Wallander star's West End debut Doktor Glass is 'riveting'

Apr 24, 2013

Krister Henriksson wows critics in one-man psychological thriller in Swedish

What you need to know
Krister Henriksson, best known for his lead role in the Swedish TV series Wallander, is making his West End debut in Doktor Glas at Wyndham's Theatre. Doktor Glas has transferred to London after a successful run in Sweden and is performed in its original Swedish with English surtitles.

Adapted from a classic 1905 novel by Hjalmar Söderberg, this one-man show tells the story of a doctor who falls in love with the young wife of a corrupt clergyman. When she confides in him that she is unhappy in the marriage, he agrees to help her - with shocking consequences. Runs until 11 May.

What the critics like
Henriksson is one of Sweden's great actors, and this 90-minute soliloquy is "a tour de force", says Kate Kellaway in The Guardian. A hybrid of thriller and metaphysical essay with poetic moments and occasional bleak jokes, it is made riveting by Henriksson's nuanced performance.

The most unlikely West End import of the year is "unforgettable, unsettling, and very good indeed", says Libby Purves in The Times. Henriksson, with great range and physical expressiveness, gives a masterclass in monologue.

"This is an elegant, psychologically astute drama", and Henriksson is riveting, says Henry Hitchings in the Evening Standard. As in Wallander, he's a weary and isolated commentator on the rotten state of the world around him.

What they don't like
This stage adaptation is about the words, says Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times. But the "teensy problemette" is that the words in question are in Swedish. So despite surtitles and a consummate performance by Henriksson, one is left with only "a broad impression of the tale itself".

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