Fimfa festival from artists' point of view

A Finnish company visited Fimfa festival that was held Lisbon 18 May to 4 June 2023.
Tehdas Teatteri & Niina Lindroos's The Unmentionable featured at the Centre Cultural da Malaposta 27 and 28 May.

Working group members Elina Sarno and Niina Lindroos are both responsible for the performance's direction and dramaturgy. Niina also performs on stage in The Unmentionable.


How did the performances go in Lisbon? How is the overall feeling about the performance + residency period?

Elina: We had three performances which all went very well. All the shows were fully booked and the audience seemed to enjoy the experience. We had an excellent team for building and taking down the performance. Staff from Malaposta venue was super helpful and supportive. Especially the taking down of the show went better than we ever could have imagined! My feeling about the visit is very positive and I have a feeling that it could not have gone better than it did.

During IMPULSE! -project festival visits are carried out as part of a touring pilot programme exploring new ways to make performance visits and tours more sustainable. Do you find this experience different from other international gigs (if you have experience)?

Elina: I'm happy that we managed to avoid the cargo via airplane and got our scenography driven by professional driver and his van to Lisbon. My experince is that the scenography has usually been taken to spot by plane also. Of course if I would have had the needed experience for driving the van from Finland to Portugal by myself, that would have made our visit even more sustainable.

Niina: The performances went really well and all in all the residency period was super inspiring. I am so happy we had this opportunity to take our piece to Lisbon and to the wonderful FIMFA festival. We were met with the best staff and audience. As a performer this was really an amazing opportunity and I'm very thankful for it.

Did this visit give you new perspectives on international touring? Do you find festival or performance visits abroad more accessible after this project? Or was this experience similar to others?

Elina: It most certainly did. Everything was very well organized and I feel that we had all the resources we needed. It was the first time we travelled abroad with this show and I have a feeling we could make it again.

Niina: The visit gave new perspectives what it comes to touring with this particular show as we havent had an opportunity to take it abroad before. It is a performance with lot of stage material and we havent had the chance to perform it abroad before. Now we know how to do it best and what to develop to make the touring more sustainable in the future.

Did you manage to meet other inspiring artists or make contacts with international colleagues?

Elina: We met many inspiring artists while we participated to one of the master classes organized by the festival. We already agreed to meet with some of them in the upcoming Charleville Mezieres festival.

Niina: Yes. During set up, performing and take down at the Centro Cultural malaposta and at Gavin Glovers workshop of Micro Cinema Theatre we met and worked with bunch of inspiring people.

Anything else you would like to add?

Elina: Big and heartful thanks to everyone who were organizing our visit! I'm super grateful for this enriching adventure we got to experience with the Unmentionable.

Artist talk after the performance at Fimfa. Photo: Elina Sarno

Riikka Mellin setting up, Photo Elina Sarno

Elina Sarno and Niina Lindroos outside Centro Cultural da Malaposta, photo: Riikka Mellin