SLG CeljeSLG Celje

Leea Klemola



Director Živa Bizovičar

Arctic tragicomedy
First Slovenian production
Translator Julija Potrč Šavli
Opening March 2025


Leea Klemola (1965) is one most radical and acclaimed playwrights and directors in Finland today. She began her career as an actress and has won several awards, including two jussis, Finland’s most prestigious awards for acting, for films Neitoperho (The Collector) and Kerron sinulle kaiken (I'll Tell You Everything). Her early plays, including Whacky Women, Sexual and Diary of Anne Krank, are characterised by a provocative style and deliberate absence of good taste. The main themes of her work are shame, the body and sexuality, as well as love and community. She founded the Aurinko Theatre (Sun) in Helsinki, where most of her texts were first staged. Kokkola (2004) is the first part of her Arctic cycle; she wrote the subsequent parts together with her brother Klaus. Kokkola is Klemola’s first play to be staged in Slovenia.
Kokkola is a town on the edge of Finland, by the sea, with a small population, a distinctive dialect, and severe winters. The average number of inhabitants per square kilometre is 33.4. It is a small and isolated community which in many ways resembles remote Slovenian villages and towns. In the play, we follow three young men, Martti Piano Larsson, Arijoutsi Zacharias Prittinen and Harri Lömmark, who run a special personal services business. As they ride in a bus along the deserted streets of Kokkola, they look for people who might need their help, a chance to make a quick buck and, ultimately, a meaning of life. Piano and his mates introduce us to a bunch of village characters, each with their own secret desires that are unattainable. Although his help is mostly unwanted, Piano and his two employees try to resolve situations to disguise their own emptiness and inability to live a fulfilling life. 
“Using wit and sporadic cynicism, Kokkola explores the problem of centralisation, the lethargy of small towns and the sense of being lost, shared by young people, struggling to find their place or meaning in they apathy of a village community. Although the play is set in Finland, I was constantly reminded of my home time when I read it; it evoked a strange familiarity and pining for my hometown and reminded me of the anxiety and lack of possibility of making an independent life there. The play is written in the Kokkola dialect. In Slovenian professional theatres, the tradition of acting in dialect is rare, which will be one of the areas to explore in the upcoming production. Moreover, Klemola introduces elements of Finnish folklore in the play, employing them, with a touch of irony, to illustrate the absurdity of human need for intimacy and creating a community."
                                                                                                       Živa Bizovičar, director