Beneath the grey of the everyday, we have lost the ability and indeed the need to think about the meaning of life. Few are concerned about the afterlife. When we're not at work we have free time, we go on vacation. At the departure gate, we put away our cares and expect the trip will perform miracles. We take off into the air with full faith in the invigorating and healing powers of vacations. The play takes place in a departure lounge next to a gate, located near an airport café, and covers a time period of about 24 hours. In the background are huge glass walls, through which the runways and airplane traffic can be seen, as well as the sky which changes with the time of day. Somewhere above there is a transparent glass tube, through which passengers and airline personnel are rushing to get to different parts of the airport. The play focuses on a few groups and individuals who are traveling south to Egypt, to Luxor and Sharm el-Sheikh, in search of warmth. It's just before Christmas, and Finland is dark, dreary, cold and wet. A vacation in the sun is for many of the passengers very welcome, and necessary. Some of the passengers have travelled to the Helsinki Airport the previous evening, some have travelled through the night to make it in time for their morning flight, whose check-in starts around 6:00 am. In any event, it's quite likely that nobody has slept enough. Their fuses are already pretty short. The airport is large, shiny, clinical, almost absurdly neutral, a space where ordinary conceptions of freedom and justice do not quite apply. It is a terminal or gateway to another place, an intermediary space which itself is detached from concrete reality. People have been thrown into a place which is impossibly unnatural, and from which there is no way of leaving except "into the sky." The fictional segments throughout the play--rabbits, ducks, deserts, grassy fields, etc.—emphasize the extent to which airports are alienated from nature. In a narrative sense, the space is also a "free port," full of possibilities which can be liberating and beautiful, as well as horrifying and terrifying.
Finnish premiere at Tampereen Työväen Teatteri, 27 September 2012.