Matti Linnavuori[1]


The Performance Reviews Section celebrates not only the tenth issue of Critical Stages but also the 20th World Cup of football (North Americans please read “soccer”). The two events occurred in 2014.

The section opens with a review of Touche, an Italian production about the various aspects of the game of football. Unlike football, however, theatre—and certainly not theatre criticism—is not a competitive sport. Therefore, the reviews do follow the rankings by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) published after the tournament, but in reverse order, with the sole exception that the world champion, Germany, follows the introductory essay on Touche.

It is far from self-evident under which country one should label theatre productions in a list of rankings. According to the nationality of the playwright or director? According to the nationality of the critic? Those sound to me more competitive and nationalistic than how I perceive theatre arts. Here the host country of the production or the festival has been decisive; it is their hard work and dedication which has made the shows visible to us.

[1] Matti Linnavuori (b. 1955) edits the Performance Reviews for Critical Stages. At home in Finland, he contributes regularly to Parnasso, a literary journal. He has written and directed several radio plays for YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

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