(The swine Muscle)
a provocative drama about
normality, acceptance and respect
‘Svinemusklen’ was enacted at
DATS's (the Danish Amateur Theatre Association) national convention,
Herning High School in June 2004
We have always glanced at those who look different, the crooked existences. We have showed them in circus tents and put them in institutions.
In ‘Svinemusklen' the main protagonist Per, put words to the emotions that flow through a body that once was ‘as everyone else’, 'but now cannot get up from his chair’.
Per has fired his helpers and arranged a meeting with a black-dressed man in the park. While waiting, we are getting closer to his life and his so called friends.
Per at a highly thoughtful moment
at DATS's (the Danish Amateur Theatre Association) national convention,
Herning High School in June 2004
It is a play about responsibility and social conventions among young people - targeted at young people. The performance puts concepts like normality and realism to the discussion. It's about the others staring and his limited vision, and about being young and being able to maneuver in a world of ambitions and achievements.
The target audience for the play is young people from 15 years upwards, and is based on the youngs world and uses their language, and does not mince one’s words when it comes to consequences of the choices young people face.
The play has also shown its strength among adults, where it often foster various thoughts and good debates.
Among others, the play focus on acceptance of one owns disability, respect for fellow human beings and personal responsibility.
It will be possible to have a subsequent discussion with the actor.
Per before an explosion of anger.
The premiere of the show was in Filmby Aarhus, 30th. of October 2003, and since it has been played around the country at schools, boarding schools, high schools, colleges, private events etc.
In connection with the show, there has been published an anthology from the publishing company Tøkk on youth issues, disability and love, with contributions by well-known Danish author. There is also teaching resources about disability and crooked existences in history.
The performance was made at the initiative of the actor Peter Darger, who also played the show.
Premiere at Filmby Aarhus in October 2003
- Duration of the play is 40 minutes.
- The debate following the show can be adjusted as needed, but usually take 45 minutes.
- It must be possible to blackout the room.
Author: Kåre Bluitgen
Director: Hanne Hedelund
Scenographer: Anette Hansen
Dramaturgist: Bent Holm
Cast: Dan R. Brock
The performance has particularly been supported by Undervisningsministeriet (The Ministry of Education), Vanførefonden, Sahva, Muskelsvindfonden (the Danish Muscular Dystrophy Association), The Disability Year 2003, Frilandsmuseet (Open Air Museum), Gellerup Scenen, Århus Filmby and Socialministeriet (Ministry off Social Affairs).
Written about Svinemusklen
Fragments of the article in Muskelkraft No. 8, 2003
Written by Peter Gundlund Koed Mikkelsen.
- Per is feeling on top of everything. He has control over his life; he has an overview of the situation, and he can score any chick he wants to, if feels like it. Per can do what the fuck he wants. But the others (the jogger, alcoholic, bodybuilder, 8th-grade student, etc.) are narrow-minded, stupid, naive, ugly, and can only see the pimple on their own nose. Their live their small, absurd and pathetic lives. They don’t understand a shit, but Per controls.
But through the play - yes, already as small passing remarks at the beginning - Per reveals himself as the one he really is: the angry, the misunderstood, the abandoned, the one who cannot bear his deep frustration over his disability, with its endless disappointments and crippled loneliness. The pride is peeled off, his strength is disappearing, the laughter appears as a pathetic deception – the laughter of lies.
- The anger pumps out, like Linkin Park pumps out of his fitted stereo. Because Per cannot do what the fuck he wants. He cannot score all the chicks. He cannot live without the ignorant ‘acne filled bums’. Everywhere there is an uneven condition, but he will show this gonna stop! Per will die from his pitiful life - as much as he wants suffering and unhappiness for all the fools, hypocrites and traitors who do not deserve him: 'It is you, which will regret. You, which will cry, you, which will hold on to a shit-life’
- Peter Darger is not disabled, but he plays the muscle dystrophy guy very convincingly. Dan Brock has muscular dystrophy himself. Although the advantage of several head movements and powerful voice goes to Darger, Brocks performance is not worse. The spasticity is not as drastic, but his look is more bizarre. The laughter and voice is lower, but no less derided and ironic glacial. Despite the differences, the effect is thus the same: a mental uppercut!
Fragments from the article ‘Svinemusklen (Swine muscle) never shut up."
Placed in HandicapNyt No. 2, 2004
Written by Hanne Klitgaard Larsen.
- A small man in an electric wheelchair entering the stage, he looks completely like the idiot on the poster. His big shoes are bigger than the footplates. It is Per, situated in a park, and he has just fired his helper. Now he is waiting for a guy to come with a pill that can end his life. Per fill out the waiting time to slam on everything and everyone. Angry words, attacks on society and his fellow human beings is pouring out. Per has muscular dystrophy, but his jaw – the swine muscle – is strong, and he uses it in a filthy and fast manner, and without any mercy.
- The anger, bitterness and powerlessness, that a person can accumulate after a long life of frustration over not getting the same respect as others, bursts out in flames. Per is a man who, is struggling not to show his vulnerability and reveal the deeply humiliating treatment which affects him and against the fear of more losses. He opposes the view that disabled people, who are dependent on others, should be nice and welcoming. Per, has chosen a very bad strategy, especially if it was in real life, because he is kicking the ball away, he so much wants to catch. But it is liberating, in fiction, that he is going the whole hog - Per is a wonderful emancipated 'bad boy’.
- No matter how much we think that Per plays his cards badly, he tells something important about the desperate man who only has his mouth and his talent left. Dan Brock, who plays Per makes it so convincing that he even reach down to the audience at back seats of Egmont College great hall. Per is a difficult figure to play because so much moaning can soon become boring for the audience. Although the text is good, it gets stronger because of Dans sense of timing, breaks and subtle humour. Dan took Per under the skin with a humorous distance, making the spectators closer to, although he is a 'bad boy’.