Theatre Grand Prix CĒSIS / THE DESK
17. August, Saturday - 19:00

Theatre Grand Prix CĒSIS / THE DESK

Organised by: Koncertzāle Cēsis

Director: Kauri Honkakoski

On stage: Karina Degaspari (BR) / Julia Johansson (FI), Josefin Karlsson (SE), Sonja Järvisalo (FI) / Charlott Lihnell (SE), Liv Nordgren (SE), Freia Stenbäck (FI), Kauri Honkakoski (FI)

Lighting Design: Sisu Nojonen

Sound Design: Tuuli Kyttälä

Videos: Jonathan Rankle

Director Kauri Honkakoski mines their personal lived experience of a cult in this meticulous ensemble piece about the seductive power of discipline, hierarchy, mind control and the search for an ultimate Truth. The show focuses on five students at five desks, and one teacher who presides over them, to look at universal mechanisms used to indoctrinate, dominate and subdue.

Praised by audiences and critics alike for their mastery of physical expression, the Finnish company exposes the universal mechanics of power in political and spiritual cults. Expect sharp, strong and poignant ensemble work.

Kauri Honkakoski spent several years in a cult whilst living in the UK, attracted by a charismatic leader who promised a better version of the world and of themself. Afterwards, upon realising that what they had experienced was a cult, their research into the topic revealed common methods of asserting and maintaining control which are present regardless of the cult’s underpinning ideals.

 “As is probably quite usual, I didn't realise it was a cult at the time. Only looking back I slowly started to make sense of my experiencing and witnessing years of fear, manipulation, intimidation, gaslighting, abuse of power, sexual harassment, thought policing, etc and it all started to sink in. As I started to research spiritual and political cults for the show, I was fascinated to find the exact same mechanics everywhere. The same power dynamics, group behaviours and hierarchies. Different words perhaps, different truths, different gods, but somehow the exact same systems. Different in the extent of terror and destruction but all coming from the same root.” - Director Kauri Honkakoski.

Kauri Honkakoski has specialised in the art of Corporeal Mime, having trained for seven years at Theatre de L’Ange Fou’s School and Company in London.

Corporeal Mime can be seen as one of the trendsetters of physical theatre in Europe. It is a poetic form of physical theatre and an acting technique for physical actors. At the heart of Corporeal Mime is the idea of expressing the whole spectrum of humanity through the body, from concrete physical work to the abstract realm of thought and dreams.

Duration: 60 minutes

Language: wordless

Premiered in 2017 at Koko Teatteri, Helsinki, Finland