Special of the week; Issue 49-70 "Hair + its Helsinki Cast"
And the E.R. the national educational radio network presents special of the Week this week from the Finnish Broadcasting Company in Helsinki. She asks me why I'm just a harry get. Me. More I'll so need for story. To them the whole bowl Rowhani all of it ought. To stand a chance. Dad saw that it's not for lack of bread like the great job of land with my son on the one down in the mud hole. Down there give me. A wet.
Cold. Cold there then. Nice knowing the old. Cliche. Hey I was. Told today. LOL LOL LOL. LOL LOL LOL. LOL most. Likely. Mixing. Whiskey. A long. Way.
To look at it that he'll be caught up with all the. Missing. Stuff. Come come a limousine. And I keep. Looking for. You. I don't. Mean. Going. To. My. Goal. Weight. He was. Sitting in a park in downtown house and he Finland We're talking with members of the cast of the Helsinki Swedish theater production of here. The production of here which was performed in Helsinki had sort of a balance between Swedish an
English all of the dialogue being in Swedish and half of the music in English. The other half and Swedish members of the cast we have with us today are Joyce Berg Sue Lindstrom K. Carlson Mary few months Akala. If four go on and Martha Gaber Martha is from the United States and everyone else is Swedish Finnish except for Mary V who is finish the first thing to discuss in trying to understand what it's like to convert hair from English to another language is the music which is the basis of the show anyway. What sort of difficulties were there if any in making the conversion to Swedish in the music. Did it rhyme as well did it come together as well in another language. I was just saying that if we didn't translate it because we got to translate Sweden and into us a guy called Pieta thing again and they had a translation and what I see. And about it and
so it is words and songs and English words in his songs that I think that pretty good. I mean yeah exactly the same almost. Do you think that the show the message of the show loses something presented out of an American context since a large portion of it is aimed at protest issues in the States I think that with as with an informed public as the Finnish public is especially the young people it doesn't lose anything. In other words why I have the impression from the very first that the kids in the cast were protesting against the issues that they knew what the issues were so that it wasn't just a musical. And we were standing on the stage just to be standing on stage. I got the feeling that there was an idea behind it the whole time and then not so very far into the fans because the fans read about them every day and see them on TV and they don't you know they don't live with the problems these kind of problems. So it's not the exactly the same. More intellectual.
You don't live it but as at least I understand this is something that appears to any foreigner as he acquaints himself with Helsinki. The number of f n l which is the European abbreviation that in America would be National Liberation Front signs painted on buildings all over town so that at least the war protest message would be familiar to finnish youth if not to the Finnish populace. I wouldn't say they're all over town but there are big Vietnam demonstrations. There are occasionally Vietnam weeks. There was an international conference held last summer where delegates came from all over the world to Helsinki to have a protest meeting about Vietnam. Oh oh.
Oh. Oh. What sort of response did you get from the people who live in Helsinki.
We were sold out most of the time we had a few performances that were about half full but for the Swedish there where we performed it it was a pretty remarkable last one. Well considering that the Swedish talking book relation is only 7 percent of the whole love in life and I just finished how long did the show run. Well we had our opening night. You know the end of November and we had the last performance and the end of May. What sort of meaning do you think the members of the cast attach to the show do you think that they were more aware of what the show was saying than the public or do you think that the public who came to see the show was well informed what it was about and took it for something more than it's entertainment value. I think my eyes that have been a poll just took it as an entertainment because when I talk to I have to watch now I talk to people that seen heading to justice. They said it was
still much because it was all the sounds of the delight but the dancing bit Sam I think they just couldn't concentrate in what's it was all about. You know so I think most of the people took it as an entertainment. And then in my opinion it's everybody is talking about that the hit has got a big it's not. 11 best message I think more the message if there is a message in here I think it's more about trying to make people to be themselves trying to show that there is a other way of living. Yeah I was just trying to be themselves. I mean that's the whole of a day about I think about for example the nude scene is about that trying to to be to today it be themselves. That's the only one you have that otherwise in my opinion that persons in here are not themselves so it's clothes is not himself. Burgess not himself in the play. He's not you know one of them.
