15 great English-language acts at Sweden’s Fringe festivals

Lovers of the arts, rejoice! Fringe festivals are once again upon us, hitting Gothenburg from September 1st-4th and Stockholm from September 5th-10th. We take a look at our favourite acts in English.

15 great English-language acts at Sweden's Fringe festivals
Eleanor Conway's Walk of Shame. Photo: Photo: Jamie Rowan/Stockholm Fringe Festival

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival and an inspiration for other festivals around the world. In true fringe spirit, festivals in Bergen, Gothenburg, Reykjavik*, and Stockholm came together to launch the Nordic Fringe Network, a new platform for international artists to reach Nordic audiences. In such a special year to celebrate performance art, we’re excited to see so many great acts coming to Sweden. Here are some of our favourites:

*Note: Unfortunately, the launch of Reykjavik Fringe Festival had to be postponed to 2018.


Artificial Ineloquence

Do you speak emoji? Dan Simpson does, and this year the poet comes to Gothenburg armed with his smart and witty humour, and a selfie stick. A seasoned performer, he brings spoken word to a range of audiences, working in schools, running creative writing workshops, and collaborating with scientists in projects that fuse poetry and science. Artificial Ineloquence is an engaging and contemporary stand-up poetry show which focuses on the screens and machines that rule our lives, the rise of robots, and the inevitable A.I. takeover of the world.

When: 8pm, September 1st; 5pm, September 2nd; 8pm, September 3rd

Duration: 60 minutes

Where: Henriksberg, Stigbergsliden 7, Gothenburg

Price: 100 kronor ($12)

Photo: Dan Simpson/Gothenburg Fringe Festival


Scottish comedian Chris Henry is a man on a twisting mission. His show Balloonatics has been a massive hit back in the UK, with sold-out performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It was the runner-up for the Children’s Event Award at Perth Fringe World 2017, and is guaranteed fun for children and adults alike.

When: 2pm, September 1st; 2pm, September 2nd; 1pm, September 3rd

Duration: 60 minutes

Where: Sjöfartsmuseet Föreläsningssalen, Karl Johansgatan 1-3, Gothenburg

Price: 80 kronor ($10)

Photo: Chris Henry/Gothenburg Fringe Festival

Hear Much/Say Little

Irish performer Amanda Doherty’s solo show, subtitled “The Bodyless Woman”, explores the theme of Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, religious institutions supported by the government where “fallen women” were imprisoned and confined against their will. It questions issues of bodily autonomy and governments’ ownership of the female body. Hear Much/Say Little came to Sweden for Stockholm Fringe 2016 as a work-in-progress showing and was nominated for the festival’s “Expect the Unexpected” Award. Her previous solo work ‘Inheritance’ was nominated for several international awards, and won the “Festival Spirit” Award at Stockholm Fringe 2015. Originally from Derry, Doherty has trained in London and New York and has been considered one of Ireland’s foremost young actors.

When: 4pm,September 1st; 8pm, September 2nd; 7pm, September 3rd

Duration: 60 minutes

Where: Göteborgs Dramatiska Teater, Stigbergsliden 5B, Gothenburg

Price: 100 kronor ($12)

Photo: Andrei Runcanu

My First Ten Sexual Failures and Other Stories About Growing Up

Andy Silverwood is a British actor and comedian who has travelled the world with his solo performance about sex, relationships, coffee, and all other things people are expected to have when they grow up. Silverwood has come to Sweden before, and took home the “Expect the Unexpected” Award at Stockholm Fringe 2014 for ‘Fragility’, his partnership with James Grice. My First Ten Sexual Failures was voted the number one act to see at Barnstaple Fringe TheatreFest 2016 and has had sold out showings at Fringe festivals in Stockholm, Prague, Perth, and Adelaide.

When: 8.30pm, September 2nd (Bengans); 6:30pm, September 3rd (Henriksberg)

Duration: 60 minutes

Where: Bengans, Stigbergstorget 1, Gothenburg; Henriksberg, Stigbergsliden 7, Gothenburg

Price: 80 kronor ($10)

Photo: Andy Silverwood/Gothenburg Fringe Festival


Quaestio is the latest and last work of renowned choreographer Thomas Michael Voss, who passed away in March shortly after the show’s premiere at Resolution 2017, the UK’s biggest festival for new dance. It explores disability, masculinity, and bullying, themes personal to Voss, who grew up in a football-fanatic family. Voss’ main inspiration in creating the show, however, was meeting comedian Joshua Robertson, who survived an accident at age 11 and has lived with brain injuries since. In dance, Robertson puts aside his jokes to explore issues of disability in movement and body language. He is joined by four professional dancers, a soprano, a violinist, a pianist, and 18-year-old harpist Hero Douglas, who also composed the original score. Gothenburg is the first international performance of the show.

