Swedish comedians Henrik Schyffert and Fredrik Lindström will perform their Swedish comedy show "Ägd - vad kostar ett rikare liv?" (“Owned – what is the cost of a richer life?”) on two unique occasions in London and New York in March and April.
Both Schyffert and Lindström are household names on the comedy scene in Sweden since the 1990s. Their current show is full of painful truths of how we today are slaves under economic growth, how we “invest” in relationships and convince ourselves that we will be happy if we just purchase the latest activity bracelet. According to Lindström and Schyffert, we are all dreaming of a better life. To be richer, work a bit less to have time to “fulfil our potential” and make sure we get away to sunny LA during dreary January. Advertising, lifestyle podcasts, magazines all say the same thing - the road to happiness is spelled consumption.
”Today we don’t believe in God, we believe in the market. We don’t want absolution, we want a robot lawnmower,” says Schyffert.
Lindström and Schyffert on stage
On 12 March, they will take the stage at the Leicester Square Theatre in London and the 5 April at the Gramercy in New York. The show premiered at Rival in Stockholm in January 2014 and has played five seasons so far. A huge success in Sweden, the show will have been performed 150 times in five different countries, namely Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK and the US, after the final shows in London and New York. The LINK caught up with Fredrik Lindström for a few short questions about the show, the UK and what the future holds.
Where did the inspiration for the show come from?
For years we have been interested in the growing excessive consumerism and the untenable financial idea that we should live off an ever increasing growth, despite the fact that we are overusing earth’s resources by a wide margin. And that we continuously, despite all the evidence that proves the opposite, believe that we will be happier with a higher material living standard. We are certainly no exception, we keep falling into the same trap ourselves.
Why did you decide to finish off this show in the UK and US?
Our show is aimed at comfortably-off Swedes and there are many of them. Both London and NY hold the same population of Swedes as a medium sized Swedish town, and many of these have sound finances and well paid jobs.
What’s the best thing about the UK/London?
Personally I love the UK and enjoy traveling around the English countryside. My favourite districts are probably the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire. I was 15 years old when I first visited London and I fell in love with the city. I still am. It isn’t always easy to motivate but two things springs to mind. Partly that everything is so much more social and open in the UK compared to Sweden. People are nice, polite and easy to speak to. They are generally pretty well educated as well. And partly it is that things are quite old fashioned; the pubs still look like they did 100 years ago and there are plenty of old brick houses. Everything points back to the British glory days in the 19th century – and I love it!
Future – what’s next for Fredrik Lindström? If you could do anything – what would be your dream project?
I am currently working on a volume on Swedish dialects. If I ever finish it I would like to write a popular science book on the history of the Swedish language. That would be my dream project!
The show will be performed on 12 March at 3pm and 6pm. For tickets and more information about the show, please go to the theatre website.
Photo Credit: Karin Törnblom