Runar and Kyllikki
Runar and Kyllikki is Kylätasku's fourth work for the stage. Accompanied by music written by the acclaimed composer Kaj Chydenius, the play draws its inspiration from Finnish folk ballads that traditionally recount sad, often gloomy tales of the bygone days. Yet, the play is actually set in relatively modern times against a background of a remote rural village of the 1950's. Old ways of thinking and behaviour, as well as stereotypical attitudes and taboos still prevail in the village. They are part of the town’s narrow religiosity, dual sexual morality and the predominating yet primitive male-dominated way of life. In this stifling atmosphere, the typical development of two young people into independent and happy adults is hopelessly distorted. Runar is the son of an unmarried mother who has moved to the village as a war refugee, while Kyllikki is the daughter of a narrowly religious, tyrannical farmer. The topic most sensitive to the two, their sexual life, the area of erotic feelings, is damaged by pressures from the warped attitudes of those around them. The difficult circumstances drive Runar and Kyllikki towards each other, and they fall in love. Yet, there is no chance for their love to come to fruition. On the contrary, the relationship directs itself towards its own destruction. In the midst of his helplessness, and against his own will, Runar ultimately becomes a murderer. In the end, both parties to the sexual murder, Runar and Kyllikki, are victims in themselves. Those truly bearing the blame are the environment and the way of life in which intolerant neighbours compete in taboo-building while spreading hatred and revenge, only to finally denounce one another. The theme of the play is not limited to any particular locale - the psychological aspects of the play as well as the views that it puts forward are valid far beyond the boundaries of Finland. (Tinfo/Sunklo)
Performed in Milwaukee, USA in 1987. The original Finnish play premiered at the Turku City Theatre in 1974.