[Milton-L] Performing PL

David Robertson david.robertson at uta.fi
Thu Jan 22 14:55:21 EST 2004

You may remember that last autumn there was a brief exchange about 
performing PL.

A group of students here at the University of Tampere, Finland decided last 
April to attempt to put PL on stage. Over the summer four of them worked at 
producing a script, and in September rehearsals began. My major role was as 
a consultant on what precisely certain lines meant, what might be cut and 
what simplified so that the audience would still understand. The students 
themselves chose to emphasize the inevitability of the Fall, but then the 
human aspect of Adam and Eve ultimately supporting each other with enduring 

I should add that the performance will be in English, and that all the 
actors are Finns who are reading English at university.

The students have done the dramatization themselves, but found a 
professional to create costumes for them, and another to deal with the 
lighting. There will be four performances in a professional theatre which 
they have hired. The opening night will be on Monday 9th February.

While working on this, we discovered that PL had been put on stage in 
Finnish in 1976 by the professional Helsingin kaupunginteatteri (Helsinki 
City Theatre). But we did believe we were the first people in the world to 
stage it in English.

Yesterday we found out we will not be. Two separate, independent 
productions will beat us to it by a few days. PL is opening in two theatres 
in Britain on January 30th. At The Bristol Old Vic, and at the Royal 
Theatre, Northampton.

Needless to say, we are disappointed!

If anyone would like to know more about our production, I'll be glad to 
tell them more. Or they can write to a student who is co-directing the 
play, Aleksis Meaney: aleksis.meaney at uta.fi

David Robertson
Senior Lecturer in English
University of Tampere

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