Camilla disappeared – a poignant and intimate play that takes a stand

Robert Schenck, guest reviewer at Realstars, has seen the play “Camilla disappeared” at Konstepedemin in Gothenburg. A play that takes a stand and can work as both an eye opener and inspiration. An important play which we hope many people get the chance to see.

It is conveyed clear and distinct – from the excellent program guide, the script and the music – that this is a play that takes a stand: against prostitution, for the vulnerable women, and for the Swedish sex purchase law. In that way, this is a political play, but it is also an extremely personal, psychological play.

We get to meet two women in prostitution, Barbara and Alexandra. They share their experiences and their traumas. And they miss Camilla. Where did she go? Last time she was seen, she disappeared in a car with a punter. It is not normal to not hear anything from her. Barbara has a 12-year-old son, but authorities will not let her see him anymore. Alexandra’s beloved boyfriend betrayed her and eventually became her perpetrator instead. Barbara and Alexandra are longing. They are longing strongly to get out of prostitution and to live a decent life. (There are also prostitutes who are in denial and with self-preservation defend the life they are living, despite misery and abuse. The script would have gained from including that perspective as well. That would not have weakened the message and stands of the play, but rather made them stronger and more faceted.)

Karin Lycke plays Alexandra. She gives a half-drunk impression and often has a little smile on her face when she talks. The smiling is disturbing in the beginning, but eventually becomes a crucial part of Alexandra and her story-telling. In the end, the smiling gets provocative and makes me engage as a viewer. It is very trustworthy. Fia Adler Sandblad, who is also responsible for the script, plays Barbara. She is the older, more experienced of the two and performs, as usual, very convincing, artful and with great empathy. The professionalism of the play makes the message come across clear and painful.

The music of the play, performed by Sara Sjödahl, who also forms the actor trio with Adler and Lycke, strengthens the experience of the play. The music has thematic threads that unite the different episodes of the play. The simple and minimalist in the play is powerful and Sara Sjödahl’s soft singing voice contrasts emotionally the sometimes-acrid digital sounds.

For the initiated audience who is aware of the problems related to prostitution and the importance of the Swedish sex purchase law, the play is a confirmation and a nice artistic experience. For those who are not aware of the situation, the play can be an eye opener and inspiration to get involved in society work. Therefore, it would be good if the play spreads to a broader audience, to kids in school in a shortened version, or on tour.

Take the opportunity now. See Camilla disappeared on Konstepedemin!

Camilla disappeared
A play about prostitution based on interviews, research and biographic stories                 

From Västra Götaland.
”Adas musikaliska teater” on Konstepedemin Atalier 201, Gothenburg
On theatre November 15 – December 14 2018
Tickets through Kulturpunkten