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The Red Nose company has yet again done great job in terms of bringing good lessons throughout the art of clownery for the audiences to wonder and ponder!


Script, directed by, on stage: Timo Ruuskanen & Tuukka Vasama
Based on the original idea by Mary Shelley
Light and sound design: Jere Kolehmainen
Costumes: Paula Koivunen
Production: Inka Virtanen, Maija Kühn, Niina Bergius / Red Nose Company

I had the honor to go see Frankenstein by The Red Nose company at Aleksanteri's Theatre on its Premiere! The company has tried to get it on stage for 5 times and finally they got lucky and so did we.

In a nutshell Frankenstein is an entertaining, though minimalistic show with simple, yet important themes. Its target audience is children, though adults can enjoy it alike for there are recognisable songs and scenic jokes on living in a student studio.

Let's get into the show: somehow in the very beginning I got the idea that it's going to tell about music. How music is a common language for all people. And in the ending the theme was truly brought up as a symbol of comfort and seeing the other, being there for them. Well done, even though I can't explain how I got the notion.

Now, details, which is what I do. The clowns makeup were well done in terms of expressing their roles' persona and status quos: Tuukka Vasama had somewhat insecure and submissive roles for example the scientist that ends up to be a prey and a student whereas Timo Ruuskanen had a monster and a feisty teacher.

The status and persona was seen in the makeup. Vasama's makeup lacked upper lid liner and the eyebrows were drawn upwards. Timo's eyes were fully lined and eyebrows were dark and low. And it worked!

At the start when our clowns stepped on stage we saw that they're strong professionals of their field. Physique was all about being present in the moment and reacting, a little overly so, which fit the picture, gaining energy from the audience. "This is a seminar already", they admitted when I had taken the conversation of just saying hi between the clowns and audience a little bit further.I recall I said thank you when they welcomed us.

Music was a good element and brought rhythm to the show. Nevertheless I would have wanted to hear it in small sections whenever a character or scenery changed. For me it wasn't enough when they just told who they are or where they're headed to, what kind of scene, especially when music was already introduced. I do understand that too much is too much, but I want to emphasize on small samples, as if sound effects - it would have worked.

The light effects were great and actually brought us from place to place, especially on the mountains of one scene. The show's plainess and narrative visuality in the scene where was said "their feet were hanging above clouds" at the same time when smoke was sprung in the air to form clouds was impressive and beautifully delicate!

Naturally the reason behind the audience's interest laid in the performers who believed in their story fully.

In addition to good rhythm there were repetition of fun gestures for example grinning and holding hands in a zombie position, which brought fun paceing in the 1 hour show.

The Red Nose company has yet again done great job in terms of bringing good lessons throughout the art of clownery for the audiences to wonder and ponder!

There is something I have to mention, which I have noticed is good content in any story-based performance, but especially if you want to keep audience's interest and expectancy: describe something and then make it happen visually. Whether it is saying that the monster grinned and then it does that or saying that now point you fingers and make one electric... It just works! In drama comedy I'd imagine it to work somewhat like this: "Nothing's going to fall in, we have a safe glass roof" and then something just falls in. Make audience wait something and then do it. Oh, I've heard the theory that do the opposite too. It'd be quite hilarious if something just dug up under the carpet.

Text: Rosanna Liuski
Photo: Tero Ahonen

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