would have to translate in any case. You’ve got to make it muscle and sinew: it’s to do with what the wants ofthe characters are. The way Enquist writes is not always precise grammatically — it’s a kind of hyper-realism. There are sentence constructions which are quirky in Swedish, but what’s difficult is getting those quirks in English so that they don’t just sound like bad writing. ‘I’ve had to home in on the text in a way which I haven’t necessarily done before as a director. It’s very much describing a psychological state rather than just a story. You‘ve got to work out amongst yourselves what the previous history is that these people share. It’s both exciting and very painful. It’s very difficult to find the clues and often you’ll find something that makes absolute sense, and the actor will have found something that’s quite different, and you’ve got to meet somewhere on deciding what the history is, because it’s going to be the skeleton of how the play develops.‘ Running in repertory with Raymond Cousse’s Pig Play, Hour Of The Lynx will be a further example of exciting Continental work neglected on these insular isles. Like Cousse, Enquist is a
leading playwright in his native country, and elsewhere in Europe. Several of his plays have been premiered at Stockholm’s prestigious Dramaten theatre (whose company visits Glasgow next month as one of the Five Theatres ofthe World). and he continues to collaborate with the theatre’s former Artistic Director Ingmar Bergman. Yet only one of his plays has been performed in Britain before.
‘He’s seen to bear the mantle of Strindberg,’ says Dambaek. “and he is of the same stature. I find it important as a Scandinavian to bang the drum and make people aware that there are other Nordic writers than the Michael Meyer translations of Ibsen and Strindberg. But it is getting easier, I think, because ofthe situation with Europe in 1992. You can tell with the whole Ridley affair that people are being judgemental on talking nasty about the Europeans.’
Hour Of The Lynx runs at the Traverse Theatre. Edinburgh, Thurs 2—Sun 5; Thurs 8 and Sat 10 August. and throughout the Edinburgh Festival.
The List 27Jul} — ‘) August 19007