Matthew Zajac stars in and directs tragicomedy Sweetness

Matthew Zajac stars in and directs tragicomedy Sweetness

New play focuses on bitter relationship between two brothers

Since 2008, Dogstar Theatre has spent much of its time touring internationally with The Tailor of Inverness, co-artistic director Matthew Zajac’s moving and award-winning account of his father’s journey from Poland to Scotland. But in between all this, Zajac has also managed to put together Sweetness, a tragicomedy in which he stars and directs with assistance from Licketyspit’s Virginia Radcliffe.

Adapted by The Stornoway Way author Kevin MacNeil from the novel by Swedish writer Torgny Lindgren, Sweetness focuses on the bitter relationship between two brothers, played by Zajac and Sean Hay, but the action has moved from northern Sweden to northern Scotland. ‘It’s a play which is essentially about death and a very bitter sibling rivalry,’ Zajac explains. ‘These are universal themes in human existence so I’m hoping that audiences will relate quite strongly to them.’

Despite our growing awareness of Swedish authors like Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell, Lindgren remains little-known in the UK. But Zajac isn’t daunted by the task of attracting audiences to an unknown work: ‘There’s always a risk in what we do, that’s just the nature of producing new plays. It’s a challenge but we’ve got to depend on the audience that we’ve built over the years and the reputation the company’s got.’

Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, Thu 3 Mar; North Edinburgh Arts Centre, Edinburgh, Fri 4 Mar. Currently touring throughout Scotland

For full touring schedule see


The darkly humorous story of two brothers, each determined to outlive the other despite their debilitating illnesses, who are looked after by a woman who becomes their nurse, confidante and, finally, the hand of Providence. New production from Highlands-based company Dogstar.

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