The Helsinki production of Kristina från Duvemåla at Svenska Teatern will close on 23 May, and during a recent visit to Finland to promote ABBA The Musuem, Björn Ulvaeus confirmed that he will be there for the final performance.
Since ‘Kristina‘ premiered at the Swedish National theatre on 29 February 2012, it has consistently played to 98% capacity audiences and by the time it closes, it will have been seen by more than 100,000 people. Although on 21 February this year, the theatre’s website announced a handful of cast changes, the actors in the lead roles have remained unaltered throughout the show’s 190 performances.
As previously published on icethesite’s Facebook page, there is now a video (in Swedish) containing some backstage and rehearsal footage from Svenska Teatern, as well as several musical clips.
In an interview for Finnish radio on 6 March, Maria Yilpää (who plays Kristina), spoke of how she will miss the role that has become so dear to her. “I will surely cry during the final performance,” she remarked. More recently, Maria has commented that after the birth of her child in August, she will, if necessary, be willing to travel outside Finland in order to fulfil offers of work from abroad.
Last October, Björn told the Swedish press that he anticipated a fully staged production of Kristina från Duvemåla would return to Sweden within two years and in February, Benny Andersson said in a Swedish radio interview: “It is being discussed. It is very possible.” However, although speculation regarding a potential venue and timing is rife, no official announcement has as yet been made.
In early September, the Swedish Choir Association, Körsam, will stage a concert version of ‘Kristina’ as the finale to their annual Choir Expo. The concert which will be held in Jönköping, will feature an ensemble of upto 500 choristers.
Thrilled by the huge success of ‘Kristina’ in Helsinki, Benny and Björn are keen to continue the collaboration with Svenska Teatern, and it has recently been confirmed that a new production of Mamma Mia! will open at the theatre in September 2014. Björn has said that although neither he nor Benny will take an active role in the production, he would like to be involved in the casting and will therefore be in Helsinki for the audition process.