Festival preview: The Outsider
Magical theatre performance from a new perspective
This article is from 2015.
Finnish performer Janne Raudaskoski's new show The Outsider fuses traditional clowning technique with magic and modern multimedia to examine one man's attempt to make sense of a peculiar new environment.
Raudaskoski introduces his alter-ego : ‘A naive character, not of this world, emerges onto the stage and sees people for the first time. His alien eye experiences the extraordinary nature of the human world and searches for good and bad examples of humanity. The show uses humour to help communicate serious issues,and it's also touching. I am in the solo lead role and also perform all the walk-ons, so altogether I am performing forty roles – some of these at the same time, which is definitely magic.'
Raudaskoski believes there is a different rhythm in European work than British or American. 'It is slower,’ he says. 'But this is not as traditional as other European pieces. My work moves between art and entertainment: I try to break the boundaries between the two forms. The performance asks audiences to consider questions around humanity and think about their challenges and passions, no matter what their cultural roots and backgrounds are.'
Raudaskoski is heavily informed by 1930s movie stars, who played with the pathos of the underdog. 'Charlie Chaplin made people laugh and cry, though here the character is more influenced by Buster Keaton,’ he says. 'A stony face fits better with the technological tricks. My aim is to take the silent film imagery and present it in the modern day, in full frosted colour with different special effects.'
But, he admits, there is something of his own personality reflected here. 'I recognise in myself the feeling of being an outsider in society,' he states. 'I also look at the events in the world with wonder, but with my eyes very much open as my character does.'
New Town Theatre, 220 0143, 8–30 Aug (not 18), 5.30pm, £12 (£10). Previews 6 & 7 Aug, £8.