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Gran’s Wellington Foxtrot


”Listen to your father who gave you life, don’t despise your mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22) Gran’s Wellington Foxtrot takes place in a family living room over four days between a Thursday and a Sunday. The play’s main characters are Veini, who is the father of the family and an unemployed mechanic, and mother Moonika who works as a shop assistant at a local convenience store. The middle-aged couple gets along in their everyday life comfortably, even lovingly. Because of his unemployment and with nothing better to do, Veini spends much of his time on the living room sofa, while Moonika takes care of the household chores. Despite their domestic tranquillity, it is clear from very early on that the parents are somewhat clueless when it comes to understanding their children or the wider world that exists outside of their house. During the course of the play, this external world and the children’s reality slowly begin to revel themselves to the parents. It is, however, altogether another matter whether Veini and Moonika are able to understand the true nature of what they are seeing. The parents have surrounded themselves with a strange, absurd and comically exposed wall of happiness with which to protect themselves from any such revelations. Then there is Gran, Veini’s own mother. Sunday marks her 80th birthday, and consequently she features heavily in the family’s discussions as they prepare for the occasion. Although we never get to see Gran, the presence of this woman, who apparently has a habit of walking about with a transistor radio tucked into her Wellington boots, is felt throughout the play. The detachment between generations is conveyed by the manner in which Veini reacts to his mother on the one hand, and his children on the other. As for the children, eight-year-old Tarmo, the son of the family, is weighed down by his worries. Thematically, it is he who occupies the centre of the story, and Tarmo is the one who speaks the most remarkable lines. It is also as if the youngster had a direct connection to Gran, therefore skipping his father’s generation in the communicational order. Tarmo’s sister, high school student Janita, is meanwhile struggling through a turbulent time of her life under some typical teenage pressures. She shields herself with a hard, self-ironic and comic exterior but underneath, the young girl is constantly at the verge of a complete breakdown. While Veini and Moonika discuss Janita’s choice of hair colour or her boyfriend’s nose piercings, they fail to notice her drug problem, or understand where she is really off to when she leaves the house. In the end, it is up to the police and a teacher to begin to shatter the illusion in which the parents live, and through which they have become accustomed to seeing their children. (Tinfo/Sunklo) “The play’s sensitivity may come from the fact that in an incredibly intimate thing one can see an incredible richness, a universal thing. In the writer of a drama resides a Doubting Thomas. Peltola calls her own attitude an incentive for pettiness, an incentive which looks for meaning in things where otherwise nothing significant can be seen.” (Anne Välinoro, Aamulehti 13th May 2000)



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Miehiä 3

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Yhteensä: 6

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