Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Co-Productions | 2011, February 22


Three actors are working together to create a new piece of theatre, retelling a timeless story; the creation of the world. Known only by the initials of I, V and L (in reference to the Finnish mythological characters Illmarinen, Vainomoinen and Lemminkainen from the traditional folk tale the Keravela) they are battling with their competing ideas in order to tell the story in ways which satisfy them all.

As they retell the ideas that once felt fresh and new it becomes clear to I that he has lost the imagination and creativity of his youth. He invites V and L to delve into their childhood experiences, to remember the imaginary friends, games and places of their early adolescence and revisit the chaotic and difficult moments when they realised their childhoods were ending.

Whilst I gains closure on his conflicted feelings, V begins to lose patience with the creative process and the need to behave like adults in the rehearsal. He launches into a musical attack on the adult experience in his song ‘forever young’, sending the rehearsal into a spiral of teenage angst.
Music, sex and violence collide as they recount the things in their lives they would rather forget, committed under the influence of hormones.

The group reforms after the embarrassing and potentially distressing memories they have shared with a renewed vigour to finish their story once and for all, but as they move onto the last section of the story they are finally halted by L who cannot but help feel left out of the play; echoing feelings from her late teenage years. She addresses her collaborators, sharing a series of intimate moments that have shaped her sense of insecurity and isolation.

By the end of the play the three actors have journeyed together through a difficult and troubled landscape; in attempting to tell one single story they have succeeded in creating a whole world of personal memories and reflections on the beginnings and endings of their adolescent experiences.
As they race towards the final stages of the piece, as their new world begins to take a shape and form they are left to question what sort of place it is they are creating on the stage. In deciding to create a world full of imperfections and troubled experiences they gain closure on their memories and learn to forgive others and themselves for the people they have been and for the people that they find themselves being today.


written by Rui Pina Coelho (Teatro o Bando, Portugal) – Jukka Heinänen (Oulu City Theatre, Finland) – Arjunan Manuellpillai (Emergency Exits Arts, UK)
Director Alex Evans (Emergency Exits Arts, UK)
Set/Costume Patrick Bullock (Emergency Exits Arts, UK)
Actors: Mikko Korsulainen
Annina Rokka
Marko Tiusanen

Finnish Translation Sari Tanner