“Well, we don’t exactly know yet. It’ll be a surprise for all!” Actors Heidi Niemi and Sinikka Kyllönen say when asked what their new show, Finn Noir, will be like.
The play focuses on two detectives. They are mysterious, quirky and have a unique way of communicating with each other and the world.
“Finn Noir is like a mirror for both darkness and light, solitude and company. One could say it’s every little village in a nutshell.” says Niemi.
It all started with a mid-winter photoshoot with photographer Jouni Porsanger in Finnish Lapland’s capital Rovaniemi.
“We had a visual starting point and a shared core idea around which we built our show. Finn Noir is an example of devised theatre, which means the show we bring to Camden People’s Theatre will only be the first draft. There is no script and the show will develop according to the feedback we receive,“ says Kyllönen.
“It’s a liberating way to work and although a show is never completely ready, there comes a time when you feel ready to let it go,“ adds Niemi.
The show is inspired by the snowy, gloomy landscape of Lapland and how the season affects a Nordic mind.
“In order to deal with the dark and cold, people wrap up warm and close their minds from the outside world. It’s like being alone together,” says Kyllönen.
“We’re both from those small towns in the middle of nowhere that Finland is full of. We’re familiar with the mentality of living in a small community, separated from others. There are both positive and negative sides to that small town way of living. It’s a good source of inspiration!” Niemi adds.
Isolation, polar night and communication are the key themes of the show. Finn Noir is about communicating without actually sharing anything, feeling alone in a crowd. Something most Finns –as well as commuters on London Tube– can relate to.
“Being on stage is a constant balancing act between sharing your own ideas, but leaving space for the audience’s own analysis too,” Kyllönen adds.
Kyllönen and Niemi have been friends since 2004, and having studied together in Tampere the two know each other well.
“It’s important that everyone in the project shares the same mentality. We constantly take risks and explore different possibilities.” says Niemi.
“With devised theatre it’s important to try everything, not to analyse too much. No idea is good nor bad before it’s given a shot and actually fails or works out. We love working in London as our field here is very diverse and open to different ideas.” Kyllönen concludes.
Finn Noir, Camden People’s Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 2PY, https://www.cptheatre.co.uk/production/finn-noir/, Tue 5– Wed 6 March at 7.15pm, tickets £8.
Text: Essi Miettunen Photo: Jouni Porsanger