37 timmar och 3 minuter


37 hours and 3 minutes is the time it takes to read Anna Karenina. If you read with the speed of 250 words per minute.

When Oprah chose  ”Anna Karenina” for her book club, book sales dropped in the United States.  All members of the book club were so busy reading Tolstoys extensive novel that nobody had the time to buy any other books.

Oprah marketed ”Anna Karenina” as a sexy Harlequin novel and focused mainly on Anna’s magnificent love story, assuming that true life is lived when it is most intense. When it’s filled with intrigues, when it resembles a great novel. When it’s as far away from ordinary happiness and daily routine as possible.

But Oprah totally misunderstood the whole point of the book. Tolstoy’s view was the opposite – that life is best when there’s no story to tell. Happy people have no history.


37 hours and 3 minutes premiered in February 2022 at Dansens Hus new stage Elverket in Stockholm. The piece takes Tolstoy and his famous novel as a starting point for raising questions that were controversial in the 19th century and still are today: one’s place in society, morality, technical progress and political development. The pertinence of Tolstoy’s themes is staggering, especially when questioning the relations between Russia and Western Europe…or as Tanya, a literature student in Moscow who is quoted in the piece says:

“-People who are shocked by what is happening in the last months in Russia are more likely to quote Tolstoy than Dostoevsky.”

The piece premiered just weeks before Russias war on Ukraine started. We hope that it can now be a part of the difficult and important discussions concerning our relation to Russian culture.






Press quotes

” The novel is thus used as a springboard to an intelligent and philosophical thoughtful discussion where scenes and movements do not necessarily lead to where they could have led, and branch out into different tracks. Much like Tolstoy’s storytelling technique. Heilborn thus keeps in touch with her source of inspiration. But just like Tolstoy’s very complex novel, the performance is completely impossible to make a short summary of. However, it is very, very funny."
Cecilia Djurberg, Aftonbladet

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