Jenny Andreasson’s perception of both subtle master suppression techniques and sophisticated exercises of power is like a natural force. It works well in symbiosis with the dense, coherent style, and results in a crispy, beautiful prose. This is a pretty brilliant debut with a distinct authority.
Perhaps it’s most meaningful to approach this novel as a piece of alarming theatre criticism of a work that you have not seen yourself. And in that case, everything comes down to deserving the reader’s trust. I’m more than happy to give her mine, as Jenny Andreasson shows that she really knows the most crucial element of theatre criticism. Not analysis, not judgment or clever valuation. The pivotal and impossible task is rather to capture the fateful moments that have already dispersed like smoke and faded away. To make them vivid once again.
Those who are very familiar with the Royal Dramatic Theatre will be satisfied with the life behind the stage, but with a few minor exemptions, this is no gossip novel. The Theatre is more profound than that. The book is Andreasson’s debut and she has an engaging style, lucid and magnetic at the same time, and she does not exclude either the theatre or herself from her own insights.
The Theatre is a prime example of what the misuse of power and conspiracy of silence can do to people /… / Deftly and with believable psychological acuity, Andreasson illustrates how the degradation enters both the narrator’s body and mind. This also exposes how hierarchical structures and bad leadership with a culture of silence at the base can rock the foundation of an entire organisation.