Everybody of them has played so I don't I don't think that it has a message to people that that be yourself. Anyway it hasn't come through to me. Well then and while I understand it like that as and we show that people that don't be like this. We are on the stage would be something else in the last song we say let the sun shine. I mean so I think that we should make him bear the word. You know that these people who are on stage they are not. Now that's kind we wanted people to be for example. That with guns and with war against war it's not that the second DIL second pod of us is sort of playing making fun of all these floor business and it's a lot of things. Do you think the fact that you were able to translate here into a language other than English and to get an audience response which allowed the show to run for nearly six
months is in any way demonstrative of the international impact of the show or the international meaning I don't know what is the international meaning sure it's a it's a protest to me of course I'm the only American in the cast there was one other who had to go back. I see the problems in a different way because I've lived through them I've lived with them and I've gotten away from them. The International meaning seems to be well this is America and this is what America's doing and this is what we don't want in our own country. If one wants to think about it that way basically it's just good music and it's a nice show. Well this is what I mean as a revolutionary new. It's not the only thing which is new about it. I think is that it's a new way to a new way of playing acting I mean it's a new way because it's it all the time it's happening in the audience as well as it's happened on the stage and you're getting more of the context. So it's not this kind of thing a debt deal audience come in and visit
here. And and he used the stage and we're playing here that's to the boy and it doesn't I think show. Yeah and I think that's a very important thing that here has been such a success as it has been because it's something new. It's in this that that the people get contacted and I see people doing to break ice and the people they talk to each other. I mean in the audience. And and if you go and watch another play Shakespeare or something like that in a disarray to see are they coming there and and they sit there and they don't dare to look at each other and then they go home and then they call up a friend to say oh it was a good show and so on. Does here translate as you said into this is what America is and we don't want it to be like. This anywhere else or does it translate into. This is what has happened in one society which is ruled under the rules which have evolved out of western civilization. And if we don't watch it. Other Western countries will wind up the same way.
Well that sort of comes in with the adoption of heritage and each country we've adapted to our situation here. There are some things of course which don't wouldn't fit in the American hair. We have our own private jokes that an American would understand in the Belgrade hair for instance. They have cut out the draft card burning because people want to go into the army and Yugoslavia. I'm not going to say it it has to adapt to each country but it doesn't lose the meaning in the adaptation. Does this show wind up after it's adapted as a critique of American society or as a crude critique of western society. The Probably more Western society but with America as the model. Yeah yeah yeah. This week let's let me just try to be American young people not Finns on the stage. Yeah yeah but that's not what we talk about things going to help us. Yeah next and then we talk about
American problems. So we got that it also Yeah we all did so much do you think it is that because then the director of the show showed us an American Idol can you yeah so I mean and he knew what it was all about and so he made it right and that's in there again. You said that you talked about Captain who was a president of Finland in what sort of context. I mean you know well we just give Gareth Bale Isco you know the scene where Burgess giving pills to a customer you know and and then we sometimes yeah but and we give one ticket going into and we have some few more jokes about things but those are mostly improvised. How many of the lamp rooms at American society were retained. Well basically the script by side in New York basically we have the same show as in New York so that basically all of them are now in that pill scene. We substitute Finnish names and Swedish for well for
instance Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali and Shirley Temple but the things such as in the flags scene we keep very just says Well the problem here is the same as in Hollywood immorality. That's all kept in and the people usually know the illusions there's no problem with that. There doesn't seem to be as great a use of drugs or hashish in Finland as in the States. Does this take any of the impact away from the references to the drug scene in the show. I don't think so. I think it is because we have before but only here in Helsinki and the drugs are pretty well known here. So I think that God comes through. But if you go to the countryside I think it's complete completely different. This. Is. How. The wounds
heal. 0 0. 0 my.
Son. Hit. Me. Why. Did you get any hassle from the local authorities at all about the nude scene. The Boston production was closed a week after it opened by authorities there who refused to allow the nude scene to be staged. Now wouldn't have really because we had a permission from the police before we even started to have a look and we could have five persons to hand making a list to see and well as a fact in the end it was
more that nobody said anything about it yet but it was really ridiculous about this because to the one girl and one guy has to move a little bit to get into depositions in this new ad scene so we got the permission from the police that the guilt she's allowed to take five steps and the boys allowed to take three steps he said. I don't know that anyone and every night watching behind the stage when I come to my own bed was wide open there was a police in the beginning again and there was always one see it just said for the police if they wanted to come in and because the thing you know all year is like these that you are you are allowed to stand nude but you can't move. Then it's called Not if you don't move but if you move it set up yet another me and then you get fined or even you can get in jail. How did the audience generally respond particularly at the end where everyone mixes together we you know we mix together all the time actually go before we have a system whereas whereby we got flowers to hold on for every performance. We went around and we talked to
