Jan 062014

I seem to be approaching pre-middleage with gusto – I find the the weekly Nyt supplement mostly boring and uninteresting.

Occasionally they hit home, though.

The Christmas issue’s “50 Bands in a Picture” is a great visual riddle.

50 Finnish Bands in a Picture

This is just a small slice of the whole image, but there’s plenty to puzzle over.

With a quick glance at least the following are identifiable:

  • Jormas
  • Stone
  • Teddy & the Tigers
  • Bogart
  • Absoluuttinen nollapiste
  • Giant Robot
Sep 082011

The only piece of theatre in the summer was Ryhmäteatteri’s take on Astrid Lindgren’s Ronja Ryövärintytär.

The stage was in the old fortress in Suomenlinna, an excellent fit for the play of which a huge chunk takes place in an old fortress.

As such, for long stretches in the story there was no staging – the environment itself worked perfectly as-is. The second half takes place in a forest, whose waterfall and caves were wonderfully realized using just the natural props.

The cast was down its biggest star – Kreeta Salminen had hurt herself a couple of nights before the play and had been replaced by an understudy.

Aug 152011

1984Saw Thespians Anonymous’ 1984, a rather minimalistic version of George Orwell’s classic dystopia.

The amateur play was indeed laid out with a small set of props, though not exactly a minimalistic one. After all, there were even clothing changes on stage.

It’s been ages since I read the book, so any omissions and changes to the plot went unnoticed. Almost, as the last line was not the original.

Aug 122011

Tiger LilliesSaw Tiger Lillies on their Freakshow tour in Savoy back in May.

Unlike the show back in 2008 this was a very tight set, no requests from the audience expected or granted.

In addition to the band, there was a set of circus performers on stage. Their abilities ranged from righteously awesome (a snake woman whose spine bent in ways not really expected) to more commonplace yet still great (rope acrobatics).

Photography on stage was strictly prohibited, and hence the only images are from the post-show signing session.

Aug 092011

Corto Maltese in Q-TeatteriIn addition to being very late with movie reviews, I’ve neglected descriptions of late spring cultural events.

Of which Q-Teatteri’s take on Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese was the first.

The minimalistic play is based on the The Golden House of Samarkand album and effortlessly laid out with half a dozen actors and as few props as possible.

Tommi Korpela as the world-weary sailor pretty much nails the role of the protagonist. In addition to looking and sounding like the stonefaced soldier of fortunes, he smokes the part. Indeed, his puffing on cigarettes (herbal, as stated in the notices in the theatre) gets almost comical at times.

Corto Maltese is a good story, the plot reaches from Venice to Caucasus without a hitch. The two lead characters, Corto and Rasputin, haven’t lost anything from the originals (though the latter has gained quite a bit of comic flair). And considering how often Hugo Pratt used just a few lines and black blotches of shadows for scenery, the bare bones staging is appropriate indeed.

Thumbs up for bravery (this is the world’s first Corto Maltese play), and thumbs up for the entertainment as well.

Jul 302011

Prisoner silhouetteI’ve been an Olly Moss fanboy for a long time. A recent addition to his portfolio is a collection of papercuts of various characters. There’s plenty of figures I do not recognize, and quite a few I wouldn’t mind on the walls. The style is very much the traditional silhouette – black on white – with colour very sparingly used for special effect (like the jackets of the Reservoir Dogs crew).