New Plays from Finland
The Phantom of Normality (2016)
“I have just one wish in life. And that is that I could be ordinary, just a normal person. And that my family would be ordinary too, just a normal family. That we wouldn’t stand out from the crowd, that we’d be ordinary, really, just normal.”
Saara Turunen’s play The Phantom of Normality (Tavallisuuden aave) is about Finnishness and normality, about Us and Them. The play draws inspiration from Luis Buñuel’s film The Phantom of Liberty (1974), which examines freedom through partially intermeshing scenes. The Helsinki premier of The Phantom of Normality also comprised of short episodic scenes with the central themes of normality and its pursuit as well as the relationship between daily life and celebration, and tradition and norms in Finnish society.
The play contains a diversity of absurd characters, all in pursuit of normality. People become incapable of living, when they constantly have to consider what others think of them. Being completely normal is of paramount importance - on no account should you be the Other that differs from everyone else. The Finland presented in the play is melancholic and taciturn, counterbalanced by a tragicomic and mundane cavalcade of characters.
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- Tavallisuuden aave (Finnish, original)
- Przizrak obycejnosti (LETI) (Czech)
- El fantasma de la normalidad (Spanish)
- Normalumo smekla (Lithuanian)
- The Phantom of Normality (English (American))
- Das Gespenst der Normalität (German)
- El fantasma de la normalitat (Catalan)