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Tallinn Treff 2023: Ridiculousness

Aura of Puppets, Turu Linnateater
Antti-Juhani Manninen
Antti-Juhani Manninen
Tallinn Treff 2023
November 2nd 2022 in Turku City Theatre

A very unusual comedy sketch show from the distant past and the future

Concept, sound design and on stage Antti-Juhani Manninen 
Dramaturgic adviser Merja Pöyhönen 
Light design Jarkko Forsman 
Technician Arttu Aarnio 
Photos Jussi Virkkumaa 
Production Antti-Juhani ManninenTurku City Theatre and Aura of Puppets

Combining puppetry and new performance art, Ridiculousness is strongly inspired by medieval Italian Pulcinella puppet tradition, centered on a little strange creature called Pulcinella: an antihero of the common folk who sees the weak points of those in power as well as the ridiculousness of surrounding society’s requirements for individuals – and does not hesitate to speak out.

“In Pulcinella’s tradition, improvisation, precision, sound and rhythmicity are at the heart of everything. In this piece, tradition and hand puppets are in present, but they have found surprising new – evolved or demented, who knows –  forms, facets and shapes within themselves. However, the way tradition offers a street performer the opportunity to constantly rearrange and reinvent scenes and lines on the go has been appropriated as such into the heart of Ridiculousness. And Pulcinella’s rare acoustic human voice manipulation techniques here find exciting new forms in relation to their digital counterparts,” says Antti-Juhani Manninen of his solo work.

Ridiculousness strips the theatre of all the superfluous; all the pre-chewed-up, all the narrative and all the unambiguity. Nevertheless it does not neglect entertainment, freedom, nor especially humanity. Ridiculousness is what connects us humans. It enables us to relate to each other and our shortcomings with warmth and understanding and with a big old pile of shared love.

Antti-Juhani Manninen, an internationally active puppeteer, sound designer and composer, has been creating intimate, intense and uncompromising stage works for 20 years.