Midwinter Dream

Midwinter Dream is a story about human life corrupted by the grip of technology. Based on poems from the Finnish national epos, the Kalevala, Midwinter Dream is a surreal fusion of Kalevala's ancient mythical realm and our modern industrial world.

Ilmari Virtanen - the world's best clock smith - has dedicated most of his life to the making of Sampo; a peculiar, magical machine that will end poverty by producing money out of almost nothing. But when one sacrifices all for the creation work, even love, can the outcome be good?

When Ilmari's wife Louhi seeks the remedy for her broken heart from the same Sampo, a dangerous set up is created. The self conscious, power-seeking engine takes advantage of Louhi's weakness and soon the situation is out of control.

Sampo grows immensely, swallowing the sun and becoming the supreme ruler on earth. It provides people with warmth and food, but for its fuel it takes away their free will and thought. The border between human and machine fades to darkness.

It is now Ilmari's turn to fix the mess he has started. But can a man stand against the machine he created?

Midwinter Dream is an artistic cooperation between Sixfingers Theatre and the Norwegian Ulvetegn Teater. The production is made together with the City Theatre of Turku, which hosts the show. Midwinter Dream had its premiere in 22.11.2007 in the City Theatre. In 2009 and 2010 the puppets and stage design of this performance have been exhibited in Näkymätön käsi – Suomalainen nukketeatteri -exhibition in Teatterimuseo, Helsinki.

The Team

Direction: Lars Wingård

Script: Ishmael Falke

Puppets: Iisa Tähtinen

Stage desing: Johanna Latvala

Music: Roosa Halme

Light design: Pete Suominen

Performers: Ishmael Falke, Elina Putkinen, Maiju Tainio

Extract from a review in Turun Sanomat (23.11.2007):

"Script writer Ishmael Falke has successfully picked few of the national epos's characters and plot lines, and arranged them for the purpose of his puppet show."

"The beautiful and dreary puppets made by Iisa Ilona Tähtinen fit well within Johanna Latvala's design of scenery, which reminds of technology's dirty backyard. A clean, innocent swamp and a humanity eating metallic city are palced side by side on the stage. As if
Blade Runner would encounter Suomi-Filmi."

Photo up page: Ishmael Falke; other photos: Iisa Tähtinen