Opening 23 February 2002
Cirkus Theatre, Stockholm
BENNY ANDERSSON - TIM RICE - BJÖRN ULVAEUS
Directed by Lars Rudolfsson
FLORENCE VASSY.............Helen Sjöholm
THE AMERICAN.................Anders Ekborg
THE RUSSIAN......................Tommy Körberg
THE ARBITER.....................Rolf Skoglund
Thanks to Fredrik Fischer for cast corrections and updates. He also says that the Swedish version of 'I Know Him So Well,'
'Jag vet vad han vill' ('I Know What He Wants') was broadcast on the radio last fall, but he hears it is still
undergoing final revisions.
Rumors have reported a variety of scenarios for this first Swedish language production. It seems
certain that the entire show is now set in Merano and that the final match will be between Freddie and Anatoly.
Needless to say, this has eliminated 'One Night in Bangkok' and significantly changed the second act. Tim
Rice confirms one new song for Anatoly, one for Molokov and one for Svetlana.
However, judging from the recent broadcast of four of the old songs, radical changes are being made to the
book the characters and the lyrics.
This entire production came out of a meeting which was to set the details of the American tour of a revised
London version to eventually open on Broadway and supplant the current Broadway version in North America.
It is our opinion that the LAST thing we Chess followers need is another VERSION--one totally different from any
other. To trot out a tired cliché, been there, done that. And none of them have been as successful as
Tim Rice showed how 'One Night In Bangkok' could be fully integrated into the piece in his Sydney
revision, and we feel the omission of this song is a mistake. If and when we ever get our American
tour/Broadway, it's the main song American audiences are familiar with. In addition, Merano
(the city) may be well known to Europeans, and is fine for the first act, but the sexiness of Bangkok
added much to the atmosphere of the show.
Sweden has long deserved a Swedish language production and
it's amazing it took so long. But as an attempt to use this production as a template for a worldwide version,
it seems destructive. The director may produce a wonderful show, but it
certainly won't be London, which so many have wanted to see for so long. Whether it will even be
Chess now seems in doubt. With Freddie reduced to a very minor character, the nature
of the show has changed dramatically.