Something Swedish

Street Theater Festival: “Gatuteaterfestivalen”

12 Comments

Performers and sideshow acts flooded the streets of Halmstad as they entertained us by telling unique stories with magic tricks, illusions, crude jokes, fire juggling, sword swallowing, cultural dancing, claustrophobic acrobatics, music, improvisation, and flipping off of trampolines. The Gatuteaterfestivalen is the only street theater organized in Sweden. Every year for the past 15 years over a dozen performances from around the world- Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Australia, Belgium and more, come to Halmstad to entertain.

Many of the acts are fun and light-hearted, while others have a more serious tone and convey meaning and emotion. Some are heavily influenced by culture, while a few were inspired by silent films. Most performances take place outdoors, while a couple have limited seats in small places like moving containers and trucks.

Joel Salom To say that this act from Australia is a juggling act would be an understatement. An hour filled with huge personality, hysterical improve, amazing and unique juggling, singing, cool musical effects, an “accidental” strip tease, and a robotic dog named Erik.

CampingTeatret A Danish Traveling Circus

Tony Rooke – Once we climbed into the small container and were immersed in total darkness, stories unraveled before us in a small light box. With only his hands, magic, illusions, and story telling skills, this performer from Australia creates a magical atmosphere where you forget the man behind the curtain.

Karolin Kent – Hailing from Sweden, this dancer incorporates yoga, martial arts, photography, improvisation, and theater into her performance. Wearing nothing aside from the burden of a humongous and heavy skirt dragging behind her, she makes her way to her stage. Perched atop of a pedestal 4 meters tall, she tries to talk but has no voice – only gurgling sounds. The theme of this beautiful and striking performance is the oppression of women in societies and cultures around the world.

Cirque Inextremiste – From France, an extreme and dangerous juggling, balancing, jumping, and climbing act that keeps the audience on their toes. High on a trampoline with fire, propane tanks, and a gigantic ball, you don’t want to blink and miss a beat. Very funny and interactive with the audience, be careful you don’t get your hat lit on fire!


Cie Circ`ombelico – “Da/Fort” is an amazing show from Belgium worth piling into the back of a warm truck with 40 other people to experience. Silently the performers fill the small “room” with intense emotions of everyday life and relationships through body language, facial expressions, and a lot of acrobatic physicality. You never know if they are coming or going, leaving or staying, falling or rising. No photography allowed, but they stick around to chat afterwards and serve drinks.

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12 thoughts on “Street Theater Festival: “Gatuteaterfestivalen”

  1. Mariette here. You covered this so very thoroughly and well. Thank you!!! Mariette

  2. Looks like fun!

  3. Meg, wonderful post. You almost caught me in your photograph of Joel. I was standing just off to the left when he was doing the fire torch part of his show. He was incredible, to say the least. I wish I would have seen more of the performances now.

    • I wish we saw more as well, we were never disappointed! Next year we will plan to see more. Glad you got to see Joel at least! Var var du idag? Ulla är vår nya lärare nu

  4. THE FESTIVAL SOUNDED LIKE ALOT OF FUN AND INTEREST. HOPE YOU TOOK ALOT OF PICTURES!

  5. As always, Meg, delightful blog — I feel I have learned so much about Sweden since reading your columns! I guess in some ways, it’s not “too late to teach old dogs new tricks”, if it is made interesting enough!

  6. We are a kenyan acrobatic group based in italy
    We are interested to be part of the artists in your festival this year
    Can you advise us to whom we can contact or give us the festival contacts where we can send our materials
    We thank you in advance

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