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Winner of the New Baltic Drama 2011 competition in Finland, These Little Town Blues Are Melting Away takes place somewhere on the coastline of the Baltic Sea, in a place that strictly speaking is not even a village. Water is rising slowly, really slowly, without forming an actual threat, although the danger of flooding is real.
Close to the waterline are some houses, inhabited by melancholy Finns who know each other inside out. Some still have dreams. Others just want to float through their lives. The local supermarket is sluggishly serving its sluggish customers. At the senior shelters they are busying themselves and secretly looking back at the good old times. The world of the play is built up with pictures. These pictures are their own worlds, slow, sometimes almost motionless, like photos.
7 F, 13 M. Available: FIN, ENG
IMAGE 1: Aila’s yard
A flat, broad landscape, the gray sea.
We’re on the shores of the Baltic. Where, exactly, is not so important. There are so many of these remote seaside villages who can be bothered to name them. Even the term ”village” is a little misleading. It’s more like a sandy road on the coast. Houses are strewn here and there along this one sandy road; they’re so close to each other that with a stretch of the imagination you could call this place a village, you could say that these people live in the same village. But there’s space to spare between the houses. No one looks out their window into their neighbor’s backyard.
That’s for sure.
It’s a spring morning. There’s a light haze and the birds are singing the first notes of the morning. It’s a little chilly; we can just barely sense the sun behind a curtain of clouds. It probably also
drizzled during the night; the earth appears wet.
Aila’s house stands on the shore. Aila’s house is gray. It looks solid, well-worn.
[Translated from the Finnish by Kristian London.]
“"All the way to its original name, Lonka’s play is an almost impossible play as it objects to nearly everything that is traditionally expected of traditional drama. There is practically no dialogue, the ascents and descents as well as action is a little so-and-so and the tempo mark is ‘slow’.
However, These Little Town Blues Are Melting Away is captivating, it makes you laugh, it touches you and offers food for thought.”
“[T]he soul of the [...] play is in the text that is simultaneously everyday and metaphoric, and also in the humoristic characters that the playwright treats with great warmth.”"
“Riveted by These Little Town Blues Are Melting Away” – Irmeli Haapanen, Turun Sanomat 17 February 2013
Agency North Ltd