Mummun saappaassa soi fox

Original name Mummun saappaassa soi fox
Kirjoittajat Sirkku Peltola
Original language Finnish
Premiere year 2002
Theater TTT Theatre of Tampere
Keywords Drama

Synopsis

”Listen to your father who gave you life, don’t despise your mother when she is old.” (Proverb 23/22)

There’s father, mother and two children in the Mörttinen family. Everything takes place within the four walls of their living room between Thursday and Sunday. The main characters are father Veini, an unemployed mechanic and mother Moonika, a shop assistant at a kiosk. Due to his unemployment, the father is often constrained to the home, normally he lies on the sofa. The mother brings groceries when she comes from work. On an everyday basis, the middle-aged couple gets along comfortably, even lovingly.

However, from the first scene it is clear to the audience that the parents are somewhat blue-eyed and helpless with regard to their children and the world outside. During the course of the play the world and the children’s reality slowly start to reveal themselves to the parents. However, it is still unclear whether they understand the true nature of things. In their everyday life, Veini and Moonika have constructed a strange, absurd and comically exposed wall of happiness which protects them.

Gran is Veini’s mother; she is often spoken of and apparently has a habit of walking around with a transistor radio in a Wellington boot. At the beginning of the play the audience finds out that she has her 80th birthday on Sunday which the whole family is obviously anticipating. Gran is present in the discussions, but in the play we never see her. The detachment between the generations is conveyed by the way Veini reacts to his mother and equally to his children.

8-year-old son Tarmo, weighed down by worry, is thematically at the centre of the story. A great deal of things are talked about, but the most important issues remain in the dark. Tarmo speaks the play’s most remarkable lines and it is as if he had a connection over the gap of his father’s generation straight to Gran. Judging from his actual age, Tarmo is eight years old but judging from his thoughts, he is ageless.

High school student Janita lives turbulently under the pressures of our times and under her hard, self ironic and comic shell she is very close to a break down. Father and mother discuss the colour of her hair and her boyfriend’s nose piercing but do not see the drug problem or where she’s really off to after leaving home.

The police and a teacher come to stir up the parents, closed up in their small home trying their best – they try in a world which flashes past somewhere and leaves the slowest behind in a turn.

“The play’s sensitivity may come from the fact that in an incredibly intimate thing one can see an incredible richness, a universal thing. In the writer of a drama resides a Doubting Thomas. – Peltola calls her own attitude an incentive for pettiness, an incentive which looks for meaning in things where otherwise nothing significant can be seen.”
Anne Välinoro (Aamulehti 13.5.2000)

Translations

Language English
Translation name Gran's Wellington Fox
Translators Eva Buchwald
Copies available Theatre Info Finland (TINFO)
Drama agency Agency North Ltd, contact(a)agencynorth.com

Language French
Translation name Ca foxtrotte dans la botte de Mamie
Translators Tiina Kaartama
Julkaisija Theatre Info Finland (TINFO)
Copies available Agency North ltd
Drama agency Agency North ltd

Language Russian
Translation name V sapoge u babki igral fokstrot
Translators Anna Sidorova
Julkaisija Theatre Info Finland (TINFO), www.tinfo.fi/grant
Drama agency Agency North Ltd, contact(a)agencynorth.com