Maus and Orlovski — Memos of Love in the City (1997)

Maus and Orlovski — Memos of Love in the City consisted of three performances, which were performed around Helsinki during spring 1997, and a radio play broadcasted in 1998. The basis of presentation was the idea of performance as relations to the self, to the others, to the environment/nature, and its boundaries. Leaving behind past-focused, narrated fiction, the performance was addressed through geographic place and present and future times. Performance was treated as an ecological unit, and the events between the bodies and the city were used as its experimental ground. The materials for performance consisted of organic and non-organic substances and their interactions. The working process, lasting about a year, concentrated on the bio-physical language of an actor through bodily knowledge and enjoyment. The main tools for the performance language were sense perceptions, sensations, and the attempt to translate these into speech.

When I Memo began, the performers left their homes and approached - during almost the whole performance - the glass-walled café on an esplanade in the city centre, where the audience was sitting and listening to the performers describe their perceptions and sensations en route via mobile phone. In the cafe, the flows of speech were mixed into a live sound performance, drawing a mental-physical map of the city.

II Memo consisted of a guided walk in a new suburb, focusing on questions regarding interior and exterior. It also included presentations held in visual artist Jaakko Niemelä’s studio, probing the interface of public and private.

III Memo was performed at the Museum of Natural History, and it explored through different kinds of experiments the most common piece of nature in the city: a human being—and its nature.

Maus&Orlovski 1996&1997

  • Performers:
    Max Bremer
    Leea Klemola
    Juha Kukkonen
    Meri Nenonen
    Ursula Salo
  • Visual design:
    Jaakko Niemelä
  • Light design:
    Sirje Ruohtula
  • Sound design:
    Jari Kauppinen
  • Graphic design, costumes:
    Jari Aalto-Setälä
  • Directors’ assistant:
    Marja Silde
  • Concept, text, direction:
    Tuija Kokkonen
  • Producer:
    Irmeli Kokko
  • Photography:
    Sakari Viika


Maus&Orlovski in collaboration with Theatre Academy, Helsinki, Museum of Natural History, Finnish Broadcasting Company, and Helsinki Act Festival.

Supported by:

  • Arts Council of Finland
  • Helsinki City Cultural Office

Texts on performance

  • Hanna-Leena Helavuori: ”Laumassa herkkyys tiivistyy.”Theatre Journal 6/1997.
  • Soila Lehtonen: ”Teatterin katsoja kokeilee katsomista.” Aamulehti 5.5.1997.
  • Suna Vuori: ”Maus ja Orlovski tutkii ihmisen luontoa Luonnontieteellisessä museossa. Kohtaamisia kristallikruunun alla.” Helsingin Sanomat 5.5.1997.
  • Suna Vuori: ”Maus ja Orlovskin toinen muistio: Avautumisia eräässä asunnossa.” Helsingin Sanomat 22.4.1997.
  • Suna Vuori: ”Esityksen ja esittämisen ehtoja tutkiva esitys leviää ympäri kaupunkia. Suhteita sykkivässä kaupungissa.” Helsingin Sanomat 17.4.1997.
  • Kokkonen: ”Notes About Love in the City – Maus and Orlovski.” Theatre Academy Magazine / Act 1997.