Today I photographed the dress rehearsal for Ondskan, written by Jan Guillou. adapted to theatre by Benny Haag and directed by Rebecca Vaa. The English title is The Evil, and the play lives up to its name. It tells the story of Erik, and his abusive upbringing both at home and at school. The play has some autobiographic elements, Jan Guillou has stated that his childhood was steeped in violence. Curiously, he lived part of his early life in Näsbypark where I grew up.
Erik is a boy whose life has always been defined by violence. With an abusive stepfather at home, and his position as ringleader for a gang of abusive boys, it seems he cannot escape from it. After a heist gone wrong, his headmaster calls him in, accusing him of being the leader of a terror-regime, and states “You are evil, people like you must be destroyed…”
Erik is then shipped off to the exclusive, expensive Sveaborg boarding school, thinking he is given the change to reinvent himself, to lead a new way of life. But the Student Council and their regime of demeaning and degrading humiliation and principles of “responsibility for each others’ upbringing and discipline” soon test all of Erik’s patience and faith. Their cruelty seems to know no bounds, and seems to have no opposition.
Can you resist evil without resorting to evil yourself? Does doing evil things make you evil, or is it the other way around? This chilling production will make you question the very nature of “the evil”.
Erik – Ed Limb
Chorus – Gus Mitchell, Hao Feng, Jerome Burelbach,Ellen McGrath, Hannah Sands, Zephyr Brüggen
Producer – Michael Tigchelaar
Director – Rebecca Vaa
Assistant Director – Michael Tigchelaar
Chief of Light – Johnny King
Publicity Designer – Natalie Price
Chief of Other Things – Rory Barber
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth
Fight Choreographer – Hao Feng