The Mechanical Swan – Extinction Paradise

Contemporary puppetry about fruitful childlessness

Extinction Paradise is a breathless deep-dive and shamanistic trip into the myth and nature of childlessness. The play debuted in February 2021 via live stream from theater Tehdas Teatteri; the live debut was held in Helsinki’s Koko Teatteri in October 2021.

“Hello, I’m Eeva. Ding dong, ding dong. I am the guide of the biological clocktower. I spread my legs like the hands of a clock over this dying city.”

Eeva is living a life that other people think is lacking something important. But the hopes and dreams of others are not shared by Eeva, and her story expands against the expectations of society into a mystery and celebration the size of the entire universe. One of the protagonists of the tale is the fast-pulsing Baltic Sea and its teeming muddy life cycles, which Eeva studies professionally.

This puppet show for adults pours forth sharp insights into the topic of voluntary childlessness and nurtures them into a visual, poetic, and grotesque world. Everything looks different, when you stop considering reproduction to be the main responsibility of humankind.

The Mechanical Swan is a living ensemble gathered together on a show-by-show basis by puppet theater director Alma Rajala, the impetus of which was the desire to develop a new kind of performance language. In Extinction Paradise, interesting experimental theater art creators come together in completely novel ways.

Working group:

Script: Reetta Niemelä
Dramaturgy and direction: Alma Rajala
Puppets and set design: Heini Maaranen
Choreography: Lee Lahikainen
Performers: Merja Pöyhönen, Riina Tikkanen, Petriikka Pohjanheimo
Lighting design: Nadja Räikkä
Sound design: Tuuli Kyttälä
Costume design: Noora Salmi
Producer: Moona Tikka
Graphic design, video projection, photography: Jussi Virkkumaa
Translation: Kasper Salonen

Ensemble Mekaaninen Joutsen: Sukupuuttoparatiisi (2021) Kuva: Jussi Virkkumaa
Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa
Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

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