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Little and large. Jalostamo², a small theatre group from Helsinki, and Tallinn-based NO99, with its hugely-successful performances in Estonia and internationally, are working on a performance together. This co-production will launch Jalostamo²‘s three-part series, Immigration nation. The first part is called Ship of Fools (Narrien laiva/Kihnu Jõnn), and the name refers to the archetypal story where people are on a journey away from home and back again.
In spring 2018, when the rehearsals started, Jalostamo²’s artistic director and actor Anna Lipponen spoke about the background to the series that is under production:
Mobility can mean so many things: physical movement, migration, nomadism, emigration and immigration, refugees, foreigners and also mental mobility, such as the changing of concepts, a process in general.
In the case of Jalostamo², mobility also extends to the artistic content and form used to produce the piece. TINFO’s MOTI internationalisation programme, which Jalostamo² has been selected for, will help with the development of this model.
Even before this cooperation with NO99, the members of Jalostamo² had been on the move towards Estonia. Finland and Estonia share a kinship between their languages and a short boat trip over the Gulf of Finland. Anna Lipponen performs in Handless (Kädettömät), which she co-produced and wrote with the Estonian Drama Theatre. She also formed a natural connection with artistic director duo Ene-Liis Semper and Tiit Ojasoo and the rest of the theatre’s ensemble at NO99 through the process of working together. Finnish performance design has a good reputation internationally and Jalostamo²’s other artistic director, lightning designer/scenographer Petri Tuhkanen, has also worked with NO99’s artists over the years.
The premiere of the nomadic Ship of Fools will be in September 2018, after which the performance will remain in NO99’s programme and then set off for other countries from there.
Earlier this year, the cooperation between Jalostamo² and NO99 received a monetary reward from the Finno-Estonian Cultural Fund. NO99 received the esteemed Europe Theatre Prize for new theatrical realities in Rome last December.
Sari Havukainen, TINFO, 21 May 2018
Photo: Marek Sabogal