Nesterval (AT): Anna-Liisa Nesterval

Thursday 12.9.  18.00

Friday 13.9.  18.00

Saturday 14.9.  18.00

Old Kuopio Museum | Kirkkokatu 22, Kuopio


On the occasion of Minna Canth’s 175th anniversary in 2019, the Vienna-based performance collective Nesterval will take their audience to an immersive theatre adventure inspired by the work of the Finnish writer and social activist. The audience will become involved in a dramatic story of a wedding in a remix of feminist literature of the 19th century, Austrian Heimatfilms and the grim reality of the lives of mountain farmers. Visitors become actively involved and may join the quest for the magic of the place of longing called home, trying to answer the big questions concerning foreignness, violence, love and guilt.

Nesterval: Anna-Liisa Nesterval. Photo: Alexandra Thompson Photography.

Anna-Liisa, a farmer’s daughter, is preparing for her wedding with Johannes, a farm servant, when her past suddenly catches up with her. Two uninvited guests make their appearance in the village, bringing with them their knowledge of a heinous crime. The perfect idyll is becoming disintegrated, violence and hatred sweep over the villagers after the silence of generations has been broken. And what had actually been meant to end in a wedding starts with a funeral reception. But how did it come to this turn in the story?

The participants become actively involved in the plot, trying to find their own truth as a group. Do you want to become part of the community or will you rather find yourself among the group of outcasts and serfs? In the little village in the middle of nowhere, xenophobia and self-loathing are closely associated sentiments.

Figures and plot elements are based on the works Anna-Liisa (1895) by the Finnish author and feminist Minna Canth (1844-1897), and Krambambuli (1885) by the Austrian humanist novelist Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916). These literary references from the 19th century are brought together in a Heimatfilm setting (Call of the Forest, the film version of Krambambuli from 1965 by Franz Antel). In their new adventure, Nesterval blend gender roles and role models, opening the concept of home for a pluralistic society.

Nesterval’s cast includes performers, drag artists, amateur and professional actors, who will outline the history of the Nesterval family in various constellations. In a mix of classic gaming and immersive theatre, Herr Finnland and his team create performance adventures that turn their participants into actors in the play, authorised to determine what happens next.

Anna-Liisa Nesterval is a co-production by Nesterval and brut Wien. With the kind support of the City of Vienna’s Department of Cultural Affairs. The Nesterval productions include last year’s co-production with brut Wien Nesterval’s Dirty Faust (2017–18) and Nesterval’s Struwwelpeter (, 2018), Nesterval. The Final Ball (imagetanz Festival, 2016) or The Return of Eleonore Nesterval (steirischer herbst Festival, 2015).

Duration three hours.


Anna-Liisa Nesterval is co-produced in Kuopio with Minna Canthin talo ry and Dance Theatre Minimi and produced in collaboration with The Old Kuopio Museum. Anna-Liisa Nesterval is supported by Goethe-Institut and Bundeskanzleramt Österreich.