Premiere 19 September 2018 | Kanneltalo, Helsinki
Babylon was The Thing in the Finnish theatre scene in 2018. It received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. The show has toured throughout Finland, visiting a number of the country’s most notable theatres, and it was also selected for the lineups of the most important theatre festivals in the country, for example, Tampere Theatre Festival.
In Babylon, the titular character Babylon wants to solve all the core issues regarding power. Her servant Ré helps her in the process. This partly autobiographical and hilarious performance tackles a variety of situations where power is exercised. The two clowns bring different scepter wielders onstage, from Madonna to Ronaldo and from Catherine the Great to Donald Trump. The power setting between Babylon and Re is also an essential part in addressing the theme.
The performance asks us why we – almost always – settle into power structures in regard to each other. Can’t we live in an equal society? It also examines the power structures between genders giving fresh perspectives to issues with gender equality.
A ★★★★★ bull’s eye.
The performance is skillfully structured and hysterically funny. – – Puolanto truly knows how to process everything from the personal to the universal. – – Seppä and Puolanto collaborate seamlessly. – Helsingin Sanomat, The biggest newspaper in Finland
The relationship between the clowns adds to the theme and crosscuts it. The play is personal, and it can be seen in the sharp observations; the actors’ stories feel real and true. – The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE
Babylon has been directed by Marielle Eklund-Vasama. Eklund-Vasama has graduated as a director from the Finnish Theatre Academy, and also studied Commedia dell ́Arte in Italy, not to mention directing at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts and the University College of Opera in Stockholm. Since 2003, Eklund-Vasama has worked as a director and playwright in city theatres, theatre groups and for the Finnish and Swedish Radio Broadcasting Companies. Eklund-Vasama specializes in musical theatre and has also directed operas. Her works have participated in a number of festivals, both in Finland and abroad.
Running time at full length 90 minutes
Stage required Height 3m, width 7m, depth 6m
Set up time 5–8 hours
No. of people on tour 4
No. of performers 2
Language options English, Finnish
English subtitles available
Recommended ages 13+
Touring season Negotiable
Availability for workshops Yes
Directed by Marielle Eklund-Vasama
Text and dramaturgy Minna Puolanto, Marielle Eklund-Vasama & the crew
Performers Minna Puolanto & Hanna Seppä
Light & sound design Juha Tuisku
Costume designer and seamstress Virve Karoliina Balk
Production Minna Puolanto, Niina Bergius, Aino Torikka, Anna Jauhola & Mika Vainio
On tour for families