A woman sits alone in a restaurant. Images flash in front of her eyes. Her whole life she has wanted to be something else: a sweet, pure little girl, a sexy bombshell, an attractive wife. Someone worth loving. But there’s always something wrong with her; she doesn’t know how to act the way a woman should. The voice of fate calls out: “You will end up alone.” Rage bubbles up inside her, erupting in violent, bloody visions. Tonight she must either turn in a new direction or face the ultimate dead end.
Saara Turunen’s powerful play progresses in a ferocious stream-of-consciousness, blending levels of reality into a color-saturated fresco. The pressures women face are given a stinging, concrete form, and childhood and adulthood melt into one another in a genuinely theatrical way. The play offers opportunities for a variety of interpretations and executions, and its open format encourages the director and the actors to bring their own original ideas to the work.
In addition to the Finnish productions, it has been produced at the Barcelona Theatre Institute (inv. to the Sala Beckett), the Sirály Theater in Budapest, the Teatro El Granero de Centro Cultural del Bosque in Mexico City (inv. to the Festival Cervantino, Guanajuato, Mexico) and as a radio drama at the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR).
5 F, 2 M. Available: ENG, GER, HUN, SLO, SPA, DAN, POL, ITA, EST, CZE and RUS. The play has been published in Mexico by the Paso de Gato Theatre Editorial.
1. This moment
This is a romantic restaurant.
You have just sat down at your tables and are waiting to be served something good. The tables are covered with red and white-checkered tablecloths and on the wall is a picture of a mountain view.
Here a family is coming in through the door
and here a couple in love is gazing at each other across their table.
A girl is sitting in front of the mountain view.
What a wonderful dress she is wearing and such high heels, far too high for dining alone.
My eyes become blurred.
I can’t really see anything.
Just all of these pictures that flash past us faster than our own lives.
The apple trees are in bloom.
My mother wants to take a family portrait of us.
Now let’s all get nice and pretty for the picture.
I’m going to change the tires on the Mercedes.
That doesn’t have anything to do with this.
But they do need to be changed.
Take your hands out of your pockets.
Father is a bit upset.
We position ourselves beneath the apple trees.
We need to get the rabbit.
My sisters and I have a white rabbit.
The rabbit is in a cage.
The rabbit is white.
The rabbit is cute and lovely
I get the rabbit from her cage and hold her in the picture.
Rabbit sweetie, don’t wriggle.
And now everyone smiles.
How do you always manage?
Everyone else is looking at the camera, but I am talking to the rabbit and my dress is covered in dirt.
Couldn’t you just once try to act like a woman is supposed to?
A woman must be neat
A woman must be clean
A woman must be attractive and lovely at all times.
Keep that in mind.
You’ll end up alone. No man will want a dirty girl.
THE VOICE OF DESTINY
Dirty girl, you’ll end up alone.
I don’t want that.
THE VOICE OF DESTINY
Well what can you do? No one wants a dirty girl.
And so the years roll by and I wander through them wearing my dirty dress.
I want to be attractive.
I am a cleaning lady at a hospital.
And so are my sisters as well.
My sisters fold sheets into high stacks.
The sheets are white and shiny and the stacks flawless.
They sing while they work.
Cleanliness is godliness
Tidiness our greatest bliss
There are posters of men on the walls of the coffee room.
Naked men lying on cliffs.
Men on construction sites
And muscular men with puppies in their arms.
My sisters don’t have men of their own.
Having a man in your house is like having a second job.
I already have a job.
I’ve got no need for a man who just lies on the couch all day long.
My sisters talk about men.
I had a man once.
But then my sisters happened to stop by.
He was wearing a pair of awful winter shoes.
And he drank beer in the kitchen.
[English translation of the play by Heidi Lind.]