Contemporary circus performance Lola will premiere on Wednesday in London. One of the performers Hanna Moisala tells what to expect.
Lola explores memory loss and dementia. Why did you choose this topic?
“We started to explore what remembrance is. Many members of our group had relatives who had experienced memory disorders related to ageing. Memory loss doesn’t necessarily require old age though. Work-related stress increasingly causes memory disorders amongst younger people.”
Is there something special around premiers?
“Just before premiere we work long hours. Small technical and decorative details are polished until the last minute. During the last week the piece really comes together: lights, sound and performance. We repeat the scenes and fine tune nuances. Lola demands a lot concentration as during the hour performers go through a wide spectrum of emotions.”
How has the production process been?
“We’ve been preparing the show for two years. I’ve gone through literature, talked with doctors and nurses and processed the theme with my colleagues. Memory loss is severe and sad theme, but we’ve also managed to find funny aspects in it. The whole group has worked intensely together in residencies in Finland and England. Lola is our abstract vision of what memory is all about.”
Do you have expectations for the performances in London?
“I’m looking forward to performing for the audience and seeing their reactions. The premiers are vital for the future of the piece. It would be wonderful to have audience with a wide range of age. The thing I want most is to get in contact with the audience. I want to know if the younger audience finds the piece touching, as memory loss doesn’t only affect elderly people.”
Last year the UK became the most popular touring destination for the Finnish circus groups. What do you think is the secret of the success?
“Traditional circus has great visibility and strong roots in the UK. Circus has been invented here, after all. When it comes to contemporary circus, it is not as widely known here as it is in other European countries. My solo work WireDo was well received in London two years ago. I had to work hard to reach the audience though, as circus is not something they are used to seeing in theatres here. Finnish contemporary circus has already developed its own style and performances suitable for exports. It is no wonder that there is a high demand for Finnish circus in Britain.”
Lola, Jacksons Lane, 269a Archway Road, N6 5AA London. https://www.jacksonslane.org.uk/whats-on/lumo-lola. 3.10.&4.10.2018. 8pm. Admission £10–£14. Age guidance: 14+.
Finnish Institute in London has supported the performance via TelepArt funding.
Text: Anna Suoninen