The King and Queen attend the première of The Emigrants

The King and Queen with Director Marie-Louise Ekman at the première of The Emigrants at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. Photo: Robin Haldert /TT

On Sunday 27 April, The King and Queen attended the première of The Emigrants at the Royal Dramatic Theatre.

Rolf Lassgård and Stina Ekblad play Karl-Oskar and Kristina in Mats Ek's production of The Emigrants. The dramatisation is by Irena Kraus, with stage design by photographer Aida Chehregosha.

A scene from The Emigrants, with actors Pontus Gustafsson, Rolf Lassgård, Stina Ekblad, Per Mattsson, Niklas Ek, Christoffer Svensson, Lotta Tejle, Andreas Rothlin Svensson, Pierre Wilkner and (lying down) Malin Ek. Photo: Sören Vilks

A scene from The Emigrants, with actors Pontus Gustafsson, Rolf Lassgård, Stina Ekblad, Per Mattsson, Niklas Ek, Christoffer Svensson, Lotta Tejle, Andreas Rothlin Svensson, Pierre Wilkner and (lying down) Malin Ek. Photo: Sören Vilks

Farmers Karl-Oskar and Kristina struggle to cultivate stony fields which refuse to repay their efforts. Their debts mount up, and they suffer from hunger. America, the promised land that they know so little about, entices them with rumours of freedom and fertile soil. And when one of their daughters dies, there is nothing to keep them in Sweden. They prepare to leave everything they know and begin the arduous journey to the other side of the world. They are accompanied by a number of fellow travellers, each of whom has their own reasons for seeking happiness abroad.

The Emigrants is the first of four novels by Vilhelm Moberg about Swedish emigration to the USA. The series consists of The Emigrants (1949), Unto a Good Land (1952), The Settlers (1956) and The Last Letter Home (1959).