When: 3pm, September 1st; 12.30pm, September 2nd; 6.30pm, September 3rd

Duration: 60 minutes

Where: Frilagret, Heurlins Plats 1, Gothenburg

Price: 50 kronor ($6)

Photo: Quaestio/Gothenburg Fringe Festival


Bag of Swedes

Therese Sandin, Josefin Johansson and Pernilla Hammargren don't have much more than three things in common: they are women, Swedish, and comedians. Seasoned performers with experience abroad, they have individual performances in Swedish throughout the festival, and come together for a 60-minute stand-up showcase in English on September 9th.

When: 8.15pm, September 9th

Duration: 60 minutes

Where: Bonden Bar, Bondegatan 1D, Stockholm

Price: 120 kronor ($14), concessions half-price.

Photo: Bag of Swedes

Black Revolutionaries Don’t Drop from the Moon

This performance explores themes of political struggle, taking inspiration from activist Assata Shakur, a prominent female member of the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army. The title is part of a famous quote from her autobiography, which reads: “Black revolutionaries do not drop from the moon. We are created by our conditions. Shaped by our oppression.”

When: 5.30pm, September 6th

Duration: 70 minutes

Where: Teater Tribunalen, Hornsgatan 92, Stockholm

Price: 120 kronor ($14), concessions half-price

Photo: Mahoyo

Eleanor Conway’s Walk of Shame

The critically-acclaimed Walk of Shame comes to Stockholm on its extended tour. It is Eleanor Conway’s first full hour of stand-up, although she has been performing as a comedian since 2010. She has travelled the world working as a music presenter, and in Walk of Shame tells of the extreme decisions that have led her to Asia, into porn, through Tinder, and back.

When: 9.30pm, September 6th

Duration: 70 minutes

Where: Bonden Bar, Bondegatan 1D, 116 23 Stockholm, Sweden

Price: 120 kronor ($14), concessions half-price

Photo: Jamie Rowan

FringeBio: SYDNEY

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Cinewest brings us a selection of the best Australian short films, curated for Sydney Fringe Festival 2017.

When: 3pm, September 10th

Duration: 60 minutes

Where: Zita Folkets Bio, Birger Jarlsgatan 37, Stockholm

Price: 120 kronor ($14), concessions half-price

Photo: Sydney Fringe Festival


Architect and dancer Sofia Kondylia performs a theatrical synopsis of her “Architecture+Dance” research into the coupling of the two arts in the creative process. In this interactive lecture performance, she explores the creation of spaces through bodies’ movement.

When: 9pm, September 7th; 6pm, September 8th

Duration: 35 minutes

Where: Teater Tre, Rosenlundsgatan 12, Stockholm

Price: 120 kronor ($14), concessions half-price
Photo: Mariana Bolano/Manos Garyfallou/PV

i (to be defined)

Benno Steinegger spent two years interviewing a wide range of people, from his physician to a shaman to his mother, asking them to describe him. The results led him on a journey of self-discovery and reconstruction of his own identity. In this performance, the artist questions the boundaries of his identity, and explores the possibility of deep personal transformation.

When: 8pm, September 7th

Duration: 50 minutes

Where: StDH T-huset, Valhallavägen 193, Stockholm

Price: 120 kronor ($14), concessions half-price

Photo: Leonardo Mazzi/Gregor Khuen Belasi

I will not tell you our love story (it will die with us, as it should)

This performance will only happen once. It revolves around a love story that lived and died. As the exchanged messages filled up the mobile’s memory space, they were gradually deleted. First, the “okays” and “see you at homes”, then the ones about daily life. Finally, the undeletable messages of love and sex, the remains, will be read aloud and permanently deleted during the performance.

When: 1.45pm, September 7th

Duration: 90 minutes

Where: Vita Havet Konstfack, LM Ericssons väg 14, Stockholm

Price: Free

Photo: Ana Correa

Keep Right

In this video installation, Tehran-based  Zahra Zavareh explores Iranian mythology and poetry to tell a tale of love refugees in battle against nationalism. The story is told through the legend of Rustam, immortalized by Persian poet Ferdowsi in his Epic of Kings Shahnameh.

When: 1pm, September 10th

Duration: 4 minutes

Where: Zita Folkets Bio, Birger Jarlsgatan 37, Stockholm

Price: 120 kronor ($14), concessions half-price

Photo: Zahra Zavareh

Love and then Lighthouses

Originally created as part of It’s All in Your Head, a project exploring the theme of mental health, Love and then Lighthouses follows Sheena as she tells the tale of a little boat thrown off course by a storm. A show about how to survive teen angst, and make it through the pitch black night.

When: 5.30pm, September 8th; 3.30pm, September 9th

Duration: 50 minutes

Where: Teater Tribunalen, Hornsgatan 92, Stockholm

Price: 120 kronor ($14), concessions half-price

Photo: Marianne Chua


Maria Shehata is an award-winning Egyptian-American comedian, who moved to London from LA for no other reason than love. The move – and all that ensued – are the inspiration for this critically-acclaimed show.

When: 8.15pm, September 8th; 9.30pm, September 9th

Duration: 55 minutes

Where: Bonden Bar, Bondegatan 1D, Stockholm

Price: 120 kronor ($14), concessions half-price

Photo: Christian Dyson

For more acts in English, Swedish and other languages, have a look here and here.


Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).