The audience plays a vital role in Normal Cake, Please, which is, as it were, a sequel to In the Nude, which was performed about fifteen years ago.
In In 2008, Finns, Latvians and Danes met at a hotel in Helsinki.
These three fictional characters had ended up pursuing a carousel together. The audience had the opportunity to get to the rest of the plot by following the monologues of the characters in the hotel rooms.
The pieces slammed together as members of the audience got to discuss what they heard and compare the stories to each other at the end of the presentation.
The name of the show was In the nude, and was intended to look at intimacy in the era of modern rootlessness.
Now, more than ten years later, these characters meet each other again, this time in the wake of a wedding at Paul’s Church. One of the characters has found the love of his life, and has invited his familiar friends from the carousel to his bestmans.
The name of the show is Normal Cake, Please, and it springs from the crisis of the middle age of its perpetrators, jokes a member of the working group, a performing artist and a writer Janne Saarakkala.
“It was already time for us to see what has happened to these characters over the years,” Saarakkala says.
A Danish theater maker is also involved Nina Larissa Bassett as well as a Latvian playwright Ivo Briediswho starred In the nude With Saarakkala more than ten years ago.
Bassett’s character Angela is experiencing a middle-aged crisis, and is wondering where and how to talk today. Briedis ’character, on the other hand, has grown up in an occupied country that, after the country’s re-independence, has embraced the ethos of freedom so that it is overwhelmed by it.
“He no longer knows what to believe,” Briedis says.
Saarakkala plays Leo, who is getting married to transmies Jack.
Leo has enjoyed freedom so much in his life that he is almost burnout because of it. Now he wants nothing more than to be as normal as possible.
Due to obsession, the normal twists into a strange spiral. That, in turn, raises the question of whether anyone or anything is ever normal.
Jack is played by a Canadian-Finnish comedian Jamie MacDonaldwho is the transmies themselves. MacDonald’s views have been key to creating this presentation, team members say.
“Through personal experience, I am quite aware of what is acceptable today and what is not.”
Fifteen years ago, it seemed that the boundaries between freedom and acceptable things would just continue to expand, working group members say. The recent decade has shown that it was an illusion.
“Freedom is no longer an issue! Now let’s talk about security. Liberal and conservative values are in sharp conflict with each other, ”says Saarakkala.
Curling up in molds creates security, but the question is whether molds end up in the shape of anyone.
“We ask how much of ourselves need to change in order to be happy,” MacDonald says.
The team members are silent. That’s it, crystallized.
As a stage is Paul’s Church in Vallila, Helsinki. Fictitious queer weddings have been received unreservedly in the church, team members say.
“I called another church when this was planned, and from there it was said to contact Paul’s Church. Vicar Kari Kanala welcomed us here very warmly, ”says Saarakkala.
The labyrinthine church with its various rooms and echoing church halls is a challenging working couple. The acoustics place limits on how the wedding ceremony is conducted.
“This co-star is a decent diva,” MacDonald sums up.
You will also see dancing in the hall and hear the Khazar pop accompanied by the organ. Drag artists are bustling, and the priest is the artist Raisa Omaheimo.
Audience is in the role of wedding guests in the performance. It’s about participatory performing arts, which may sound wild to many’s ears. However, there is no disgraceful involvement involved, the authors assure.
“The audience gets precise instructions on what is expected of them and what happens during the performance. No one is touched, no one has to get on stage, and there is no need to do any improvisation, ”says MacDonald.
In the show, guests are divided into four groups, each of whom gets to watch one of the characters prepare for the wedding.
Before the actual wedding ceremony, the audience gets to gossip about what they are experiencing with each other. The show ends with a tasting of the wedding cake, during which it is possible to gossip more, and the discussion of the big themes of the show will hopefully take off, the team members say.
The characters are naturally involved in the coffee.
“Usually the show ends with applause, the stage goes dark and the performers and the audience go in different directions. Now we get to hear what the audience has been thinking while watching the show, ”Barrett says.
The performance, produced by the Danish Uneasy Listening Society, is part of the Kapsäk Pride program at the Musical Theater, but the team members hope that people who may not be familiar with queer culture or otherwise celebrate Pride will arrive.
Next this month the show will be taken to Helsingør in Denmark and next year to Riga, Latvia.
“It will be interesting to see how the performance is interpreted in these different places. The interpretation of the state of freedom is likely to be different in each city, ”Bassett says.
Normal Cake, Please at St. Paul’s Church 1.7. at 6 pm, Fri 2.7. at 6 pm and Sun 4.7. at 3. Tickets are sold by Kapsäkki Music Theater.