Nature sees us
Pipsa Lonka’s posthumanist play dissects our human-centred way of seeing the world. It is now set to be performed at a brand new theatre festival launching in Copenhagen in summer 2021.
Even amidst all the uncertainty currently facing us, theatres are working hard to bring new events to life, including the Pink Pavillon in Copenhagen. As far as the festival’s International Director, the dramaturg Jesper Pedersen, is concerned, audiences will be treated to stage readings of new European drama at his Grob Teater from 3 to 5 June 2021. The lineup will include Pipsa Lonka’s Sky every day (Neljän päivän läheisyys, trans. Kristian London), a posthumanist drama about seagulls and humans.
Pipsa’s play asks fundamental questions about how we humans can re-negotiate our relationship with nature in an age of global climate change. It is even more pressing that we explore this new role or way of being right now during this pandemic, as nature – in the form of a virus – has literally overtaken our societies, says Jesper Pedersen.
The play will be performed in Danish translation by Birgita Bonde Hansen. The stage reading will be directed by Sofia Orem Skoglund from Sweden, with Nanna Cecilie Bang, Camilla Lau and Lise Lauenblad performing on stage.
In the play, human beings share the story and the stage with another animal species we know as “gulls”. Lonka has written her play in Finnish and a gull language of her own invention. In addition to Danish, it has been translated into Swedish by Sofia Aminoff and into English by Kristian London. A Russian translation by Anna Sidorova is currently in the works. The challenge for the translators has been to translate not just the Finnish but also the “Finnish” gull language into their target language.
Sky every day premiered in Swedish to a select invitation-only audience at Helsinki’s Teatteri Viirus. Due to the current coronavirus restrictions, further live performances have been postponed, but the production is available to stream online. The play was also performed in Stockholm as part of a joint initiative by the city’s Finnish Institute and several local theatres.
Grob Teater’s Pink Pavillon is intended as a creative continuum to a previous festival showcasing staged readings of new European drama that ran in Copenhagen from 2008 until 2016. Back then, it was based at the city’s Husets Teater, and the Finnish Institute in Denmark, along with director Esa Alanne, were already closely involved. The festival was an opportunity for international audiences to experience Pipsa Lonka’s earlier These little town blues are melting away, as well as works by Juha Jokela, Saara Turunen and Paavo Westerberg. Pandemic permitting, Pink Pavillon will be celebrating new plays as part of a city wide CPH Stage festival this summer.
TINFO / Sari Havukainen 8 March, 2021