‘Hjälp sökes’ had a lot of great people but the animals were divine

Sofia Pekkari as Hillevi
Sofia Pekkari as Hillevi

Sofia Pekkari, star of the musical Hjälp sökes spoke to Aftonbladet about the animals in the show, her number one female idol and the new album.

A goat, two cows, three pigs and two lost farmers all spun into in a poetic drama by Kristina Lugn, Hjälp sökes is nothing if not an original musical.

Now along comes the CD with newly written songs by Björn and Benny. The most beautiful are sung by Sofia Pekkari.

“It was a privilege to be involved with them,” she says. “They work with love and passion.”

“Absolutely wonderful,” wrote Nöjes­bladet’s Jan-Olov Andersson of the Hjälp sökes premiere at Orionteatern. There were nearly 100 performances of the show with Johan Ulveson, Magnus Roosman, Sofia Pekkari, Suzanne Berdino and all the animals.

The idea came from Director Lars Rudolfsson. His former collaboration with Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus also attracted Sofia Pekkari.

“I have been obsessed with Kristina från Duvemåla since I was a kid,” said Sofia Pekkari, 28 who plays Hillevi in the musical. “I read the books, watched the movies. It all began with the musical, and then my father showed me Jan Troell’s films.”

When Kristina från Duvemåla was put on in Helsinki, Sofia auditioned.

She said: “I got quite a long way in the auditions, but did not get cast. Later Benny, who knew I was expecting a baby, called me. He asked me how long was I anticipating being on maternity leave because he had this other project.”

He couldn’t say much more at that point, but she accepted when she heard about the exciting mix of theatre, animals and music.

Sofia Pekkari sings two songs on the cast album, Bortom Sol och Måne and Svarta Silhuetter, which were subsequently performed by Helen Sjöholm during the BAO summer tour of 2013.

Sofia's idol Helen Sjöholm
Sofia’s idol Helen Sjöholm

Aftonbladet: How did it feel to hear the songs performed by Helen?

“Everyone has their idols, their gods and goddesses, like say Whitney Houston. Mine is Helen! Since I was maybe 10 or 12. I was thrilled to hear the songs performed by her. I danced to them with my guy,” said Sofia.

Sofia is now going to appear in Mattias Andersson’s “The Mental States of Sweden” at Dramaten with a completely different team and in a completely different environment than that which staged Hjälp sökes.

“To smell the creatures, to go and cuddle with the cows prior to the show, I will never do that again,” said Sofia Pekkari. “Also, I even exchanged knowing looks with the goat on occasion! Hjälp sökes had a lot of great people, but the animals were divine.”

You can watch Sofia and some of the human cast of Hjälp sökes this evening if you have access to SVT1 or SVT Play when they appear alongside Benny Andersson on Moraeus med mera.

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