Brott och Straff at Dramaten Stockholm:
Perhaps Europe’s most talked about and provocative director, Oliver Frljić, stages one of the most important novels in modern literary history.
The student Raskolnikov decides to rob and kill a hated pawnbroker. Partly to create financial freedom for oneself, but also to save the world from an evil person. However, once he has carried out his crime, he breaks down, begins to doubt his previous reasoning and suffers from guilt and paranoia.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s psychological novel was published in 1866, and since then has never ceased to fascinate. Now the audience is thrown into Raskolnikov’s fevered mind world, in an adaptation that is also inspired by Dostoevsky’s diary.
It is about right and wrong, about whether violence can be justified, about the impact of economic factors on us humans and about the contemporary paradoxical message about the value of human life.
Expressen: “It’s a red-hot iron spike in the ass of time”
“Gustav Lindh’s phenomenal Raskolnikov sets the tone right away with his gaunt figure, pale face and hysterical energy – like a red-hot iron spike in the ass of time.”
“The director, the Bosnian-Croatian Oliver Frljić , who created political theater scandals in both Croatia and Poland, attacks Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel as if he first threw it on the fire and then saved the sooty pages and sorted them to his liking. Together with scenographer Igor Pauška and lighting designer Jörg Schuchardt , Frljić has created a dark and claustrophobic mosaic of tableaus, small evil fairy tales in a dark St. Petersburg. Heavy gigantic furniture, clearly defined light and a play style slightly stylized but still filled with saturated presence. Never has a premiere audience been so attentively concentrated, as completely bewitched by this black diamond.”
“The murder of the pawnbroker ends the first act, before that the focus is on the people around Raskolnikov, not the murder. The ensemble is divinely good, as if Frljić made them lift their hair. Gunnel Fred’s crazy widow Marmeladova whose drunken husband left everything in the morass, Danilo Bejarano’s bigoted fiance Luzjin as Raskolnikov’s sister, Nina Dahn’s record-breaking Dunja will marry for the money, Kristina Törnqvist pregnant as Raskolnikov’s mother and several others.
Magnus Roosmann’s portrayal of the ambiguous landowner Svidrigajlov who wronged Dunja, a repentant viveur who remarries a 16-year-old, is a master class . Electra Hallman’s Sonja, who is forced to walk the streets; her skirt’s sewn-on red flowers are brutally torn off one by one, and then walks tough in long trousers – a far cry from the holy foolish whore.
The net is tightened around Raskolnikov by Andreas Grötzinger’s investigating judge, who gets to sing Pushkin’s “To Siberia”. Dostoyevsky’s ending where Raskolnikov humbly kisses the Russian Mother Earth is usually surgically removed. Raskolnikov is instead sentenced to serve life in the contradictions of modernity, like a Hamlet, a Peer Gynt.
This is how Oliver Frljić’s “Crime and Punishment” becomes an act of resistance.”
“It is dark on Dramaten’s big stage. Pitch black. A few figures emerge from the darkness, illuminated obliquely from above so that they have razor-sharp outlines. It is Dostoevsky’s classic characters who once again step out of their novel selves to reflect themselves in a new time and context.”
“The drama’s “Crime and Punishment” is hypnotizingly visual and refuses simplification”
“After an election campaign where crime and punishment were discussed in black and white, it is a relief to see the polyphonic, complex stage version of Dostoevsky’s novel. At Dramaten we are forced to think for ourselves.”
“Gustav Lindh, above all known from television and film, makes his Drama debut with an unpleasantly charming, emotionally acrobatic Raskolnikov. He ingeniously layers several layers of the role on top of each other, jumps between expressions as vitally as from high table edges.”
Director Oliver Frljić, with a Bosnian-Croat background, has created a universe at Dramaten. European performing arts of the best kind.