Strange Land is coming to Chelsea Theatre from 26th – 28th May and I caught up with Sini Tuulia to chat about her characters and see what she would say to promote their amazing production.
Tell me about the character(s) you play and what you find to be most interesting about the role(s).
have three different roles (excluding the full company scenes): Dancing girl, Nurse, and Evalina the main leader of the revolt. As one of the dancing girls I get to be part of the world that the war hasn’t yet touched as a young, naive girl whose main worry is to be liked by her friends ad obviously boys.
As Nurse I get to play a complete different character, as she’s utterly and completely exposed to the war and all that it does to the men in it. This allows me to explore how the war perhaps secondarily would have affected the nurses; they are not in the front line with the guns, but they have to deal with the aftermath, with all the death and sorrow and despair. Compared to the dancing girl in the first scene, the abstract, dream like qualities inspired by German expressionism are much more present in this hospital scenario. The jump from lightly heightened naturalism to this world, where scary and monstrous things are expected, is quite shocking for the audience but really inspiring for acting; playing with physicality and the expressionist idea of sharing your inner world on stage is in a much bigger part than any previous productions that I have been part of.
Evalina, the main leader of the revolt has been the most interesting and challenging part of these three. I get to work with calming, direct energy but the objective is still to get the crowd inspired and ready to leave the safeness of everyday life through the revolt. The most rewarding part has been creating a past for the characters and playing with how it effects the present moment and the speeches. All the characters are so different physically and emotionally and exploring with these has been the most inspiring part of the production.
What’s your favourite part of the production?
I’ve really enjoyed working with new text, new music and devising physical theatre. It’s challenging and exciting to work with cleaverly written text and music.
Is there another role that you could see yourself playing? If so, which one and why that part?
The expressionist influence on the show (protagonist that the narrative is based around) but the message of the show is actually about everything else that happens around her, the audience gets emotionally attached to her which enhances the political message. This is why I think anyone could basically be playing everyone, but the roles that we have now are the most suitable for us all.
What’s been the best part of being involved on the production?
I’ve enjoyed working and devising with such a big cast. The amount of talent that I am surrounded with allows such a creative and supportive atmosphere to have fun and work in. The musical arrangements and new songs by Tim Gilvin are amazing, and singing those has been so so enjoyable. Working with Tim, Cathy and Jo is and has always been creatively and intellectually stimulating and enjoyable. Such a lovely process with such lovely and funny people!
What would you say to potential audience members to encourage them to come along and see you?
A great amount of young aspiring talent. The writing and direction of this new musical is revolutionary, emotional and intellectually challenging with great music. The dance style is an amalgamation of traditional and contemporary moves made relevant for today’s audiences.
Thanks Sini, have fun with the show!