BodyTalks – Questioning the importance of thinness through theatre


Written by Anna Olkinuora


Laiha on parempi ihminen asks us why is a person considered somehow better when thin. Thinner is better. It is more beautiful, desirable. Want to be successful? Get thin! Want more friends? Lose some weight! Teatteri Toivo wants to question this and speak up for those who do not fit the mold.

Body positivity is a long needed discussion that is finally taking shape and happening all around us. I am glad to see that the art world is speaking up too. In Toivo’s new play two actors dig into what life was as a fat or obese person and what it is now after losing weight. They find words to painful memories of being treated differently for their size, they question fad diets and poke fun at the hysteria around food that we collectively seem to have now. Don’t eat carbs and all your dreams will come true!

I really appreciate the fact that the script is based on real-life stories gathered through interviews. It makes the play personal and universal at the same time. The actors clearly enjoy their work, and I can imagine this has been an interesting, rewarding and maybe even painful journey for the whole working group. It is visible on the stage, and it is important to use art to dismantle harmful norms and speak up for those who have no voice.

However, the play was, quite bluntly, almost ninety minutes of two characters agreeing with each other. As such I found myself yearning for something to break the monotonous rhythm of it all. The last scene picked up nicely and the song resonated strongly. Something similar would’ve been nice to see in the middle of the play too.


Photos: Toni Ahola


Iiris Mäkelä

Kaarlo Laite


Drama of the script: Sara Salmenmäki

Littering: July Salo

Lighting Design: Ilja Raunio and Jonna Salanto

Sound Design: Antti Ruokola

Stage Design: Jani Oksanen and Tero Antinkaapo

Carnivore manufacturer: Mariia Pelttari

Graphics and poster: Tero Antinkaapo

Performances: Toni Ahola

Videos by Anna Beliankina

Masking: Annina Määttä

Manufacturer: Viivi Holm

Production:Teatteri Toivo 

The script is based on interviews conducted in spring 2018.



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