Dirty Duckling: Ariadne – A Mess

17–31.3.2023, Turku, 21.–22.4.2023, Helsinki I

A puppetry solo by Dirty Duckling, specifically Merja Pöyhönen is a skillfully woven one-woman-mess with ugly puppets in the labyrinths of identities.

It’s not easy to be a Finn. The one without a decent history or self-esteem who looks like a potato. The one who can’t open their mouth and is better with moose than with people. I would change all my great genetic nature-relationships for even a little bit of Mediterranean cultural heritage and social skills. And I would sacrifice all that is or has ever been mine, if somebody like that, not like me, loved me back.

Ariadne – A Mess is a multi-emotional tragicomedy and a one woman puppetry show made out of identity questions,  ugly woven puppets with very big eyes and hearts and the antique myth of Ariadne (you know, the one with the ball of yarn, and the labyrinth, and the Minotaur…). The surrealistic text weaves together the stories from Minoan culture to Finnish quasi folklore and as a result we end up in the  labyrinth of roots and loves and overwhelming silences. This show is also its creator Merja Pöyhönens’ personal quest to learn ventriloquism and speak with as many voices as possible.

This long-awaited  premiere is about the thirtieth attempt of the trailblazer new-wave puppetry collective Kuuma Ankanpoikanen (Dirty Duckling) to make a perfect show in the magnificent field of puppetry art. 

“And then it’s emptiness. It’s the moment I have been dreaming about, but never believed it would actually come. The horizon doesn’t change even when I close my eyes as tight as a bottle before opening them again. Again. And again. Nothing appears. He is not here.”

Photo: Jesper Dolgov


10.2. 18:30 Work in Progress -performance Vakiopaine 11.2. 18:00 Work in Progress -performance Vakiopaine Kauppakatu 6, Jyväskylä Tickets: Holvi 17.3.2023 premiere Other performances 18.–31.3. Tehdas Theatre Itäinen Rantakatu, Turku Tickets from Tehdas

21.4. klo 19:30 22.4. klo 18:00 Solmu, Cirko – Centre for new Circus. Kaasutehtaankuja 1, Suvilahti, Helsinki As a part of Oh My Puppets! -mini festival. Tcikets 25€ / 15€ from Holvi and 30 min prior to the performance at the door.

Age recommendation: 14 + Duration: 1h Language: English

WORKING GROUP Merja Pöyhönen: concept, script, puppets, sound desing, productionEve Mäkitalo: puppets, production assistant Also assisted by Essi Santala (light design), Antti-Juhani Manninen (sound design), Hanne Lammi (puppets)

The perfomance has been supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Turku Theatre Foundation, Aura of Puppets.

Photo: Jesper Dolgov

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