”It was a long and rather broad valley, with stretches of green and yellow grain fields, with mowed clover meadows, potato patches in flower, and little fields of flax with their tiny blue flowers, above which fluttered great swarms of white butterflies.” (Velma Swanston Howard’s translation, 1915)
This expressive description comes in the introductory chapter of Selma Lagerlöf’s novel, Jerusalem – i Dalarne (Jerusalem – in Dalarna). Selma Lagerlöf had been inspired to write this book by events in the Swedish Dales parish of Nås, when thirty-seven people sold up everything and emigrated to Jerusalem in the summer of 1896. Writer and actor, Rune Lindström, later adapted the novel for the stage and the dramatisation was called Ingmarsspelen – The Ingmar Play.
About the Ingmar Play
The Ingmar Play is enacted every summer in Nås in an authentic setting by the banks of the West Dale River. It is a dramatisation of Selma Lagerlöf’s novel, Jerusalem – i Dalarne (Jerusalem – in Dalarna) (1901), the first of two volumes, and is about a group of people in Nås who were so gripped by a religious revival movement that they decided to obey the call to go to Jerusalem. Hellgum, who led the religious sect, plays an important part in the whole process. Against him stands the young Ingmar, who remains faithful to his home and the farm owned by the family for many generations, but in doing so he is forced to give up his beloved Gertrude. For a while she is under the spell of the evil forces of elemental nature and is wild for revenge on Ingmar. Finally, however, she forgives him and follows her earlier calling to go to Jerusalem. The conflicts of soul in the play are brought out with convincing power. Early on after this epic novel was published the greatness of Selma Lagerlöf’s story was well understood. Victor Sjöström and the Swedish Film Industry produced two silent films, in 1918 and 1919, based on these fateful happenings. Many of the exterior scenes were shot in Nås. Producer Bille August made a new film of the story in 1996.
Rune Lindström wrote Ingmarsspelen (The Ingmar Play) during the winter of 1958-59. It has been performed every summer since its premiere on 4th July, 1959, in Nås, the place where the actual events described took place at the end of the nineteenth century. Adventure, dramatic events and the true story behind Selma Lagerlöf’s famous account of the thirty-seven Nås folk who, under pressure from their charismatic revivalist preacher, are determined to leave everything and emigrate to Jerusalem, has resulted in a summer theatre experience of more than sixty years’ standing.
Tickets can be booked via
email@example.com (groups >10 people) or
www.nortic.se (groups <10 people)
Prices (including service fee)
375 SEK per person. 12-17-year-olds 175 SEK, 0-11-year-olds admission free.
Groups of 10 people or more: 320 SEK per person. 12–17-year-olds 120 SEK per person
N.B. Coffee and light refreshments, as well as ”kolbullar” (bacon pancakes), freshly made while you wait, are also available nearby in the park. Rain capes are available for sale and blankets can be hired. The site is handicap friendly and hearing loops are available. There are handicrafts for sale and also an exhibition giving the background to the Jerusalem emigrants. Literature is available on sale for those who wish to find out more.
In the Footsteps of the Jerusalem Emigrants – a guide leaflet to the places in Nås associated with the religious emigrants. Price: 30 SEK
Guided tours in English are also available on request. Price: 50 SEK per person.
Bookings and for further information please contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: +46 70 – 568 10 01