Sofi Oksanen


Celje city theatre & sadsongskomplex:fi


21.06.2021, Monday / 21:00 / Old Hall /

Original title Puhdistus
Opening night February 21st 2020, Celje City Theatre
Running time 2 hours 15 minutes. One intermission. 

Director Jari Juutinen
Translator Julija Potrč Šavli
Dramaturg Alja Predan
Set designer Teemu Nurmelin
Costume designer Tinja Salmi
Composer and Sound designer Ville Hyvönen
Lighting designer Teemu Nurmelin
Language consultant Jože Volk
Video designers Teemu Nurmelin, Ville Hyvönen
Stage movement consultant Boris Ostan
Assistant director Eva Kokalj
Stage manager Anže Čater

Old Aliide Truu Živa Selan
Young Aliide Truu Živa Selan
Zara Maša Grošelj
Hans Pekk, Ingel's husband Luka Bokšan
Martin Truu, Aliide's husband, a Communist party organizer, A client Aljoša Koltak
Pavel or Pasha, a young Russian mafioso Rastko Krošl
Lavrenti or Lavrusha, a middle-aged ex-KGB officer, currently a mafioso Damjan M. Trbovc

Sofi Oksanen, a Finnish-Estonian writer and playwright, a committed gender equality activist and LGBT activist, gained wider international acclaim with her play Purge (Puhdistus), which premièred in 2007 at the Finnish National Theatre in Helsinki. A year later, the author reworked the play’s narrative and wrote a novel of the same name, which was translated into more than fifty languages, including Slovenian, and with which she established herself as one of the acute authors of her generation. In 2012, the Finnish National Opera presented an opera based on the novel; it was later adapted into a movie, a Finnish candidate for a foreign-language Oscar. The main protagonists are two women of different generations: Aliide Truu, a simple, old woman who lives a completely isolated life in the Estonian countryside, and Zara, a victim of human trafficking on the run from violent pimps. Under different jurisdictions, both women have experienced extreme violence and have been struggling ever since to survive in the repressive world of extremely limited opportunities. Aliide finds a badly beaten and unconscious Zara in front of her house. As it turns out, Zara is the granddaughter of Aliide’s sister Ingel. Upon their meeting, Aliide is forced to face her painful and cruel past and the crimes she committed due to her treachery. Purge is a gripping and cruel play about the cost of survival in a dehumanised and utterly repressive system. It is also a play about love, betrayal and sacrifice, raising many questions about one’s intimate decisions and political responsibility in totalitarian regimes.

Above all, the staging is marked by the decision to have both protagonists, the young and the old, portrayed by the same actress. Živa Selan. Her transformations are always indicated by the same elements, studied in detail and carried out with utmost precision; her age-appropriate movement is one of the driving forces of the performance. Despite a rather predisposed role, her acting is not only convincing, but also shocking in the right places. This is truly a heroic feat.

 Petra Vidali, Večer, 29. 2. 2020



Jari Juutinen (b. 1959) is said not to shy away from difficult topics as the plays he works with have often a strong social point of view. Juutinen is the founder of the Finnish ensemble Theatre Vanha Juko and a co-founder of a Finnish theatre festival Lain§uojattomat (Outlaw§). He has worked in three major city theatres in Finland (Oulu City Theatre, Lahti City Theatre, and as the artistic director in Lappeenranta City Theatre.) In 2015, he founded an internationally working theatre company sadsongskomplex:fi. Besides Finland, Juutinen has directed in Russia, Luxembourg, Georgia and Slovenia. His works have toured internationally in Russia, Cuba, Georgia, Lithuania, Belgium, Estonia, Luxembourg, France and USA. He has been honoured with a three-year Finnish Cultural Fund artistic grant in 2005 and appreciated five-year Finnish State artist grant in 2016.


Gledališče Celje (CeljeTheatre) is the only professional and repertory theatre in the Savinja-Šaleško region of central Slovenia. It has always been proud to attract most accomplished Slovenian actors, directors and other theatre professionals to produce contemporary theatre of the highest quality. Every year, SLG Celje presents a season of six new productions one production for the young and children. We remain firmly committed to our mission and artistic policy to engage actively with our audiences, meet and exceed their expectations, and create contemporary theatre of highest quality and artistic excellence.

sadsongskomplex:fi is an internationally operating professional theatre company and an ensemble of independent artists. Founded in 2015, the Helsinki-based ensemble has shot to fame touring several significant international theatre festivals in the last couple of years – among others in Avignon, St. Petersburg, Edinburgh, Novgorod, Brussels, Tbilisi, Maribor and Luxembourg to mention a few. Focusing on high quality art, the company has not developed a complex about to be tied to a permanent venue. The group has premiered many co-productions abroad and there’s more to come. The vision of sadsongskomplex:fi is to build artistic bridges with old and new partners between North and South, East and West.

Purge <em>Photo: Uroš Hočevar</em>
Photo: Uroš Hočevar
Purge <em>Photo: Uroš Hočevar</em>
Photo: Uroš Hočevar
Purge <em>Photo: Uroš Hočevar</em>
Photo: Uroš Hočevar
Purge <em>Photo: Uroš Hočevar</em>
Photo: Uroš Hočevar