Heard of Teatern Under Bron? It’s one of the summer most visited cultural events, arranged by the Helio Member Filip Adamo together with his colleagues Rennie Mirro and Petra-Eleonora Näslund. Filip has been setting up the pop-up-theatre since 2016 and thousands of people have gathered under Liljeholmsbron so far. We meet Filip over a summer smoothie at Helio Hornstull to get to know him more, learn about his other projects and this year’s production!
Hey Filip! How are you?
Feeling super happy! Right now, it is damn fun to be me.
This response makes us very curious to hear about what you’re doing now, and what you have been doing before! But we take it from the start. What did you want to be when you were young?
I have always wanted to entertain, in any way possible. I realized early on that I was both tone-deaf, a lousy actor and have no patience to write a book. So instead, I started to work with content.
You seem to have been involved in many projects over the years! We’ve heard that you have been both a record label professional, Jamaican food truck owner, concept developer and member of the jury at the Eurovision Song Contest! We also understand that you have what you could call a black belt in Melodifestivalen. Have we missed something?
I would also call me a cultural entrepreneur to add to the list.
Which inevitably gets us into the fact that now you are sitting with us at Helio Hornstull from where you together with Rennie Mirro run the pop-up-theater Teatern Under Bron (“Under the bridge”). How did you meet and what made you start up that project?
Rennies sister, Sarah Dawn Finer, introduced us to each other when we both worked for Melodifestivalen! We had so much fun together during the productions and in the end we came to the conclusion that we should see whether this newly developed relationship between us could last more than one month per year. And that is how it all went down! We became friends and discovered that we had so amazingly much, according to us, brilliant ideas. We agreed that we either had to stop chatter, or do something about them. So that is when we started the company – Brian Flanagan Productions.
You say that you follow three artistic basic criterias which are; Swedish contemporary drama, current perspectives and one-act plays. How are your criterias reflected in your shows?
There is a misconception of plays that we want to tear down. It’s nice to go to a play, you often put on something nice to wear and go to a institution – which means that when you walk into the stage area you are already filled with expectations. We were attracted by the idea of what would happen if we were to place a theater on a site not typically associated with the theater and what that would do with us? When we had found the environment we were looking for, under the bridge, we also wanted to create new content! People have already played Shakespeare and Ibsen, so we decided that our pieces should be written based on an idea, something we ourselves want to convey. It resulted in the newly-written one-act play.
It is slightly punky with the environment down there, it’ll be explosive and we want people to feel overwhelmed by the whole experience. To get people to actually listen to your message these days can be really tricky in an environment where people are used to being able to quickly swipe left or right. It’s a fun challenge.
In addition to the show, there are more things happening related to the theatre?
We have an idea for it to become a cultural hub down there. It’s a funny thing with Stockholm and it is that everything is so incredibly genre-divided. And age-divided. And anxious. We want to unite all kinds of people in a common desire to something, and that is what we are trying to create. On the same day we show contemporary Swedish Theatre, Bio Rio do sing-a-long-shows and Cafez shows experimental children’s theater while people are enjoying both falafel and beer. Why not!?
What do you & Rennie do more together in addition to the theater?
We try to produce entertainment that we ourselves would like to see or experience. We are currently working on a project to set up our first feature film and we also do a show with one of the world’s top blues musicians which also happens to be Rennies dad – Eric Bibb. In addition to that, we are constantly juggling new ideas & projects.
How do you make your money and make them last to all the projects that they need to feed?
I have my own business, Hus1 where I do conceptual development! I have opened a new entertainment destination in Lund called Stjärnteatern where I perform fifteen events per year. I did the concept for Haymarket when they opened in the form of live podcasts and live evenings among other things. You should call me if you want entertainment. High and low! The basic idea is that both I and Rennie continue to run our own businesses and perceive the theatre and the Brian Flanagan Productions as our common love child. One day, we hope that our love child has grown up and is supporting us as old men, haha!
How does this year’s edition of the theater look like? Can you give us some spoilers?
The theme is democracy! It will probably hurt to see the play, but it is our way to say something to the people before they go and vote this fall. We wanted to take the opportunity to make a difference.
What do you think about working from a coworking space and what do you think is the best thing about Helio Hornstull?
I’ll respond to it in a great way by showing this- a video from Teatern under Bron. One year, we had the idea that we didnät want to work with a traditional scene, we wanted to play from a huge truck instead. Martin Tallvid (Head Curator at Helio) heard us talking about the idea and told us that Martin Stober, another Helio member, actually owned just a truck just like the one we were looking for. It ended up with Martin himself driving his truck into the theater show for every show. The best things with Hornstull is the incredible moments that can happen just when you are getting your coffee. You get to meet other people who are just about as crazy as us. It must be the essence of what Helio should be about and it works really, really well. I love this.
You have worked with artists such as The Ark, Lena PH, Måns Zelmerlöw and Thorsten Flinck. If you were to choose one of them to perform in the production, who would it be?
Thorsten. Every day of the week.
Finally Filip, who did you root for in the Eurovision Song Contest?
I voted for Latvia but Sweden this year was just as modern and contemporary as Eurovision also needs to be. Benjamin Ingrosso delivered a kick-ass show!
Teatern Under Bron, is taking place the two last weekends of August and the first weekend of September and we can strongly recommend it for any ages – parents, children, friends and strangers!
Follow @teaternunderbron & @wearehelio on Instagram.