On Stage in Finland Now!
What’s going on in Finnish theatre at the moment? Here you’ll find a selection of current projects, including a brief introduction and a link to further information on the theatre company’s website.
Viimeinen Atlantis (Last Atlantis)
Viimeinen Atlantis (Last Atlantis) tells the story of Tobeas, a hedonist, who is thrown into an apocalyptic vortex during an intercontinental flight. Will Tobeas find his way back home or will the planet be doomed before that? The play is a beautiful depiction of a collapsing world and an attempted escape across it. A dystopia about the importance and power of water.
The play is based on the acclaimed and thought-provoking debut novel by Antti Hyyrynen, guitarist-vocalist of the band Stam1na, from 2020 and the popular album by Stam1na from 2011 carrying the same name. Antti Hyyrynen is also involved in the audio design of the play. Dramatization and direction by Tuomo Rämö.
“A glacier was melting somewhere far away. The party continues, but we are out of drinks. At some point, this plane has to land? And at some point, the bill has to be paid, right?”
Sultanaatti (The Sultanate)
Sultanaatti (The Sultanate) - A Spy's report from the Court of Hawks
Sultanaatti is a hilarious and horrible fairytale for adults about power and the sexes.
A young tyrant has a problem: why can't the world be, even just for a minute, just like he would want it to be? His empire is like an enormous house that's falling apart faster than it can be repaired.
Then, something unprecedented happens: the young dictator falls head over heels in love with a slave girl, Rossa, who wants to transform the empire. Rossa begins to gain power in the court, to the great dismay of the old guard. A treacherous vizier and his henchmen start conniving, in order to turn things back to how they were - and for that to happen, at least one apocalypse is required.
All this is reported to us by a Venetian spy with a secret mission: to find out how empires can be made to flourish - or to fall.
The historical focal point of Sultanaatti is the reign of sultan Suleiman I the Magnificent (1520 - 1566) - an era of bloody religious wars and great expeditions.
Sultanaatti is a comedy that collides the legendary Ottoman Empire with the utopias of past and present times, asking why the best intentions of mankind so often lead to exorbitance and disaster.
The play is a cornucopia of theatrical and poetic ideas - one of them a sultanate of women, where children can stay alive.
Photo: Marko Dješka
|Theater:||The Finnish National Theatre|
Tainaron is not a place, as you perhaps think. It is an event which no one measures. It is no use anyone trying to make maps. It would be a waste of time and effort. Do you understand now?
Leena Krohn’s novel Tainaron – Mail from another city contains 30 letters describing a different reality far from home. The novel is the source of inspiration for the episodic, beautifully grotesque puppet theatre piece.
Immersed in the picturesqueness of the letters, the work builds a stage set for the ever-changing reality and inhabitants of Tainaron. The result is a visually sprawling and expressively precise, strangely musical, wordless contemporary puppet theatre.
Tainaron lived in the same way as many of its inhabitants; it too was a creature that was shaped by irresistible forces.
Photo: Niina Lindroos
|Director:||Elina Sarno, Niina Lindroos|
18th century barber-surgeons, Louis XIV’s painful fistula, courtly morning rituals, the bizarre diaper fashion of the aristocrats and the castle’s beloved orange tree garden all converge in a theatrical fantasy of the divine and profane.
Versailles is inspired by the Sun King Louis XIV’s court and it allows for the values of the elite from the beginning of the 18th century to collide with our time. In the piece co-directed by Jussi Sorjanen and Sinna Virtanen the working group mirrors their own societal pain points in the sun-kings’s golden splendor.
Versailles takes a playful approach to historical accuracy.
The play is shaped through a cooperation process between fashion designer Janette Laakso, light designer Jenni Pystynen, sound designer Tatu Nenonen and the cast at Viirus theatre. This visually lavish play is a meeting point for an imaginatively recreated costume drama and scenography clad in mirrors and gold.
|Director:||Jussi Sorjanen, Sinna Virtanen|
Exercises in Transparency
Exercises in Transparency is a live art and artistic research project that examines the ideal of openness and transparency in modern society. At the heart of the work is a contradictory, perhaps also childlike need: to be seen but to remain hidden.
Navigating between everyday life and art, Exercises in Transparency does not offer predigested statements, but invites the audience to reflect on the topic together with the artists. The work consists of a series of performances to be seen in the fall of 2022, each approaching the topic from a different perspective, with different means of live art.
The project is led by artist, performer and journalist Katriina Kettunen. The core working group also includes scenographer, performer Kristian Palmu and sound designer, performer Oula Rytkönen.
Three bodies. Foamed plastic. Microphone. Dysmorphic is a dark yet hopeful performance of dysmorphic body disorders created in collaboration between Aurinkobaletti and Aura of Puppets. It brings on stage the absurdly imaginative but brutally realistic views of twisted mindscapes. How does it feel to live in the shade of your own imagined monstrosity? Is it possible to learn to love it? Or could you eliminate it.
The performance is built around puppetry, dance and live music. Dysmorphic reveals the struggle of all those suffering from dysmorphic disorders endeavoring to dissolve the shame caused by it and to increase awareness.
Premiere: 22.9.2022 | Manilla, Turku
Other performances: 23.9.–1.10 and 2.–12.11.2022
Age recommendation: +14 years
Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa
|Director:||Maija Westerholm and crew|
Aura of Puppets
The Grapes of Reason
The Grapes of Reason deals with the contradiction between rationality and corporality. What happens if the importance of the body is denied? Where the pleasure then resides or does it reside anywhere?
