Last Friday, my friend Caro and I experienced one of the most Swedish student culture things existing: Spex. It’s short for “spektakel” and describes a form of theatre that came up in Uppsala during the 1800s. The one we saw was presented by a group of science students from KTH, completely written by the students themselves. It was humorous, set up in rhyme form and even contented songs which were mostly well known melodies with a new text. The singing actors were accompanied by a choir, a small orchestra and even a group of dancers. To make it perfect, the audience was allowed to shout stuff like “in Finnish” or “changed roles” to make the actors improvise.
A lot of the humour in spex is based on puns or, as these were science students, on scientific facts. You can imagine that I didn’t get all of it. It was funny anyway and even made me proud when I got a joke about the word “likström” which basically was a nerd-knowledge-based pun. And thus unfortunately untranslatable to English.