New Plays from Finland
To My Brother (2022)
They could not be more opposite: he, the handsome, idolized brother, and she, the ugly sister, overweight and lonely. And yet the two symbiotically share their lives; in their shared apartment, she witnesses his numerous affairs, follows him wherever he goes, and cares sacrificially for his well-being.
For others, she is always the outsider, the irritating companion of the attractive man, somewhat disgusting and repulsive. In her room, it is a different microcosm; it is where she can idolize movie stars and find refuge in fictional worlds. It is also where she reinvents herself as a desirable woman whose sexual adventures are in no way inferior to those of her brother. But the more extravagant her fantasies become, the more ruthlessly she deals with herself in real life and therefore sees her negative self-description confirmed in the rejection of other people. Only gradually does she discover the appeal of an independent, self-reliant life in which she, too, finds self-acceptance.
In her 2022 play To My Brother (Veljelleni) E. L. Karhu lets her protagonist speak freely and exclusively: It is only through her that the fascinating, sometimes disturbingly precise, view of an abysmal web of relationships reveals itself. Karhu pits the monstrous sister against the godlike brother, the voyeuristic observation of intimate encounters against the pleasure of being observed. Power and submission, affection and repulsion, merge into a game that is just as cruel as it is captivating: A Game with self-destructive powers to devour every person that approaches the siblings from the outside. In the end, there is liberation.
The play To My Brother is a creative collaboration between Karhu and the German Schauspiel Leipzig theatre, and it was in this theatre that it had its world premiere in 2022. The German translation Für meinen Bruder was made by Stefan Moster. Many of Karhu's previous plays, such as Princess Hamlet (2017) and Eriopis - Medea's Survivor Daughter Tells All (2020), have also been performed at the Schauspiel Leipzig. In 2021 she wrote a novel, To My Brother, using the same material as in the playscript, and in the same year, it was one of the nominees for the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper award for the best debut novel.
Number of roles: minimum 1N
This synopsis was created using the Rowohlt Theater Verlag synopsis of the play, with minor adjustments.
Rowohlt Theater Verlag