New Plays from Finland
In Lammassaari – A Comedy About Manners (2019)
Lammassaaressa – komedia käyttäytymissäännöistä is an adaptation of an earlier play text by Tuomas Timonen. Timonen re-worked the play to suit a touring production for children by the theatre group TOTEM. With its target audience in mind, In Lammassaari contemplates the relationship between a parent and a child – is it a power structure or a channel of communication?
10-year-old Risto is excited to spend a week at the island as it is his birthday, and he can do whatever he wants. However, his father soon gets it into his head that Risto has slipped into bad manners and needs an urgent re-education. Instead of playtime and freedom, Risto gets a list of rules. His father decides to continue the education process with a disappearing act; but in the end it is the father who is tricked and learns a lesson about communicating properly with his child and setting a good example.
In Lammassaari is a short play, but exhibits continuous turns of events, changes in character dynamics and a full thematic arc especially for the Father character. The characters take into account the audience’s presence by directing some of their lines as asides to the spectators and letting the audience in on how they are going to trick one another, while the object of the ruse enters the scene unaware that they are being played at. This results in a farcical comedic effect and layers of misunderstanding.