Harlequin

WHEN: 7.6.2019 (World premiere)

WHERE: Hangö Teaterträff (7-8.6.2019), Tour(2020) Mad House Helsinki (29.1-1.2). Planned (but postponed due Covid): Sydhavn / Copenhagen, Tjarnarbio / Reykjavik and Festival Normal / Umeå (2020-2021).

WHO: Blaue Frau: Sonja Ahlfors, Joanna Wingren och gästperformer Nina M Matthis, ÖFA-kollektivet: Nadja Hjorton, Lisen Rosell, Amanda Apetrea, LOSTI collective: Hallveig Eiríksdóttir, Selma Reynisdóttir, Gígja Sara Björnsson. Also: Mira Svanberg, Irene Lehtonen, Ludvig Allén, Heidi Naakka, Simon Ceder, Kajsa-Lisa Larsson, Tanja Huld Levý, Johan Isaksson, Elina Tervonen

WHAT: Harlequin is a provocative and rampant all-evening-performance that will make a deep dive into romantic love. Inspired by the Harlequin novels, Blaue Frau (FI) & Nina Matthis (SE), ÖFA-kollektivet (SE) & LOSTI-collective (IS) examine love and relationships in our time.

In 2019, Harlequin novels had been being published in Scandinavia for 40 years. To celebrate this we wanted to create an artistic work that was inspired by Harlequin – the number one kiosk-literature of our time. It can seem like a odd choice for three feminist collectives to work with heteronormative, patriarchal, and naive Harlequin literature. However, we have approached the novels with genuine interest and tried to find an answer as to why it can be hard to live monogomously in a heteronormative way. Why do we dream – as enlightened and “woke” western feminists – about romantic love between two people? In the performance we want to problematize monogamy as an only prevalent relationship form. We ask ourselves what love and sex actually are from a psychological, physical, and philosophical persepective.

Harlequin premiered in Hangö Teaterträff festival in Finland in June 2019. The performance won the annual Antonia-prize. The prize is given every year to a performance that celebrates artistic courage and diversity. The jury stated that Harlequin celebrates diversity in all the possible ways; in its content, form, performers, and producers. The performance was seen as ambitious and considered both entertaining and challenging as it is humorous but also includes philosophical and critical references to monogamy, heterosexul love, relationships, and the world we live in.

The age-limit for the performance is 18. It will tour the Nordic countries during 2020 and 2021. 

PRESS REVIEWS:

Harlequin mixes the critique of monogamous relationships with a homage to Harlequin novels. The result is both gooey and festive.” Lasse Garoff – Ny Tid 

The performance’s daring and hysterically funny chaos shows that Blaue Frau remains the most courageous and interesting Finnish-Swedish performance collective.” Otto Ekman – HBL

PRESS PHOTO: Liina Aalto-Setälä

TRAILER: Alisa Javits