sundström about a young man and woman in the sixties, who try to find their own way of living together as a couple without following the norm.

It is a very intellectual play and Johanna Mårtensson felt the scenography needed to give the actors a physical challenge, to amplify the ups and downs and the complexity of the relationship. Mårtensson designed a hybrid of a roller coaster and a bed, covered with a mattress, with the classical mattres fabric. The actors could jump, run, fall, fight and crawl on the mattress, which helped them to perform this story in a fast forward and playful way. In Act 2, when the relationship becomes complex, they take part of the mattress off, leaving the bare bed like a skeleton. In Act 3 - nicknamed the Divorce Act - the actors take the construction apart, leaving it as fragments or islands on the stage.

What’s unique about it

Mårtensson always wanted to work with a very interactive and functional scenography, finding a way to tell the story not only through visual representations but also expressed in a psychological and a physical way. In this case, the design gave the actors a very limited space, but the shape and the material - foam rubber mattresses - also created a playground where they could jump, run, fall, fight and crawl, which emphasized the expression of the narrative.

Scene changes were created with very simple means, as a part of the action and as a consequence of how the relationship develops. The actors took the mattresses off and the set would morph into a very different atmosphere. From playful and soft to harch and hard. In Act 3, as a ritual of the separation, they tear the construction apart leaving it as fragments, which gave them a totally different stage to act on.

This scenography is created for The National Touring Theatre, constructed to be easily put together and taken apart.

Maken 02
© José Figueroa

Maken. Act 1. Actors on photo; Jesper Feldt, Miriam Forsberg, Karin Bengtsson.

Maken 10
© José Figueroa

Maken. Act One. Actors on photo; Jesper Feldt, Miriam Forsberg, Karin Bengtsson.

Maken 04
© José Figueroa

Maken. Act One. Actors on photo; Jesper Feldt, Miriam Forsberg, Karin Bengtsson.

Maken 05
© José Figueroa

Maken. Act One. Actors on photo; Jesper Feldt, Karin Bengtsson.

Maken 07
© José Figueroa

Maken. Act One. Actors on photo; Jesper Feldt, Miriam Forsberg, Karin Bengtsson.

Maken 08
© José Figueroa

Maken. Act 2. Actors on photo; Jesper Feldt, Miriam Forsberg, Karin Bengtsson.

Maken 03
© José Figueroa

Maken. Act 3. Actors on photo; Miriam Forsberg, Karin Bengtsson.

Maken 06
© José Figueroa

Actors on photo; Jesper Feldt, Miriam Forsberg, Karin Bengtsson.

About the play from the cultural news.

Location of project:
Credits:
Johanna Mårtensson

Dramatization: Ninna Tersman Director: Lena Mossegård Lightdesign: Sofia Linde Composition: Magnus Larsson Make Up: Linda Gonzalves Actors: Karin Bengtsson, Jesper Feldt, Miriam Forsberg.

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