15.6.2016

Breaking Language Barriers

Performances Suitable for English-speaking Audiences


The 48th edition of Tampere Theatre Festival presents a versatile Main Programme that explores the themes of uncertainty and loss of direction in today's society, and searches for new visions for the future. This year, the Festival has plenty to offer for non-Finnish-speaking audiences. Six of the Finnish productions are subtitled in English, as is a number of our international performances. Furthermore, three shows are performed entirely in English. We have listed the performances suitable for English-speaking audiences below.


A Showcase of Finnish Performances

The Metamorphosis is choreographer and dancer Carl Knif's magnificent rendition of Kafka's absurd classic novella. The piece combines movement with spoken language and is artistically cohesive to the finest detail. The otherwise dark story is tinged with warmth and humour. Performed in Swedish, subtitled in English.

My Palestine is Finnish actor Noora Dadu's moving testimony to her father's land, the promised and occupied Palestine. The staggeringly intense performance sketches the broader context of the conflict. Performed in Finnish and English, subtitled in English.

The Phantom of Normality – Impressions of a Homeland explores the notion of normality and the fear of standing out from the crowd. The performance is an absurd and hysterically funny dive into the silent abyss of commonplace Finland. Performed in Finnish, subtitled in English.

In the Republic of Happiness is a scathing satire on today's notions of freedom by Finnish National Theatre. It explores the prevailing individualistic society where personal happiness has become the ultimate goal. Performed in Finnish, subtitles available in English (a mobile application required).

PLAY RAPE is a moving depiction of an actress who gets fed up with playing the roles of victimised and dominated women. Anna Paavilainen's monologue is a commentary on stage rape scenes. What does it mean to portray characters who are targeted for rape, night after night? Performed in Finnish, subtitled in English.

Transformations – Rewriting Masculinity is a powerful piece of documentary theatre that examines the concepts of masculinity, as well as womanhood and the notion of gender. The performance is based on the many experiences of the gender-diverse cast. Performed in Finnish and English, subtitled in English.

Super Sunday by Race Horce Company is a fantastic circus show where the audience gets to witness magical tricks and magnificent stunts, including a gigantic Wheel of Death! The show is filled with pitch-black humour, phenomenal performers and original aesthetic choices.


In English from All Sides of the Atlantic

Tar Baby is an interactive one-woman show led by the brilliant comedian and actor Desiree Burch from the United States. Burch takes full command of the stage as she challenges the audience to get up close and personal with the uncomfortable topic of racism. Performed in English.

I'm Doing This for You is a Canadian production starring the delightful Haley McGee. The marvellous solo performance depicts an aspiring stand-up comedian preparing a surprise birthday party for him. Performed in English.

A Retrospective – Series of Novels Never Written is a unique Icelandic performance by Snæbjörn Brynjarsson. The performance depicts a novelist who abandons written language as an art form, and begins to translate his unfinished literary works into the language of dance. Performed in English.


A Taste of Other European Languages in Theatre

The Broken Jug investigates deception, corruption, manipulation and abuse of power. The brilliant Serbian production gives Kleist's classic a modern twist that highlights the tragicomic situations and multiple layers of the story. Performed in Serbian, subtitled in English.

When I Die – A Ghost Story with Music is a Swiss musical piece based on the true story of Rosemary Brown who presented unknown musical compositions by dead masters, such as Beethoven and Debussy, in the 1970s. Director Thom Luz presents a magical show whose performers appear as if emerged from the beyond. Performed in German, French and English, subtitled in English.

The Seagull, by Reykjavik City Theatre, is an impressive interpretation of Anton Chekhov's timeless classic. The Icelandic production is directed by the acclaimed Yana Ross. The Seagull is a modern portrayal of art, love and lack of it – and life itself. Performed in Icelandic, subtitled in English.

Still interested in seeing Finnish productions that do not come with English subtitles? Our English synopses will help you follow the storylines! You can pick them up at the venues, or print them out on our website, under the Main Programme. The synopses are in the info boxes after the performance descriptions.

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Breaking Language Barriers