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When Broadway came to Sweden: The European premiere of Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Fashion Studies. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Musicology and Performance Studies.
2012 (English)In: Theatre Survey, ISSN 0040-5574, E-ISSN 1475-4533, Vol. 53, no 1, 59-83 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This essay proposes a case-study approach to examine how the initial European production of Cat was received and, by implication, how one of the defining American playwrights of the twentieth century was discussed in Sweden. It focuses on the process of cultural translation and, more precisely, the question of how Swedish ensembles interpreted a foreign playwright who was known for breaking sexual taboos. Unpacking the cross-cultural and transnational dialogue that was established when Cat made its first appearance on a European stage, the essay teases out the cultural tensions and the negotiation of national identity that took place when Williams’s play was transposed from the Mississippi Delta to a more northern latitude. I argue that the stage and the cultural sections of the newspapers offered a forum for Sweden to negotiate some of the country’s sexual anxieties by making use of American cultural products and firmly situating them in an exoticized American context whose values were deemed to conflict with European, and more specifically Swedish, cultural identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 53, no 1, 59-83 p.
Keyword [en]
Tennessee Williams, post-war American theatre, European identity, Swedish Sin, cultural translation
National Category
Performing Arts
Research subject
Theatre Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63957DOI: 10.1017/S0040557411000731ISI: 000302427400004OAI: diva2:453730
Available from: 2011-11-03 Created: 2011-11-03 Last updated: 2012-05-30Bibliographically approved

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