Kristian Smeds text – Liisa Sofia Pöntinen actress, sound designer, set design – Jari Juutinen sound designer, director, set design – Riitta Ukkonen set design – Olli-Pekka Pyysing sound designer – Kimmo Pasanen light desing

Author Kristian Smeds based his Sad songs from the Heart of Europe on Dostoyevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment (1866). The student Raskolnikov was the central character in Dostoyevsky’s work. In Smeds’ version the prostitute Sonya is given the central role. She speaks of her father who time and time again drank away his last cents, about her stepmother who pushed her into prostitution and about the young man with a terrible secret who she met one day… A raw and at the same time moving love story that, in the eyes of director Jari Juutinen, is also about today’s Europe: about growing unemployment and poverty and about the disillusionment a lot of Europeans have in relation to the Europe project. The young actress Liisa Sofia Pöntinen is a huge success in the role of not just Sonya, but all the other characters as well.

Kristian Smeds is the enfant terrible of Finnish theatre and wrote Sad Songs from the Heart of Europe in 2006, before causing an uproar in Finland with his explosive production The Unknown Soldier, the reinterpretation of a famous Finnish novella. In those days he worked mainly in the Baltic States and directed the play with the Lithuanian actress Aldona Bendoriute. Today he is at the head of the Finnish National Theatre. Jari Juutinen is back with the long-awaited Finnish adaptation of Kristians’ text.  Juutinen (1959) is the director, playwright and artistic director of the Lappeenranta City Theatre. As of next season he will mainly be working as a freelancer for established theatres. He has a tendency to choose plays with a social dimension.

 Introduction at 07.30 pm (in English)