Jussi Tossavainen, Helsingin Sanomat, 3 May 2019

DANCE THEATRE Glims & Gloms’ Simo Heiskanen is a true Renaissance man from Espoo. He dances, acts, writes scripts, composes and sings. Raxu Taskunen is a leap into the world of puppet theatre. Almos everything is done by Heiskanen.

The work is described as puppet theatre musical. This is certainly not a big musical, as institutional theatres tend to call their musicals nowadays. Everything is small, doll-size.

The whole performance can almost be fitted in a pocket, and what could be more fitting when the main character is called Taskunen, ”Pockets”, and he lives and travels in people’s pockets.

The compact performance does not call for a lot of space or resources. Raxu Taskunen has been performed in a shopping mall, and a kindergarten tour is planned for the autumn.

The word ”musical” is catch-all here. The almost throughout sung puppet fun is perhaps closer to modern opera.

Heiskanen does not follow the path of least resistance. The reciting and winding music does not offer clear melodies or catching earworms. Hearing it for the first time, its is pointless to try to recall ”arias” or hits.

Simo Heiskanen plays all roles by himself. Raxu Taskunen himself is a hybrid of a hand and a finger puppet – a likeable but undefinable hairy creature, whose passion and bad habit is puffs.

He avoids boring things, like going to bed early or eating healthy food. His worst enemy is secret detective Hönttönen who presents himself as a moralist and who is a tedious person in general.

The state of affairs is clear. Children love anarchic characters who are against authorities and grown-ups, from Pippi Longstocking to the Moomins.

However, Heiskanen’s script has a modern and important educational and enlightening tone.

In Australia, Taskunen experiences a conversion with the help of cockatoo Rudolf (my favourite character in the performance) and learns to eat grains and nuts instead of salty and greasy puffs. He does not shun greens either any more.

Heiskanen does not overexplain or preach like a health evangelist. The theme is barely introduced and followed through during the short performance.

One might have finger-wagged more without losing credibility. Things are understood when a little creature acts as an example.

In his text, Heiskanen uses funny rhyming and nonsense that is considered agreeable to children. Some comments might only be understood by adults even though the charmingly homespun performance with all its conventions is clearly directed to children.

One could very well add a discussion on the theme.

Scroll to Top