Trench Road

trench road

Premiere 24 January 2014 | Theatre Avoimet Ovet, Helsinki

Trench Road premiered in 2014 and became Red Nose Company’s breakthrough work. It ́s a story of a man who runs to save his marriage, the fragile dreams we all have and most importantly — LOVE.

The audiences and the critics have loved the show. It has been invited to various festivals and is still touring.

In Trench Road, we meet a man stunned by divorce.He wants another chance with his wife and decides to get his family a dream house. This mission gets him into situations that just become more and more absurd. The clowns thrust themselves into the wonderful and horrible moments of domestic life, even revealing details of their own personal life. What would you do to save your marriage? The performance is spiced up with live music: the actors perform rock classics from Neil Young to U2 and Johnny Cash.

Kari Hotakainen is one of the most notable current Finnish writers. His novel Trench Road won both the Finlandia prize in 2002 and the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2004. It reveals the essence of the Finnish way of life and mentality, with a gentle touch of irony.

This Show Is a Classic!


The audience laughs from the very beginning to the end. The actors improvise and build a good connection with the spectators. An absolutely fun, lovely performance.
– Finnish newspaper

If you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, it’s better to do both at the same time. Just great!
– Spectator


Trench Road has been directed by Otso Kautto. Kautto is a Helsinki-based writer, an awarded theatre director and performing poet. In 2018 Kautto was elected director of TTT Theatre in Tampere, which is one of the three national main theatres in the country. He has directed both in big theatres as well as in small theatre groups, mostly at Theatre Quo Vadis and the Finnish National Theatre. He performs his poetry in the Poetry Band and is doing his PhD studies at the Theatre Academy where his research topic is sense of ritual.

TOuring information

Running time at full length 90–120 minutes

Intermission If wanted

Stage required Height 4m, width 6m, depth 8m

Set up time max 5 hours

No. of people on tour 4

No. of performers 2

Language options English, Finnish

Recommended ages 13+

Touring season Negotiable

Availability for workshops Yes

Trench Road is adaptable from its duration and intermission to the size of the stage. 

Key Personnel

Directed by Otso Kautto

Dramaturgy Timo Ruuskanen & Tuukka Vasama

Original story Kari Hotakainen

Performers Timo Ruuskanen & Tuukka Vasama

Light & sound design Jere Kolehmainen

Costume design Tuomas Lampinen

Production Niina Bergius, Anna Jauhola & Mika Vainio

Co-production Theatre Quo Vadis


Trench Road / Red Nose Company / Photo by Jouko Siro