• Stockholm Fringe Festival

    Now in its second year, Stockholm Fringe Festival (STOFF) is a newcomer to the international arts festival scene, and a very fresh addition to the Stockholm cultural landscape. I went to Stockholm last year to do some performances and workshops and fell in love with this beguiling and charming city of islands, so when I saw the call for applications I thought this might be a good opportunity to go back and take my show 'The Cosmos, The Cosmetics'. There were nearly a thousand international applications, so I was delighted when I was selected.

    It was lovely to get back to Stockholm, there's something about the fact that it's surrounded by so much water that gives it this wonderful sense of space and light, plus people are so cool and gorgeous there. I arrived to the exciting news that my show had been previewed as a highlight of the festival by the main Stockholm newspaper DN Kultur, and a little bit of press exposure never does any harm. My first foray into the festival was at the launch party, where I did a short set and got a taster of the kind of work included; very varied and fantastically audacious. Over the next few days I got to see much more work and meet some of the other artists, there was a genuinely warm and supportive atmosphere with artists going to see each others work. Work I saw included a delightful dance piece called 'Post-Wedding Depression' with manic routines by an all-girl Swedish troupe in taste-bypass wedding dresses. I also caught Innuit rapper Aku-Matu whose impassioned work in her show 'My Melting Iglu' bought the plight of native people in Alaska firmly home, while her polar-bear rap (complete with costume) was charmingly bonkers.

    My show took place at a black-box theatre space called Dramalabbet in the stylish Sodermalm area of Stockholm. I was genuinely expecting to have about 5 people, so I was thrilled when I had a full house and a lovely audience including many of the artists I'd met through the week. I loved doing the show in Stockholm, I could tell the audience were getting it, despite, or maybe because of, the 'Britishisms' and the response to the show was really wonderful. I found myself doing an involuntary dance of delight when I came off stage.

    I had to leave Stockholm very early the next morning to get to Towersey Festival in Oxfordshire, but it was an off the scale experience.

Nick Field

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