Review and Photos: FOMO by Ryhmisnuoret, the Youth of The Group Theatre
FOMO - Directing and script adaption: Jonna Wikström, Staging and Costume design: Paula Koivunen, Sound design and music adaption: Markus Bonsdorff, Choreographer: Soile Ojala, Lighting design: Mia Jalerva, Video design: Tytti Junna ja Suvimarja Halmetoja, Director's assistants: Siiri Karjula ja Lasse Viitamäki, Producer: Noora Lattunen, Singing teacher: Anna Suoninen
Nea Hokkanen, Edit Viljamaa, Matias Löfberg, Myrsky Virmavirta, Iida Lampela, Saana Miettinen, Siru Summanen, Sara-Inari Pohjonen, Marie Vilkki, Jesse Gyllenbögel, Saggad Muhammed, Milana Novokmet, Janette Hirvonen, Anastassia Suhhareva, Masha Suhhareva, Zaher Husseini, Javid Panahi ja Anna Burakova
"FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) aspires to look at how the World has changed for the young people in 25 years"
The first thing I notice in the show with gladness is the sylin' clothes the youngsters are wearing that remind us of the 90s and that are-- unfortunately or not-- back in fashion again. So, the costume design by Paula Koivunen is great!
The scenic images of the performance are from early on very well balanced and the choreographical elements are in a flow and on point: the performers move as planned and the way they're placed on the stage in each scene is harmonious and well planned, so we don't get distracted by wondering if someone's at their right place or not, for everything seems to be at fit.
The introducing of the historic, yet hysteric men -scene's highlights are definitely the excellent mimicking of the pulling out the organs and the physical and choreographical elements of the men in the hats at the end and how they moved in a group. Also, how the performers transform the whole of the stage and the atmosphere in the Witch-scene just by moving rapidly in a group, first in a circle-like motion and finally into a row, wearing hoods. The pacing of their foots also gives a nice rhythm to the spoken text too. Also, how one of the men called John Harvey Kellogg, on top of his sexual hysteria, did indeed invent the Kellogg's corn flake cereals that are spoken about and later on gently throwed at the audience by him: something's been mentioned about and then it's surprisingly brought on stage. Very good!
All of the youth do even the smallest of roles with a dedication, I saw, throughout the show. One of the examples in terms of a hilarious supporting role was the image of the manhood; the dad, who dedicatedly walked on stage with the fish, not for a second going off character, later on in the show. Well done!
Then, we move through the oddly refreshing middle-finger video to the F*ck You -song and a musical scene-- and I get confused: the hat men, on whom the hate was earlier laid on, are still on stage, but the middle fingers aren't thrown at them, they're thrown at us. But why? At least earlier the audience was intently agreeing with the radio hosts, dissing the hysteric men of the history, but now the performers do the F*ck You song at us? Why? It would have been more suitable and less confusing if the dispute between the audience and the characters on stage would have happened earlier on in a way or another; to show that we are worth dissing for, in terms of fiction, of course.
As I wrote earlier, there indeed is some fine rehearsed movement: the uppercut-hit was amazing after the rap scene!
In the Ei anneta mulkkujen voittaa (Let's not let the d*ck heads win) musical scene there would have been more enjoyable tensions, forces and statuses to look at if the two of the main singers wouldn't have been so close to each other, near at the end and otherwise too.
The monologues at the radio FOMO-- that's theme tune at times got a little annoying, but hey, they get so in real life too-- are very fine each one as the actors find the space on the chair and time and peace to tell their characters' stories, to which many of us can relate to in a way or another for sure. And that is important in theatre.
The Girls' Locker room -scene would have been even better if there would have been a clear line where the girls would have stood to represent the mirror; in real life it is not so, of course, but in a theatrical sense small details like these make the whole show.
Also, the dance scenes were so symbolic and out-of-reality in other scenes that in this scene too I would have loved to see the guys' heads rhythming the choreo, or something alike instead of just-- quite in random I'd say--going in hide. The realistic and symbolic mix attempts in this scene weren't so well balanced, I think.
Another example to this was the drug scene: there was a little effect in terms of the shadow theatre, which they used, where the one guy who is offered a drug is a little bit smaller than the others: but just a little bit... Just so that we end up wondering, distractingly, if it's meant to be so or not. I also would have wanted to see how the effect is brought to the end, so that the final hand that hands out the drug would have been bigger than the guy. In my opinion it's either all in or all out, if you want to use any kind of effects; here it was used just a little, on the borderline of realism, which was slightly confusing to a keen eye.
To talk about realism, there were some great scenes in that sense: I loved seeing how the youth played Overwatch, how the group chat and Yodel was on fire on the screen animation and how the Instagram shots were showed on the background straight away after snapping the photos. By the way, the dialogue around the "time to start up the conversation in the dm" was too relatable.
The Party scene with the cool light deisgns by Mia Jalerva was for sure one of the top notch -scenes in the performance! Very well thought out scenery image, in which everyone played along, knowing what they were doing. It was mesmerizing.
Talking about balancing the stage and the scenes, it was awesome how one of the guys in one scene jumped off the couch and laid on the floor, and the first guy who before had been on foot took his place. Excellent balancing, which happened alot in this performance and which I'm very happy about!
In the scenes where some of the youth either sung or spoke in their native language, telling stories, were impacting and the young get into and act the emotions very well, even though we wouldn't understand the language. Loved it!
All in all, FOMO was a great show and the actors' work in this was anything but lazy. The storyline focuses on the variance of the happenings of the life of the youth that actually deepening into any of them intensively, which is a good choise. The Youth of The Group Theatre enjoy being on a stage without a doubt, and so they're enjoyable to watch too!
Article: Rosanna Liuski
Photos: Veeti Hautanen