"Everyone is Romeo and Juliet!": Staging Dementia in Wellkåmm to Verona by Suzanne Osten

A.M.C. Swinnen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


This paper examines the intertextual dialog between Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet (1595) and the Swedish film Wellkamm to Verona (2006) by Suzanne Osten. In the film adaptation, Verona no longer refers to an ancient town in Northern Italy that tries to control its passionate youth. Instead, it is the name of a residential home for older people where the dementia-afflicted Walter, former director of the Swedish Royal Theatre, stages Romeo and Juliet with his co-residents. The article explores the question what the film can do to its viewers in terms of overcoming the stigma attached to dementia. It focuses on the formal strategies that the film adaptation makes use of to imagine people with dementia other than lost selves during the staging of the canonical love story, ultimately entwining Eros and Thanatos. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-318
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Dementia film
  • Personhood in dementia
  • SELF
  • Shakespeare adaptation

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