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A party marathon, new rituals, cabaret vibes. A battle over the Amazon, the struggle for survival of art, and coded rice cookers. Social theatre, multimedia performing arts, and collective play. This, and much more, is headed your way – meet && Espoo Theatre’s new festival &Fest – Focus Gent.

The festival presents six current and varied performing arts productions from Belgium, all by major directors and hailing from of-the-moment theatres. The city of Gent’s values - united, offbeat, groundbreaking – are kin to &&’s values of seeking out newness, challenging the status quo, and coming together. Jointly, they are the inspiration for the festival.

&Fest – Focus Gent runs 5 - 28 March, with performances on both of &&’s stages, and at Tanssin Talo (Dance House Helsinki). The festival is made possible by Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, with The City of Gent, and Flanders State of Art.

PERFORMANCES

ONE SONG: Histoire(s) du Théâtre IV

A sporting event, a rock concert, or a dance marathon? Come and decide for yourself. In director Miet Warlop’s ONE SONG, one song is replayed over and over, yet nothing remains the same. The combination of intensive music and movement expands into a collective experience that leaves no one cold. The New York Times selected the performance as one of the best of 2022 – and not for nothing!

Antigone in the Amazon

A documentary about modern colonialism set in the Amazon, portraying a community’s fight against capitalism. Swiss theatre director Milo Rau’s work depicts ordinary people’s struggle for their land, and against environmental destruction. Documentation filmed in Brazil and an international cast create an allegorical play that reports a real-life story about political protest and collective heroism.

S 62° 58’, W 60° 39’  

Don’t let the numbers faze you – these coordinates transport you to a visually impressive and amusing location that welcomes all comers. Co-produced by &, this compelling physical theatre production is by Peeping Tom, one the world’s most widely acclaimed dance theatre companies. It's an apocalyptic metaphor for survival, the work examines actors’ personal survival, amidst the crises of our day.

Cuckoo

Two decades ago, South Korea endured an economic crash, causing mass unemployment, rising inequality, suicides, and loneliness. Cuckoo weaves the theme into a dialogue between the director Jaha Koo and programmed smart rice cookers. Jaha and rice cookers Hana, Duri, and Seri unpack South Korea's past, blending bittersweet recollections with and thoughts on happiness, economic crises and death.

Funeral

Ontroerend Goed is remembered by our audiences for their pandemic era production TM – performed, and experienced, one-on-one. Now they bring us Funeral, an Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 winning work reimagining funerals and other traditional ceremonies. Funeral is a dramatic, gently interactive ritual created collaboratively with a small group of audience members.

Swing

A massive audience favourite, Circus Ronaldo arrives to Espoo for the sixth time. And now, a new generation emerges front and centre, with Nanosh Ronaldo leading the way. Acrobats, trapeze and fire artists swing along with musicians and jugglers creating a 1940’s cabaret, awash with plush red velvet and arrogant jazz. A guaranteed hit with the whole family!

&TALKS

A festival is not a festival without profound conversations. We organize three &TALKS that deal with the relationship between theater and society. The city of Gent’s values - united, offbeat, groundbreaking – are the inspiration to these discussions.

UNITED – Out of the Bubble - a seminar about innovative and creative citizen participation

5.3.2024 14.00-17.00
Kupla (Kauppamiehentie 7)

The seminar's structure commits to local participation and inclusive ways of engaging citizens of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. This also aligns with the spirit of the priorities picked by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU for spring 2024: culture and participation.

More info and registration

OFFBEAT – A conversation about art and activism at a time of ecological crisis

9.3.2024 16.45-17.30
Ahjo, Espoo Cultural Hall

The relationship between art and activism becomes closer and more heightened in a world living with an ecological crisis. Art can both question and reimagine the world we live in. What can activists achieve by making art? Join the conversation after the performance of Antigone in the Amazon at the Espoo Cultural Centre at 4.45pm (approx. starting ti

GROUNDBREAKING - Troubled times – a seminar about theater vs. politics

15.3.2024 15.00-18.00
&Revontuli (Revontulentie 8)

In the last five years, we have seen right-wing populist parties and coalitions getting more visibility and power, which has led to a shift in the whole political field. At the same time, also in Western societies we see an increased tendency among politicians and officials to intervene with the content of art. The times cries for theatre makers

More info and registration

INTROS

The Intros, featuring special guests, guide us into the themes of respective performances. Events in Finnish.

