Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 13 Sunken Years explores family ties in an isolated rural setting
- Anna Burnside
- 29 July 2014
This article is from 2014
The drama is a collaboration between Finnish National Theatre, Stellar Quines and Lung Ha
Fifteen years after moving to Scotland, Finnish-born director Maria Oller is bringing a piece of work from her native land to the Scottish stage. A co-production between Finnish National Theatre, Stellar Quines and Lung Ha, 13 Sunken Years is set in an isolated rural community. The story of three generations of women, it could just as easily be set in the Shetlands, Orkneys or Outer Hebrides as a Finnish village with multiple dots above the ‘A’s.
Muriel Romanes of Stellar Quines suggested working with Oller on a Finnish play: after much reading and a couple of dry runs, the pair decided on 13 Sunken Years, named best play in Finland in 2012. It has been translated for this production by Eva Buchwald, a dramaturg at Finnish National Theatre who has also adapted the script to incorporate the casting of two of Lung Ha’s disabled actors.
What appeals, says Oller, is ‘the harshness of the climate and nature, the way people in remote places are always dreaming but have to face reality.' Is the big, unknown world better than the restricted one at home? And are the ties of family stronger than the desire to break out and explore? These are universal issues, whether they unfold in a semi-detached bungalow or a sauna.
Assembly Rooms, 0844 693 3008, 11–24 Aug (not 18), 2.05pm, £13 (£9).