BWW Review: SAPIENS at the Finnish National Theatre
Based on the Book of Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind), dramaturg/script by Minna Leino.
Narrator Jarmo Heikkinen, On Stage Hanna Ahti, Iida Kuningas, Aksinja Lommi, Markku Maalismaa, Karin Pacius, Ilja Peltonen, Heikki Pitkänen, Johannes Purovaara, Antti Pääkkönen, Juha Varis
Directing and choreography: Anni Klein and Jarkko Partanen (W A U H A U S)
Set Design: Samuli Laine (W A U H A U S)
Rarely after a show you feel very energized and philosophical at the same time. Sapiens gave me just that experience.
Sapiens got its premiere in Autumn 2019 but was so succesfull that it got more shows in Spring 2020. To put it short I totally recommend this experience, especially if you loved the book or if you love the endearing documentaries narrated by Jarmo Heikkinen.
The show and its coreography is very well rehearsed and things go in flow. Anni Klein and Jarkko Partanen have done a great job. The movements and dance gets its peak in the Bakery and Economic Growth scene with the groovy, original music made by Jussi Matikainen, which was the most flowy scene I've seen in a while in theatre. There was something in that scene, rhythm, energy and timing, that I highly appreciate in theatre and would love to see more.
The idea to put on masks to all the actors, even the stage and light men, was very good. The show does a full circle and because it doesn't have intermission, takes you very deeply into the story. I loved it when the hay grew and how the clouds were formed in the sky from a fog machine and it started raining.
Most of all, Sapiens is highly informative theatre piece that offers a lot to learn from. In a verbal way naturally, but things are simplified and brought on stage very finely: the monkey is offered money, for example, in exhange for bananas, but it doesn't understand the concept of money. The gestures, in this and other scenes as well, were very simple, but they form a great big picture, an experience.
If there's something to criticize, it is that the speaking up of the sapiens happened a little abruptly-- to me for example. It took a little time for me to understand that it actually started to talk and so I missed what it was saying. Also the gesturing of it was very good in general, round, big movements, but there were too many of them for my taste: it became a little hasty comapred to the relaxed voice of Heikkinen.
Honestly, a succesfull, detailed spectacle like this where everything is thought out is very hard to review. I have nothing else to say than if you got a chance, go see it!
Article: Rosanna Liuski
Photos: Katri Naukkarinen