Swedish Prime Minister's sci-fi novel becomes hit play

Long-forgotten dystopian novel by Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt produced as a play, draws sellout crowds.
By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com   |   Sept. 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM  |  Updated Sept. 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM   |   Comments

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Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt wrote "The Sleeping People" 20 years ago when he was a Moderate Party Member of Parliament, and though you can't find it in bookstores or libraries, it has recently been produced as a play.

"The Sleeping People" has sold out every performance.

The novel, written when Reinfeldt was 28, is set in the future (2013) after Social Democrats have been running Sweden for 20 years. The story is a Randian dystopia of makers and moochers, except they're called the Fools and the Sleeping Brains.

The Fools work themselves to death paying for the welfare state while the Sleeping Brains sit in front of their televisions all day on the Fools' dime.

Reinfeldt's novel has been shared on the Internet, but producer Amanda Almerén Persson wanted the public to see his political views uncensored by 20 more years in the game and constant access to a press secretary.

"It's easy to assume we are on the other side of the political divide, but this isn't placard theatre, we are not trying to make the text ironic," the producer explained. "We're giving this text an honest to god chance. It's not often that rightwing politics finds its way onto the stage."

Dramatist Johanna Emanuellsson "felt it was incredibly important to make this work accessible to the Swedish public ahead of next year's elections."

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