La noche de concreto (Betoniyö)
A block of flats in Helsinki and a few bars provide the milieu for this twenty-four hour drama that takes place on a hot summer’s day. It is a touching portrait of a sensitive young boy’s struggle at growing up and becoming independent. A sense of loneliness dominates this story in which people live close together, yet constantly spy on each other and never actually properly come together. Everyone, in his or her own way, is a prisoner of both an external reality and of his or her own internal yearnings while people, both outsiders and loved ones, come across as strangers. At the centre of the story is Simo, living with his grown up brother Ilkka and their single mother. Simo has had a nightmare but cannot find anyone to relate this dream to, let alone someone who could begin to understand it. He would also like to go to the countryside with his friends, but his mother has other plans, and instead makes Simo watch over his older brother so that he doesn’t end up doing anything stupid. The mother leaves the boys money and departs, the boys do not know where. Suffering in the summer heat, the two decide to go for a beer. As Ilkka gets drunk he begins to teach Simo what he considers the realities of life: “First, you have to learn not to trust anyone... and always hit women, while hit guys only when there is no other alternative.” He predicts Simo the end of the world, the younger brother listening attentively. Ilkka’s friends, possibly friends in crime, join them in the bar. They ask Ilkka to come with them, and Ilkka complies sending Simo alone to an amusement park. Ilkka is taken to an attic where he finds his ex-girlfriend Marjatta having sex with two soldiers. The humiliated Ilkka now humiliates Marjatta by forcing her to have sexual intercourse with him. Meanwhile, Simo is back from the amusement park in time to see his mother come home drunk. She is followed by her boyfriend who, a bottle in his hand, gets inside with his own keys. When Simo teases his mother about the man, she sends him outside. Outside the apartment block Simo is approached by a long-haired man who lives next door to the family. Showing interest in the boy’s world views, he takes Simo to his flat for a glass of wine and shows him a painting of his. He would like to paint Simo’s portrait, but Simo interprets the man’s enthusiasm as sexual. Frightened, Simo unexpectedly kills the man. The next morning, Simo’s friend Jusa finds Simo in the backyard, confused and disturbed. When Simo returns home, his mother and Ilkka wonder about his confused state. In the end, Simo is sucked into the nightmare that he had at the beginning of the play, sinking to the bottom of a muddy lake where the grass grabs his wrists and pulls him down. (Tinfo/Sunklo)
Performed as a staged reading at Teatro Quatro Tablas, Lima, Peru in 2000 and at Complot theatre, Montevideo, Uruguay on June 28.-30. 2007.