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Review: Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Theatre Kultsa is a classic piece well done as it promises

Review: Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Theatre Kultsa is a classic piece well done as it promises

I was invited to see the Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Theatre Kultsa. The crew of 6 people have constructed the whole thing themselves from props to the upholstery of the sofa and greatly so.

The set design is believable and finely simple, fitting to the story line that it'd be our lead Barney's (adorably timid role work, Rasmus Blomqvist) mother's home. The interior design is 50s inspired and the play itself is set in the late 60s early 70s, which works. Even though they talk about American Cities one can imagine everything happen in Helsinki, Finland, which is also good - or then it was just me but nevertheless I enjoeyd it.

The set is intense because nothing changes; time jumps happens in the minds of the audience with the help of a lighting. The director Marko Wilksman also did great job in directing different kinds of movements to our three different ladies. Elaine (by attentive and fiery Rosa-Mariia Karlsson) sits and drinks, occasionally gets up and is about-to leave (no further spoilers). Bobbi (by quirky and active Veera Kaukola) on the other hand is like a squirrel and can't sit still or be without something in her hand. Jeanette (by Laura Puronen whose diction is excellent for the old style of the dialogue) then sits, covers herself with her bag and - thank god - uses the chair set on the side of the stage. Like Checkhov's gun but used in the final act, fine enough.

Like I meantioned there, the text is oldish and the crew has seemingly made a choice that it is In Focus. In the dialogue there are good pauses and things are emphasized well so that the audience was kept in the flow throughout if one could focus on the story. Some may think there were boring bits but I myself enjoy watching a show so keenly that I keep myself entertained with a good script and skillfull actors like we had. In the dialogue there could have been even more pauses for thoughts that we could actually experience the things the characters say - with them!

There could have been a little more details in the acting/directing, for example I saw Barney fluffing the pillows just a few times after he'd explained how important it is to him that everything stays as if untouchable in his mother's home. So the same thing could have been done even more times, even a small stroke towards the pillows so that the audience could read from a simple gesture the thoughts he had spoken before about the tidyness. So little gestures here and there that tell the story of the character - that I would have wanted to see more.

I also think that there were clear chemistries and attitudes Barney had towards our ladies: Elaine was the most attractive, Bobbie was intriguing and fun company and Jeanette was a long time friend Barney cared for. My favorite parts were how Elaine drunk up the hard liquor (and the motive behind it) and how demisexually Barney talked and acted while Elaine was ready to fuck. The contrast was good! In Bobbie's part I enjoyed the very last 5 or 10ish minutes before the intermission (no spoilers) and overall how Bobbie couldn't stop talking - it was very annoying so it worked well. And what it comes to Jeanette I enjoyed listening her talk, she had a great voice and perhaps the best thought-pauses where we could see her thoughts from her face. Also the moral of the story which emerged thought Jeanette's mental desease spoke loudly to me on a personal level.

All in all Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Theatre Kultsa is a text and story orientated play that the actors have set well on stage with a minimalistic approach and good group work. I can recommend this because when there's a great, classic text you can hardly go wrong!




From This Author - Rosanna Liuski

Rosanna Liuski has been passionate about theatre for the past decade. Her biggest achievements as an actor have been in Rambo at Finnish National Theatre, directed by Elina Kilkku, 2015; SKAM... (read more about this author)


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