The Grapes of Reason is the third and the last part of the stage trilogy by Saara Turunen. It continues the familiar theatrical language from her previous works, The Phantom of Normality and Medusa´s room
ReeaRuu is a heart-felt and downright silly musical about life's big questions. Ruu (Miiko Toiviainen) is a six-year-old boy, who loses his whole family in a car accident. Ruu ends up in the care of professor Huitale (Juho Milonoff). Missing his parents (Vilma Melasniemi and Niko Saarela), and especially her beloved sister Reea (Ella Mettänen), Ruu learns that people become angels after their passing. Together with the very eccentric professor, Ruu starts creating angels using scientific methods – with unpredictable consequences. But what are angels made of, and how do you know if they even exist?
Photo: Noora Geagea
” Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
Aino kostaa is a “last supper” layered with music. It gives a glimpse into the reasons that fuel the immense thirst for revenge that either leads into the destruction of our civilization giving us a chance to start over or leaves everything as it is.
Aino is a generic name for a being in search of living space from our universe. A space where each and everyone could face each other as equals, without fear. Aino travels through history experiencing different metamorphoses, looking for a safety zone. But when correcting historical injustice, Aino chooses revenge again and again.
Cartridge Factory (Patruunatehdas)
The Lapua cartridge factory explosion in 1976 is historically one of the worst disasters in Finland. Forty people died, sixty-eight got injured and sixty-six children lost one or both of their parents, sending shock waves through the whole country.
The explosion left deep scars in people’s minds and the communal grief was never addressed, until now, 46 years later, on stage at the Seinäjoki City Theatre. The play, written by Anne Koski-Wood, follows the incident from the perspective of personal loss, but also unveils the controversial circumstances which led to the accident. Directed by Panu Raipia, the play dives into deep moments of sorrow and loss, from which love and hope resurface.
In photo: Kerttuli Kivimäki ja Jani Johansson. Photo: Jukka Kontkanen
|Author:||Anne Koski Wood|
Farewell to the break room
A person spends a third of their life at work. A place haunted by dreams, disappointments, friendships, and love. We dream of change as much as we dread it.
Farewell to the break room is a bittersweet, absurd comedy examining the moments in every day life.
On stage we meet three experienced actors from Takomo Theatre. Niina Hosiasluoma, Actor of the year 2017, and winner of National monologue competition 2021, Joonas Heikkinen, a renowned interpreter in many scandalous performances, for instance Jeppe Niilonpoika in Tampere Työväen Teatteri, and Tuomas Rinta-Panttila, who directed the highly regarded Bouvard and Pécuchet at Takomo Theatre.
Music has been created and is performed by electroacoustic Tölöläb, an experimental music band that combines electronic music and woodwind instruments. Three musicians, Turkka Inkilä, a composer, flutist, and Japanese shakuhachi player, Taavi Oramo, multitalented conductor, clarinetist and a singer, and Antti Salovaara, who is a bassoonist in the chamber orchestra Esbjerg Ensemble in Denmark, take turns playing in the shows.
Director Akse Pettersson worked as an artistic director in Takomo Theatre 2013 – 2021. This is his farewell directorial project at Takomo. Pettersson has directed many acclaimed performances at Takomo as well as other theatres. Recently he directed the Finnish premiere of E.L.Karhu's Eriopis, at Q-theatre to critical and popular acclaim.
In photo: Joonas Heikkinen. Photographer: Mitro Härkönen
The Birds (Linnut) is a puppet theatrical cabaret that celebrates birdlife from a range of different points of view. It explores the diversity of nature, climate change, looks at birds through history and considers the human understanding of birds through different times.
Birds bring us continuous messages from the world around us. They tell us about changes in the ecosystems with polyphonic birdsong – and with silence. We try to see nature from a bird’s-eye view but we also need to regard the extent of the destruction and loss of territory birds have suffered at our hands as a human race.
The working groups explain their methods: “We are inspired by the principle of swarm intelligence and for this performance we vary our roles within the working group. We search for routes towards the universe of the birds. We ask, how birds live in the world and what it is like to live as a bird.
The Birds is visual theatre that takes the spectator on a journey from the most common birds to the rare, endangered species by the means of contemporary puppet theatre.
Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa
|Theater:||Turku City Theatre
Aura of Puppets
Punch up! – Resistance and Glitter
Punch Up! is a fierce variety show filled with the best in drag, stand-up comedy, and burlesque. Every show is a uniquely curated glittery dream filled with acts that are hilarious, sexy, thought-provoking, gender-twisting, binary-busting, and thoroughly unforgettable. Short performances dig deep into emotional landscapes that are simultaneously universal and very particular: anxiety, joy, hope, or love – while the audience gives back energy in a deliciously vicious, sexy cycle*.
Created in 2018 by stand-up comedian and monologuist Juuso Kekkonen, stand-up comedian and performance artist James Lórien MacDonald, and queer drag artist and producer Mira Eskelinen, Punch Up! has become a show like no other. Bringing together the most dazzling performers in drag, burlesque, and stand-up comedy, Punch Up! shines a light on the talent and passion to be found in these undervalued art forms.
The heart and soul behind the glamour is what makes the show work everywhere from the most darkly-lit corners of unsavoury bars to Finland’s National Theatre Main stage, and we want you here for this treat that will leave you feeling shook up, turned on, raw, and definitely alive.
la 21.5. klo 20 Riihimäen teatteri, Riihimäki
su 22.5. klo 15 & 18 Teatteri Telakka, Tampere
pe 15.7. klo 21 ArtTeatro, Kustavi (Volter Kilpi Kustavissa -kirjallisuusviikon ohjelmaa)
su 16.10. klo 18 Vallilan Kansallisteatteri, Helsinki
su 6.11. klo 18 Vallilan Kansallisteatteri, Helsinki
|Theater:||The Finnish National Theatre|