Edinburgh Fringe 2022 
Interview

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Hanna   
Vahtikari 
Raging Mother
ZOO Southside - Studio
Aug 5-7, 9-14, 16-20, 19:05 /  Tickets
July 22, 2022

We all have a mother, and an opinion about how she should be. Can a mother be allowed to be temperamental, impulsive, senseless, flaky, and still a mother, and a good one? A bitingly funny and honest portrayal of a mother's life. A story of a volatile overachiever who is in constant competition with time and is not above flinging a burger on a wall. The show fearlessly challenges myths of motherhood and aims to shake them up. Here, she is simply a human being who just happens to be a mother, too.

Hi Hanna, thanks for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping?

Great! Enjoying the short Finnish summer.

What does it mean to you to be able to bring your debut play Raging Mother, through From Start to Finnish, to ZOO venues this summer?

It feels absolutely amazing! My own play, written and done with passion! I’m very excited about how Raging Mother will be received by the Fringe audience.

What makes the Fringe so special?

I don’t know, never been! But I guess it’s the volume and the size of the festival, and the amount of shows you are able to see there, and the people you will meet. It is a very unique opportunity.

As well as write and direct Raging Mother you appear along side you husband Marzi Nyman who has composed the piece, what has this experience been like for you both?

Great! I mean, it’s very convenient to rehearse in your own living room and with your own husband!

Honestly, I think this journey together has been very unique to us both, something that we did not see coming as artists and as parents.

When working on a production like Raging Mother how important has the creative collaboration between yourself and Marzi been?

This has been a very special production in so many ways; me directing myself and my husband and my own text. The themes of the Raging Mother are very personal, so it’s been great to share them with Marzi. He’s been able to observe the thing from a bit of a distance, especially at the beginning of creating Raging Mother. So I’ve been very fortunate to work with him and not least because he’s one of the best and creative and craziest musicians I know!

Can you tell me a little bit about Raging Mother, what was the inspiration behind this new show?

It’s based on my real-life experiences as a mother of a two little children, of course with a twist of fiction. I felt no one was talking about the difficult feelings and situations that every parent-and in this case every mother-has to face. Like for example feelings of rage and hate. I needed some honest talk, and that’s what my show’s about.

When writing this show how important was it for you to be so self reflecting in your text?

Very important. It’s the essence of Raging Mother. I think you need loads of self reflecting skills as a being a parent and when you try to be true and honest to yourself. It’s also something that makes you laugh, when you make precise observations of every day life and about your own ridiculous behaviour as a human being. You need your skills of self reflection for the ability to laugh at yourself, and that’s one of my favourite things: ”self-irony”, self-deprecating humour and that’s something Raging Mother is about also.

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"...in theatre every night is different and every audience is different. As an actor you need similar tools as the writers and directors need: empathy."

What have been the biggest challenge you’ve faced bringing Raging Mother to the Fringe?

The language! Never acted in English! But it’s been very interesting and motivating to work in English. I think in some way Raging Mother is now a totally new show compared to the Finnish version of it.

Do you think you will allow yourself some flexibility with your text once your show is running?

Of course, I’ll try to be as flexible as possible and have mercy with myself with my English for example. There is improvisation in Raging Mother, so the text will be changing little bit anyway in every show.

What has been the most valuable lesson you have taken away from this experience and what does Raging Mother say about you?

I think I’ll have to wait a while to know the answer to that question but I’m so looking forward seeing how Raging Mother will reflect in another culture than my own.

Where did your passion for theatre come from and how much has your background as an actress helped prepare you for writing and directing your debut plays?

I guess I realised quite early that on stage I can be whatever I want and express my strong feelings-something that I have been to afraid to do in real life. On stage on the other hand there are boundless possibilities to empathise for example with a serial killer’s mind and that’s so fascinating! Also, in theatre every night is different and every audience is different. As an actor you need similar tools as the writers and directors need: empathy, a good ear for rhythm, good taste and trusting your instinct.

Is there any advice or tips you would offer any emerging actor?

Don’t take yourself too seriously, after all, it’s only acting. (But its very hard, I know!)

And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from Raging Mother?

I hope the audience will be moved after seeing Raging Mother and leave the Zoo Southside at least in some way with a feeling of what catharsis or absolution. In the end, what’s left is the feeling of love, and that’s the most important thing in the world. Love your children and especially yourself as much and as hard as you can!