them and would this is unheard of really in the finished it or they'd never in Finnish theater in general. They've never seen this before. I've got many many amazed people as I walked around and you know spoke to the Mahanta the flowers especially to boys that really shakes them up. And the really shocked but they liked it and there was quite a bit of communication. I like particularly just to talk to them and say well what do you think of it. Do you like it. What's wrong what don't you approve of and we got a lot of contact with them before and during the break during the show I'd come up and rub someone's back and then after the show when they came up to dance I want to tap ins help lines to tap into that grandmother got one guy from the audience. He just came up it wasn't a hard a question a little a little less singing and I quit and he got to a stage and really dancing live raving now to Rhonda. We just sit down he said he and I went oh somebody from the audience Hell let's get everybody you know somebody like us. Oh yeah I'm not but I did yeah there was that and nothing no one had been there you know and told him to please come up a stage she Gest Kenda which is I think it's right and good that it
happens. Was this the exception though rather than the rule set and the No. Yes I did it with Finland though and it doesn't do is in the series and those scenes are cool very cool not because it is good or is a muppet who is good but if you're going to somehow get them up yeah it's fine it's OK and if you get to know them but if you don't know them anyway some of the people see them in the audience they do really mostly older people. They really do think it's terrible horrible when we come down from the stage and walk in deal audiences and I think when it's horrible when they coming near they wanted it bad. Yes I'm one of the guy I went out to the show to know the woman and gave her a flower and she had us use Yeah she was screaming at you McDuck Amir Duncombe you're crazy you are crazy blondes don't come near. We've also noticed that there appear to be at least very few blacks in Finland. Did either the audience or the cast really relate to any of the references
to race in the show. Well we the other American Fitzgerald Jenkins is black and he played hard to part from the beginning but as I say you had to leave around the beginning of the year. Will you. We painted people. Basically we use makeup and yes it was black and it was one of the times but you know and I thought maybe this would be a bit offensive but it didn't turn out to be offensive at all. I think that the references to blacks. Sure you could tell. Finland's racial problem. I consider to be the gypsies who live here. If you can call that a racial problem it's by no means as large a problem as in America and it's by no means a severe but sure they understand that we don't have very many blacks except students. It could have been a good thing to use gypsy since you know black you know we thought this is what I was going to ask you Did you really think about transferring instead of having references to blacks having references to gypsies you know it well yeah I think in the beginning we did a little looking a little
thinking about all the directive was to try to yeah you don't want to be doing it if you got something in his head you hadn't you wanted you know just because as he said only he only said it's an American show they say and they have a negress and then American shows and we had to edit to get it to sailing that would what we at the thought of it but it was also does problem where we could get a few tips as to who could sing and dance and speak a little bit Swedish which was quite impossible. Anyway this Swedish book that it did and you know we've done well as well. I think a sound that you could make yourself to diffuse it. Yeah and it's no problem. That's something I think about but it's too late now to when and how much to charge for the tickets the tickets ranged from five marks about a dollar and a quarter to the very lowest seats to 15 marks about 375 those are the expensive ones. Basically you can say that the tickets will be in Marks. What in America they are in dollars. But then that's one quarter. Did you make any money on the show.
Oh yeah twice we got the Christmas money once and then we got when we went on until then I had to sit and wait without delay but on Monday the 5th to Moses to get it together remains modeling dollars it makes it much more $2 out less than 40. But during Aafia you know the problem was that the agreements were made with the theater which really charge quite high rent and then we I think basically we didn't have enough information on what we were getting into so that although we had full houses all the time except a few. We come out after nine months of work basically with no money. We've done it you know what they have. We've done public service we've done charity work but people have not. With very few exceptions and those exceptions it needed the money and other work. We've had no one quit just because they're not getting any money you know. You know if you were back now before you had ever done the show and knew in
advance that in the end you weren't going to have any money would you still do it over. Yes sure I mean oh I wouldn't get it in the letter is delayed beginning with God and it deals with a group of gently around about 10 people. No director nothing no no theatre and nothing and we would just had it having this idea about that we wanted to do. We wanted to do it yeah. And by that time which didn't think about all that we could earn some money. How did the rehearsals go switching from English to Swedish and back to English and back to Swedish Was it confusing. No not really I think everybody who liked it so very much you know it's very easy to copyright when you know you don't finish until noon to join in that house and that's a lovely bloom. Yes you're going to like it. What when where.
Let me. Mustn't let me. Sleep. This was something you still appear to have meaning in any language. This is Charlie radio reporting from the Finnish Broadcasting Company. We've been talking with the Swedish theatre cast of the Helsinki Finland reduction up here in my life. NPR's special of the week thanks the Finnish Broadcasting Company for the recording of this
program. This is NPR National Educational Radio Network.
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- Chicago: “Special of the week; Issue 49-70 "Hair + its Helsinki Cast",” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 30, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-707wqx5z.
- MLA: “Special of the week; Issue 49-70 "Hair + its Helsinki Cast".” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 30, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-707wqx5z>.
- APA: Special of the week; Issue 49-70 "Hair + its Helsinki Cast". Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-707wqx5z