Waiting on The Wings in Sweden

I arrived here in Stockholm yesterday. A  picture of The Taxi driver is below this article. I asked him if he liked Sweden “you twalkin ta me” he replied.  I spent yesterday and today writing script in the solitude for a radio series at the hotel..

I’m staying in The Scandic Malmen hotel on  SoderMalm  the hippest island of Stockholm, Sweden. It’s the theatre district, like Broadway in New York or  Covent Garden in London. The main differential  is scale.   The  event tonight is at The riksteatren the largest theatre in Sweden or so  I am told. The publicity for my  poetry reading  is promoting the wrong show –  “Something Dark” .

It  gets worse. The audience is let down before my  event even starts.   I toured Something Dark for Four years and two years ago announced the final show  in Umea, Sweden coincidentally.  “it’s advertising the wrong show” I said to Mikael the organiser  to which he replied “yes there was a mix up of communications”.  Never place anything in publicity before contractual confirmation with the artists management. The gravity of this misinformation dawns  the moment I step on stage:   the weight of this mistake is not on their shoulders but mine.  

The audience is expecting something else… Something Dark.  I walk into  the spotlight and    with no preamble,  go  straight into a poem  A Flock Of Sound.     A full hour and a series of poems later and the audience are on their feet in standing ovation clapping  hands and
banging on the floor.  I walk from the stage and wait in the wings as the clapping and stamping gets louder and louder.  An encore for poetry is one thing but in a country whose native tongue is not English  is quite another.

I am over the Swedish moon and spend the night inside it. My room is on the top floor and from there I watch it.


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