New Plays from Finland
Eat Me: A Punk Tragedy (2017)
Eat Me: A Punk Tragedy
Koistinen and Meke work at a fast-food restaurant. Meke is a beginning burger-maker, while Koistinen has been at it for some time now. Meke must develop his mastery under Koistinen’s watchful eye to eventually rise from kitchen to cashier in the hamburger hierarchy. This is critical, as the two of them will probably be working in the burger business for the rest of their lives. If, however, exhaustion ends up besting the duo, they will be replaced by a new pair of Meke-Koistinens.
As indicated by the subtitle, author Okko Leo characterizes the work as a punk tragedy – an anarchic tragedy for a new era, in which the heroes are restaurant workers and where catharsis takes place concretely somewhere between the soft-ice machine and the toilets. It portrays Koistinen’s and Meke’s power struggle for burger-joint supremacy, at the same time reveals something essential about the careers of low-wage workers.
The perspective of the play is not patronizing, let alone pitying. By and large caricatures, the characters of Koistinen and Meke represent structures external to themselves, not the fast-food workers of the welfare state per se.