Building on the phenomenal interest in theatre from the Nordic region, ‘From Start to Finnish’ is an international theatre exchange initiative that taps into Finland’s astonishing theatrical tradition by presenting successful Finnish performing arts productions at Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Forged between the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, The Pleasance Theatre Trust and ACE-Production, From Start to Finnish was officially set up in 2011 following a pilot scheme in 2010 to produce a unique collaboration of Finnish new writing presented by British Theatre companies at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Since its formation the partnership has presented over ten new pieces of work, two of which went on to win awards. For The Overcoat, Billy Mack won The Stage Best Actor Award in 2011, Continuous Growth won a Fringe First in 2012. From Start to Finnish productions have received critical acclaim in Edinburgh and gone on to tour China, America and several countries in Europe.
The initiative also presents the opportunity to for British work to tour to Finland as the appetite for British writing in Finland grows. Ultimately, the programme aims to develop a vibrant, long-lasting partnerships to foster links internationally.
Finland is a centre of excellence for theatre and new writing and is part of the engine of Scandinavian drama that is making a major impact across the UK and Hollywood. The country is home to more theatres per capita than almost anywhere else in the world and a population of only 5.3m buys more than 5.5m tickets annually – any town with over 25,000 inhabitants has its own dedicated theatre.