Stockholm (AFP)

The playwright Lars Norén, a great figure in Swedish theater, died Tuesday at the age of 76, as a result of Covid-19, his publisher announced.

"The importance of Lars Norén as an author and playwright is almost impossible to sum up in a few sentences, but he was one of the greatest of our time", greeted Eva Bonnier, his editor at Albert Bonnier editions, in a communicated.

Famous at home and abroad, often placed in the lineage of the giants August Strindberg (1849-1912) and Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), he began with poetry in the 1960s before focusing on the theater at the end of the 1970s, as an author and director.

In addition to the Dramaten in Stockholm, this prolific author had staged numerous times abroad, including at the Comédie Française in Paris.

He had staged his own play "Poussière", his last, in 2018, a plunge into the torments of the end of life and dementia.

His works that have revealed this include "Night is the mother of day" (1982), "Chaos is God's neighbor" (1983), "Calm" (1984), or "Bobby Fischer lives in Pasadena" in 1990.

Bergman's successor at the head of the National Theater, Lars Norén wrote often difficult and raw plays, such as "The demons", "The vigil" or "Smile of the underground worlds", in which he deals with physical and social violence.

He had caused a scandal in the late 1990s with the play "7: 3", for which he had recruited dangerous prisoners serving long sentences, including two neo-Nazis, playing their own roles with a lot of hate and anti-Semitic speech.

But the drama continued off the stage: many robberies had been committed by one of the amateur actors, Tony Olsson, taking advantage of his release.

Including a tragic one the day after the last of the play, which ended with the death of two police officers in the town of Malexander, in the south-east of the country.

"+7: 3+ will always cast a shadow over his theatrical production and his subsequent creations did not have the same major cultural significance as in the 80s and 90s", judges Dagens critic Nyheter Johan Hilton in the daily obituary Tuesday .

© 2021 AFP