No need to be sheepish, Baltic Circle is coming to town once again.

NEW productions and international guests are set to be the main focus this year at the Baltic Circle International Theatre Festival. Held from 9 to 16 November, the lion’s share of events over the eight days are being held in the vicinity of Helsinki’s downtown region.

A number of public spaces are to be utilised during the festival, with Ceci n’est pas… by Dutchman Dries Verhoeven offering sights not regularly seen in the centre. An installation performance, here a new scene is played out in a tiny glass cube every day during the festival.

Other spaces around town that are holding events include Ten Journeys to a Place Where Nothing Happens. Lasipalatsi Square offers the experience of Juha Valkeapää and musician Taito Hoffrén, with the Finns making pancakes and spinning yarns in a tent. The other performance under the same banner is a piece by Estonian Maike Lond. In contrast to Valkeapää and Hoffrén’s work, here Lond examines the sponsoring of art.

Institutet and Markus Öhrn make a welcome return from Sweden, teaming up once again with Finn Nya Rampen to conclude their trilogy dealing with the structure of a western, middle­class nuclear family. Following their previous two performances, which were staged at earlier Baltic Circle festivals, Bis zum brings things to a close in a memorable fashion.

Other local premieres include The Trial by visual artist Terike Haapoja and author Laura Gustafsson, Days Without Names by choreographer Maija Hirvanen, and Kimmo Modig’s debut play Court of Helburg.

During the festival week, Finnish Arts Policy Event – Make Arts Policy sees Baltic Circle, Checkpoint Helsinki and Public Movement group focussing together on the views that different political parties have on arts and cultural policy.

Other events on offer during the festival include Walkapolis, a city walking project taking place in Itäkeskus, Saara Hannula’s The BodyBuilding Project, which examines the bodies of the future, and a discussion about the current situation of the independent arts field in Russia.

Baltic Circle International Theatre Festival
9-16 November

Finally, everyone is welcome to enter the competition, which sees the winner bestowed with a life coaching class organised by Pekko Koskinen and Johannes Ekholm.

James O’Sullivan
Image: Hanna Nyman