Alejandro Leiva Wenger

Alejandro Leiva Wenger (born 1976) made his debut as an author in 2001 with the short-story collection Till vår ära (In Our Honor). Thereafter came the screenplay of the short film Elixir (2003), based on one of the short stories in his debut book. His first play was the monologue 127, which premiered at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2011 and enjoyed special performances at Parkteatern, Malmö City Theatre, and Stockholm City Theatre—Skärholmen, among others. With the play Författarna (The Authors; 2013, Unga Klara) he began a collaboration with director Frida Röhl, who also put on the radio play No Limit (2015), a production of Folkbokförarna (The Recordkeepers) at Folkteatern Gothenburg (2016), and Minnesstund (Memorial) at Stockholm City Theatre (2016). A second production of Minnesstund, directed by Martin Rosengardten, premiered at Malmö City Theatre in 2019. Leiva Wenger’s first three plays are collected in the book Fakta (Facts; 2015, Albert Bonniers Förlag). His work The Authors was selected as Sweden’s entry for New Nordic Drama 2014 by the Swedish Performing Arts Coalition, and was SPA´s contribution for the New European Drama Festival in S:t Petersburg. In spring of 2020 he is taking part in the international project “Urgent Drama” at Folkteatern Gothenburg, where playwrights from several countries will write pieces based on the spread of Covid-19 and its effects.

Jon is a young man who is lost and unsure of what he wants or where he’s going. One day he is paid a visit by Minna, who introduces herself as the mother of Jon’s old high school friend Sackarias. She tells him that Sackarias has just died tragically, and she asks Jon to come to a memorial service the family is holding. Jon promises to come, but there’s just one problem: Jon has no memory of Sackarias and no idea who Minna is. But how can he say this to a grieving mother?

At the memorial service, Jon and his girlfriend meet a family already battling forgetfulness: mother, father, and sister remember the deceased Sackarias in very different ways. Through a series of misunderstandings, everything ends up in the hands of Jon, who, in his capacity of close friend, is expected to fill in the memory gaps. But how honest can Jon be, when so much hinges on his words? Memorial is a dark comedy and a thriller about memory, forgetting, and the necessity of lies.

Read the excerpt here.

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