Challenge is the word

Challenge is the word. It was something of a challenge moving to Helsinki five years ago. And that was only the start. Then going on stage for the first time! A challenge again and now? Being the director. Challenge is only the first name. ”What am I doing” is a recurring question and fear a constant companion. And all these what’s and how’s? Then my guardian angels arrive, people who have been around a while and know all the things I don’t know – and that’s a lot – they are there and they help. People like Zoë, Demian, Graham and David. Thank you! And the gifted cast and all the fun. Thank you all again. Rehearsals are really a scary pleasure! You do not know what is going to happen – but it does and it’s almost like magic.

The Finnish Play seemed immediately familiar; I renamed it Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf - light. Same thing. Two couples meet, drink and say unpleasant things. Truths are revealed but who’s the winner? Gerald the pompous and bullying Brit or young Heidi, who represents Finnish sisu? They fight it out and a lovely – and nasty – fight it is! And why does Eileen stay with Gerald? And did Norman (poor Norman) really play the guitar? And what does Heidi see in him? Questions and more questions.

And now we’re getting closer and closer. Opening night is on 1 June and that’s just three weeks away! Fear strikes again. But I’m confident. The actors are beginning to know their lines, there’s flow and energy and it’s a lot of fun. And we have a fantastic production team! What would we have done without you?

I’m eagerly waiting for the moment when we are at our venue, when things are in place, the actors on stage and a full house waiting in anticipation. The lights go up and it’s action!

I will be sitting at the back. I will be sitting at the back at every performance and will just love it. The whole thing. You all!

Ulf Persson

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Heidi (Sini Viitanen) steps up to meet Gerald's (Graham Lees) challenge.