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BWW Finland Review: TRENCH ROAD Stream by The Red Nose Company

All in all the Trench Road was an uplifting show. The team has done great work in bringing the book on stage but also in maintaining the entertaining connection.

BWW Finland Review: TRENCH ROAD Stream by The Red Nose Company
Mike and Zin

WORKING GROUP

Cast: Timo Ruuskanen and Tuukka Vasama
Director by: Otso Kautto
Dramaturgy: Timo Ruuskanen and Tuukka Vasama
Text: Kari Hotakainen
English translation: Nely Keinänen
Costume Designer: Tuomas Lampinen
Light Design and Touring Manager Jere Kolehmainen

"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 loved the show. It was invited to various festivals and has been touring Finland ever since."

I had the honor to see the Red Nose Company's Trench Road (Juoksuhaudantie), based on a book by Kari Hotakainen, directed by Otso Kautto.

Tuukka Vasama and Timo Ruuskanen are the clown pair on stage, named Mike and Zin. They have also done the dramaturgy work and are clearly professionals in clownery. Their movements and gestures are polished and they have good connection with each other. Also the improv parts are quite in flow, though you can see a little smirk every now and then.

The dialogue includes beautiful, detailed parts from the book. Also fun notes on acting, for example how one acts by the "small inner ways".

It's just a shame there was no live audience because of Covid. Actors get such a spur of energy from live audience, especially in clownery, which is based on reflecting the audience's reactions back - and onto each other.

It was fun that the clowns suggested that here comes a part you can act at home. I was so into it but he never said when to start. But nevertheless it was good that the audience was noted through the screen. Also how it was zoomed to the legs when it was uttered how "his legs shook".

It was seen from the actors that the lack of audience didn't lit them up as much as - for example - in the Vimeo-trailer where they clearly sparked!

The show is neatly timed, by which I mean that there are different parts we can follow: music, a little movement over the stage and so on. In my opinion the beginning was a little too long in terms of the running. I would have wanted to see the stage "shown" a little more. But I am quite sure it was because of the introduction into the show we needed if we were viewing it from up close, live.

However I think there was more diverse usage in actors work in the end than in the beginning. I felt there was more to eye at, more imagination at hand. The beginning dragged a little. But still, it could be because of the stream and not being there live, feeding the clowns' energies as well, experiencing the show in symbiosis.

And naturally: if you have read the book it's going to be a better show for you because you wonder what parts they've taken instead of focusing on the plot as well.

All in all the Trench Road was an uplifting show. The team has done great work in bringing the book on stage but also in maintaining the entertaining connection with the audience, even through the stream. Together we can ponder the running journey.

Text: Rosanna Liuski
Photo: Red Nose Company


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