New Plays from Finland
Antagonist (Antagonisti, 2015 /2018) is a contemporary tragedy which stems from Sophocles’ tragic heroine, Antigone. The play is a tragedy about loss, exclusion, and destiny. It is about accepting one’s fate and recognizing the societal power dynamics which dictate our worth and rights as humans. A resistant anarchy and silent resilience in the face of adversity and harrowing thoughts and experiences carries throughout the text and characters, reminding us of the ways in which the pain of feeling like we do not belong can be a universal experience.
The play juxtaposes the experiences of two characters, both of whom are going through their own inner crises: one is an undocumented immigrant trying to find his place in his new country, and one is a young person trying to make sense of the world. The central theme explored in the play centres around the resistance of the current world order, presented through symbolic and poetic means. While the text is primarily dialogue-focused, it also contains an element of ancient Greek drama in the form of the Greek chorus.
Antagonist had its first premiere in the Helsinki Theatre Academy in the spring of 2015 in the form of a staged reading.
makes the antique voice of Antigone heard in a situation where it is desperately needed.
Maunuksela observes the means and possibilities of resistance. In fact, he is writing resistance about our current times in a way that makes the antique voice of Antigone heard in a situation where it is desperately needed.
(Tiina Rosberg, UniArts, 26 April 2015)
Antagonist presents us those whose fate is to accept their own fate and fatelessness, to live undocumented. The text contains our current reality’s cruel metaphysics and the anarchistic resistance contained in poetry. It also has the gesture of silent encounters, resilience.
(Hanna Helavuori, TINFO, 16 April 2015)