Author: Anneli Kanto

The show must go on

Issue 2/2007 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the novel Piru, kreivi, noita ja näyttelijä (‘The devil, the count, the witch and the actor’, Gummerus, 2007). Introduction by Anna-Leena Ekroos

I hereby humbly introduce the maiden Valpuri, who has graciously consented to join our troupe,’ Henrik said.

A slight girl thrust herself among us and smiled.

‘What can we do with a somebody like her in the group? A slovenly wench, as you see. She can hardly know what acting is,’ Anna-Margareta snapped angrily.

‘What is acting?’ Valpuri asked.

Henrik explained that acting was every kind of amusing trick done to make people enjoy themselves. I added that the purpose of theatre was to show how the world worked, to allow the audience to examine human lives as if in a mirror. Moreover, it taught the audience about civilised behavior, emotional life, and elegant speech. Ericus thought that the deepest essence of theatre was to give visible incarnation to thoughts and feelings. None of us understood what he meant by this, but we nodded enthusiastically. Anna-Margareta insisted that, say what you will, in the end acting was a childish game. Actors were being something they were not, just like children pretending to be little pigs or baby goats. More…