Violence, sexuality and religion are only a few of the deep themes Antti Hietala's plays deal with. In his works history and the present are equally tangible and a bright, revealing light is focused on the darker side of the human mind. Hietala's theatrical language is deceptively simple, but carefully thought out.
Hietala has been involved with Q-Teatteri, one of the most important independent thetre groups in Finland, since its foundation, and was the theatre's artistic director until 2023. Besides writing his own plays he has adapted novels from such authors as Dostoyevsky and Alfred Döblin for stage and directed Shakespeare's and Chekhov's plays. His play Lovely People received the Lea Award for the best Finnish play of 2014.
The Red Horse (Tulipunainen hevonen, 2012)
3 F, 4 M
In a space provided by a church, Kosti leads a Circle of Love, where lonely people can come without any sort of spiritual obligations. He offers wounded souls support and mutual caring. But when external pressures threaten the group, Kosti starts making more and more forceful use of his power, and the circle takes on the characteristics of a cult. Meanwhile, Kosti tries to atone for his secret past and find peace from the memories that haunt him.
Antti Hietala’s play is a dark yet compelling and bracing plunge into guilt and grace. Viewers are rarely left unmoved by its poignant characters and mood of tangible suspense.
Premiered at Q-Teatteri, September 13, 2012.
The play has been translated into English.
Lovely People (Ihanat ihmiset, 2014)
2 F, 2 M
A married couple has been partying and brought a young girl home with them. During the night the girl overdoses and the couple has to decide what to do. Later the girl's brother arrives to find out what really happened that night. But does anyone really know the truth?
The play complicates the matters by showing several variations of the situation. Scenes repeat themselves with different outcomes and the truth becomes more and more elusive. The choices people make and their consequenses come to life in an urgent and vivid way.
But I could tell from the look on your face that something had happened. I could tell from the look on your face that you’re alone; that no one is ever going to be able to help you. It was touching.
Oh, you were touched.
Yes. You were lying there next to the scooter and you raised your head a little and even though you looked right at me, I could sense that you weren’t seeing me.
I don’t remember that.
Yes. It was an amazing moment.
The play premiered at Q-Teatteri, September 18, 2014. It won the Lea Award for the best Finnish play of the year.
The play has been translated into English, French and Swedish.