ONE SONG / feat. Saara Moisio &: Wed March 6 at 6.15pm
ANTIGONE IN THE AMAZONE / feat. Jussi Lehtonen, Finnish National Theatre: Fri March 8 at 6.15pm
S 62° 58’, W 60° 39’ / feat. Jenni Nikolajeff, Gruppen Fyra, Theatre Academy: Thu March 14 at 6.15pm
SWING: / feat Martti Suosalo: Thu March 28 at 6.15pm

MEET THE ARTISTS

You are invited to come and meet the artists for an informal Q&A and friendly chats, straight after the performance. Events in English.

ANTIGONE IN THE AMAZONE: Thu March 7
CUCKOO: Sat March 16
FUNERAL: Fri March 22, after the second performance

DREAM FUNERAL COFFEES

We will enjoy cake and coffee with an accompaniment of idiosyncratic eulogies to departed things both big and small. The atmosphere may be described as unusual yet gentle, if at times a touch frenzied.

The performance is exclusively created for the &FEST - FOCUS GENT festival. It works equally well as a warmup, or a cool down, for Funeral, and it may also be enjoyed as a freestanding performance.

Performances on Sat March 22 at 1pm and 5pm in Ahjo, at the Espoo Cultural Centre. This event is in Finnish.

Book your ticket and find out more here.

&FEST-FEST-LET`S FEST!

Join us for an unmissable festival shindig in &Revontuli on Fri March 15 from 8.30pm onwards.
The programme includes, among other things, a talk karaoke, and extra relaxed vibes!

Festival tickets

Tickets to all performances are now available at &&’s Box Office and at Lippu.fi sales points.

Difficult to decide what to see? Not a problem! A festival pass gets you more for less. Check out every other performance, or indulge yourself, and experience it all – all at a reduced price!

Festival pass:
XL 168 € - six performances, pick your own performance dates
M 84 € - three performances, pick your own performance dates

Festival pass (under 30s, students, unemployed)
XL Young 108 € - six performances, pick your own performance dates
M Young 54 € - three performances, pick your own performance dates

Festival passes may be reserved at the theatre Box Office only, tel. 09 4393 388, info@espoonteatteri.fi. Single tickets are available at the Box Office, online at Lippu.fi, and at Lippu.fi sales points.

Reserved tickets will be held for up to a fortnight. Purchases may be completed at the theatre Box Office, Lippu.fi sales points, and at R-kiosks.

Venues

&&Louhi (Espoon kulttuurikeskus, Kulttuuriaukio 2, Tapiola)
&&Revontuli (Revontulentie 8A, Tapiola)
Tanssin talo (Kaapeliaukio 3, Ruoholahti)

For theatre professionals

Professional theatre card reductions do not apply to Festival passes. Individual performance tickets are available at reduced prices (18-20 € / each). A maximum of two tickets / performance may be booked using a professional theatre card. Tickets are available at the theatre Box Office, tel. 09 4393 388 (Tue - Fri 11-5pm). Reserved tickets must be collected and paid in full within a fortnight at the theatre Box Office, Lippu.fi sales point, or R-kiosk 10 days before each performance.

Theatre professionals' tickets may also be purchased online at Lippu.fi - subject to availability.

Reserved &Fest - Focus Gent tickets cannot be paid for at the door!

Dank je wel Gent!

&Fest – Focus Gent is brought to you with the support of The City of Gent, Flanders State of Art and Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation <3

Logot: Gent, Jane ja Aatos Erkon säätiö, Flanders State of the Art.
Laten we het feest beginnen!