New Plays from Finland
sky every day (2021)
A cloudless blue sky, a child running on the crystal-like sand, and a dead body in Room 303.
Hidden behind the Do not disturb-sign, the slowly rotting corpse is not the only dead thing in Pipsa Lonka’s 2021 play sky every day (neljän päivän läheisyys; English translation by Kristian London). There is also a batch of dead fish on the beach and a dying seagull that momentarily disrupts the dining humans. Inspired by Marina Abramović’s 1995 performance Cleaning the Mirror, in which Abramović meticulously cleans a human skeleton, the play also includes a person tenderly cleaning the skeleton of a herring gull. However, this tender image is separate from everything else in the play. Death, just like life, is everywhere, but mostly just as an inconvenience.
The seemingly macabre scene of the forgotten body is therefore not the central image of the play, and neither are humans. Similarly, to her earlier play Second Nature (2018), sky every day continues to explore the themes of posthumanism. It contrasts humans with another animal known to habit the shores on sunny days: seagulls. For four days, both species swarm the ocean banks, and the spectator is allowed to observe both; the similarities and dissimilarities between the two.
In this play, there are no named characters. The humans are a flock just like the gulls, even if they are locked in their individual hotel rooms, and the seagulls have their own individual lives though they often circle the humans together, while hunting for food. Both behave in a species-specific manner; one throws cheese puffs in the air, the other catches them, one pinches its nostrils at the smell of the decomposition, and the other approaches it without hesitation.
The play was translated into Swedish and Finnish Swedish by Sofia Aminoff. The play had its premiere in Swedish Finnish at the Viirus theatre in Helsinki in 2021. At first, it was only available as a live stream due to the corona restrictions, but later the same year, the play was able to be shown to live audiences as well. In 2021, both FINNDrama Stockholm and the Copenhagen Pink Pavilion festival also staged readings of the play, the Danish translation was made by Birgita Bonde Hansen. Later the same year it won the Finnish-Swedish Boisman foundation award for playwrights.
The play will have its Finnish language premiere in 2023 at the Espoo City Theatre where it will be done in collaboration with the multidisciplinary arts collective W A U H A U S.
Number of roles: unspecified
Agency North Ltd
- neljän päivän läheisyys (Finnish, original)
- fyra dagar av närhet (Swedish)
- fyra dagar av närhet _ (Swedish (finlandssvenska))
- sky every day (English (American))
- fire dages naerhed (Danish)
- cuatro días de proximidad (Spanish)
- blizost’ chetyrjoh dnei (Russian)