Göthe, Staffan 1944–
Göthe, Staffan 1944–
PERSONAL: Born December 20, 1944, in Luleå, Sweden; son of Thorsten and Margit (Grape) Göthe; married Kristin Byström, 1969; children: one son. Education: Attended University of Uppsala; Academy of Performing Arts ("Scenskolan"), Gothenburg, Sweden, acting degree, 1971; studied in Italy, 1982–83.
ADDRESSES: Home—Vindragarvägen 8, 117 50 Stockholm, Sweden. Agent—c/o Lena Bergström, Forsbor 5, 774 92 Avesta, Sweden.
CAREER: Actor in theaters in Växjö, Sweden, 1971, Folkteatern, Gothenburg, 1974–86, and Folkteatern, Gävleborg, 1983; Academy of Performing Arts, Malmö, Sweden, headmaster, 1976; director of RTC Company, 1986–95; Royal Dramatic Theater, Stockholm, Sweden, actor and resident playwright, 1995–. Actor in television programs, including Offside, 1971, Damen i handskdisken, 1992, Stormen 1998, Pepparrotslandet, 2002, and Svenska slut, 2002; actor in films, including Beck 2: Spar i Morker, 1997, Lusten till ett liv (title means "Yearning for a Life"), 1999, Ballen i øyet, 2000, and Min skäggiga mamma, 2003.
MEMBER: Sveriges Dramatikerförbund.
En natt i februari (title means "One Night in February"), 1972.
Den gråtande polisen, 1980.
La strada dell'amore, 1986.
En uppstoppade hund (title means "The Stuffed Dog"; first produced in Luleå, Sweden, 1986), Norstedt (Stockholm, Sweden), 1989.
Den perfekta kyssen, 1990.
Arma Irma, 1991.
Boogie Woogie, 1992.
Kärlekens himmelska helvete (screenplay; title means "Stronger than Life"), 1993.
Blått hus med röda kinder (for children), 1995.
Ruben Pottas eländiga salonger, 1996.
Ett lysande elände, 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Swedish writer Staffan Göthe is mostly known as a playwright and actor, but he has also worked in other roles related to the theater, such as director and theater school headmaster. Among the plays he has written for both adults and children, Göthe's best known works include La strada dell'amore, Den perfekta kyssen, and his most famous, 1986's En uppstoppade hund. The theme of En uppstoppade hund—human survival both at the interpersonal and societal level—is central to Göthe's work; during the 1980s he had problems with alcohol abuse, but has since stopped drinking and wants to let others know that overcoming personal setbacks is possible. Michael Bengtson described En uppstoppade hund in Norra Västerbotten online as a modern classic that deals with existential questions at many different levels with great depth.
En uppstoppade hund is part of a series of plays that follow the Swedish middle-class Cervieng family; other plays in the series include La strada dell'amore and Temperance. The play is told with detailed realism mixed with light caricature. Featuring the Cervieng and Ljungh families, it takes place in the small town of Norrland in northern Sweden. The tale opens on New Year's Day in 1955 and ends in the 1980s. As Sweden changes during these decades, so do the members of both families. According to Bengtson, the play shows how people's fates develop and are interwoven in hard-to-predict ways. For example, while the character Morgan was oppressed during his childhood and youth, he nevertheless does well as an adult and finds personal success as a consultant. Per-Erik, who in the 1950s physically and mentally abused his wife, had extramarital affairs, and drank heavily, turns his life around in the 1980s and joins the Jehovah's Witnesses. Other characters do not fare so well, including the vivacious night nurse who had sex with Per-Erik and ends up addicted to alcohol and drugs.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Aftonbladet, November 10, 1999, Karin Lindstedt, "Teatern är full av homofobi."
CTC Theatre Web site, http://www.ctctheatre.org.uk/ (September 27, 2005), outline of production of author's play En natt i februari.
Dramadirekt.com, http://www.dramadirekt.com/ (July 10, 2000), "Staffan Göthe."
International Movie Database, http://imdb.com/ (September 27, 2005), information on author's acting career.
Nora Västerbotten, http://www.norran.se/ (August 10, 2001), Michael Bengston, review of En uppstoppade hund.