We kindly inform that your browser is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Please switch to a more secure browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge.

About Pleasure and pleasure

I thought about sex when Annika called me and asked whether I would be interested in joining Oblivia for their piece Pleasure. I like sex, but making something about that kind of pleasure on stage does not interest me. Obviously, Annika was not talking about anything like that, and eventually, I said yes. (It’s rare that I’m asked to join a working group. It’s a pleasure when it happens!)

I wanted to work with Oblivia. And it has been a pleasure. With Annika and Timo, we’ve known each other since the early 2000s, and I’ve seen many of Oblivia’s shows. I thought that we are all seasoned, been there, done that. Oblivia is quite shameless on stage; they walk their own path. The first days in the studio proved this right. The three of us acted like old collaborators. It was easy and smooth, things just happened, and each of us got to say what we wanted to say and were heard.

Working with Oblivia means working abroad. For me it means travelling by train, which I enjoy very much. In December last year we were rehearsing Pleasure in Bremen. The third morning I did a Covid-19 test in my hotel room. I didn’t have any symptoms, it was a routine we performed every second day. This time the result was positive. The rest of the group had Verdrängen Verdrängen Verdrängen performances at the end of the week, and I was afraid I had infected them all. Fortunately, I hadn’t. 

Before I began travelling back home, Oblivia took great care of me: food and wine appeared on my door, messages asking how I was doing. I spent my symptomless illness in my lonely room but I was not left alone.

During the process of making Pleasure I wrote this text about my mother:

After breakfast, she bakes a blueberry pie. She measures out all the ingredients for the dough into the bowl of a universal mixer and turns on the reliable twenty-year-old machine. Then she spreads the dough in a pie dish, takes the blueberries out of the freezer, spreads them on top of the dough, mixes a filling of whipped cream, eggs, sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and pours it over the blueberries. She puts the pie in the oven, does the dishes and cleans up the kitchen.

She lies down for a moment on the living room sofa. A sweet, delicious smell fills the apartment, and saliva fills her mouth. She lets her eyes close and imagines an afternoon coffee break.

This time she uses the percolator. Grinding the dark-roasted coffee beans into a coarse powder, she sucks the strong smell of coffee deep into her nostrils. She fills the silver-coloured percolator with fresh water and measures out just the right amount of dark coffee into the filter compartment. She switches on the power to the brewer. How she loves the smell of freshly ground coffee! Soon the percolator starts its familiar burping, and she lingers for a moment to watch the coffee splashing into the transparent knob on the lid of the brewer. 

When the coffee is ready, she slices a lovely piece of tender pie onto a plate and takes her favourite mug from the cupboard. It’s bright yellow, like the day through the kitchen window! She pours the dark, fragrant, steaming liquid into the mug. Finally, she pours in a generous dollop of cream, puts the cream back in the fridge and sits down at the table. She glances at the dark green fir trees in the garden to see if she can spot a squirrel hopping nimbly from branch to branch or a coal tit turning its head sharply as it watches its surroundings. Then she lifts the mug to her lips and sips the coffee. Time stops. Mmm.

The egg timer rings. She gets up and goes to the kitchen to get the pie from the oven. She is smiling.

And one more thing: a quote from Rebecca Solnit (Whose story is this, 2019):

Because pleasure is part of what gets us through and helps us do what we’re here to do.

Oblivia’s Pleasure is a third part of a trilogy called Emotions and Politics. Pleasure had its premiere in Stuttgart, Germany, in February 2023, and is performed in Helsinki, in Theater Viirus 8.-14.12.2023.