Take Off Your Skin is a black comedy about our competitive society where money rules and only the strongest survive. The characters play with the cards they have been dealt. The Finnish President sells his country to get out of trouble, Sirkku poses as a high-class prostitute, the eagle has his wings cut from him, Marko sucks up to the King and the Pope smokes dope. The people are struggling in the cogwheels of byrocracy, using each other unscrupulously in order to stay afloat in the rocky waters of life. If you want to survive, you have to be sharper, earn more money, supress your humanity or kill yourself.
Sirkku Silava at work.
She’s a 25-year-old telemarketer.
Hello! Who’s calling?
That’s a dumb name.
Isn’t it, though?
Why are you calling me, Silava?
I’m calling on behalf of children with cancer. Are you interested in children’s cancer?
No. It’s repulsive. I don’t want to think about the whole thing.
But sir, is your heart made of stone? Think about those little dead children. Haven’t you imagined how terribly sad their parents are and how the school holds a moment of silence for them and how their little friends cry because they just miss those poor children so much and the entire class attends their funeral, where there’s a tiny casket with their favorite stuffed animal on top, and the priest can’t even finish, he just keeps crying because he can’t stop thinking how sad and wrong it is that a small child so small... You’re right. It is repulsive. I apologize for calling.
Sirkku starts to cry.
Why are you crying when your customer can still hear you?
Because I’m unhappy.
Why are you unhappy?
Because I happen to be poor. Plus my Mom just tried to kill herself. That’s a depressing experience.
Why are you poor, you poor girl? I’m not interested in your mother’s attempted suicides.
Because I don’t know how to sell. Because I’m not exceptional at my work.
[English translation of the play by Kristian London]
Höhlentiere - Im schedischsprachigen Stück des finnischen Autors Lauri Maijala proben die Elenden den Aufstand.
Lasst uns die Welt schön färben! Mit Blut! - Georg Kasch, nachkritik.de
Lauri Maijala's Take Off Your Skin (performed in Swedish) is a chaotic analysis, a dystopian carnival, a decadent morality play, a satire that shoots at everything and everyone – at the same time as being a disarmingly uninhibited blast.
- Suna Vuori, Helsingin Sanomat 15.9.2013
Maijala's capitalist-critical writing manages to avoid the pitfalls of sounding like a sermon or coming across as superficially political.
- Nina Jääskeläinen, Teatteri & Tanssi + Sirkus 6/2013