fri 27/04/2018

Finnish exchange programme hits theatres | Arts News

Finnish exchange programme hits theatres

The Pleasance Theatre and Finland’s ACE Production are collaborating on an exchange programme for British theatres. ACE first came to Britain for 2010’s Edinburgh Festival and began talks with Anthony Alderson, director of The Pleasance Theatre, about working together.

August will see a Finnish theatre programme showcased in Edinburgh. Before that, Finnish productions will also be seen at north London’s Pleasance Theatre. Alderson commented “the new writing and talent coming from Finland is remarkable. The country’s entire approach to theatre is not only inspiring but also valuable for the UK theatre industry as we look for quality productions, talent and ideas for the future”. The initiative has been developed by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland and the Pleasance Theatre, with the assistance of ACE Production.

Finland is steeped in theatre: 3.6 million theatre tickets are bought annually. The population is only 5.2 million. Towns with over 25,000 inhabitants have their own theatre.

Johan Storgard, the Finnish actor and chief executive of ACE Production, said “to open up the rich talent in Finnish theatre to a broader audience we need to present Finnish works internationally. But we should also be looking to produce new writing and theatre work with other cultures. I have seen The Pleasance ambition in action both in Edinburgh and in London. Together with them, we will start on the road to this vision”.

Gogol’s The Overcoat will be staged in London from 17-28 April at The Pleasance, Islington. This new reinterpretation by Sami Keski-Vahala’s and Esa Leskinen takes in the last forty years of banking history, from the strikes of the 1970s to today’s global debt crisis. Billy Mack won the Best Actor prize for his role as Akaky Akakievich fro the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe staging.

Joakim Groth’s The Death of a Theatre Critic, first seen at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe, will be premiered in London from 1-5 May at The Pleasance, Islington. This dark comedy is about the hardships of a theatre director whose latest production is torn to pieces by a leading critic.

During August, From Start to Finnish is an Edinburgh Fringe showcase dedicated to Finnish theatre. The two plays seen in Edinburgh will be My Elevator Days by Bengt Ahlfors (produced by Svenska Teatern of the Swedish National Theatre of Finland) and Continuous Growth, Keski-Vahala and Leskinen’s satirical sequel to The Overcoat (produced by Rhymateatteri [Group Theatre], Helsinki).

See theartsdesk’s full guide to Edinburgh International Festival 2012:

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