The novel (published in 2003) is adapted to stage by Aino Kivi. True to Oksanen’s debut novel, Stalin’s Cows takes the audience into women’s lives both in Finland and in Estonia. These lives have been shaped by different generations and societies, and are told from the perspectives of a grandmother, a mother and a daughter.
After the premiere the press repeatedly praised the poignant and current nature of the play’s themes. When Stalin’s Cows was published fifteen years ago, the world was a slightly different place; nowadays, questions relating to information warfare, propaganda, equality, sex and gender make daily headlines. The painful recent history, immigration and ethnic prejudices are globally touching and relevant topics.
World premiere: Joensuu City Theatre, 2018
Roles: 3 F
“The late 1980s and 1990s in Stalin’s Cows feel even more interesting and insightful now when we have some distance to the period. // Stalin’s Cows is a far more interesting choice for the stage than Purge. First and foremost because of its personal intimacy and revealing nature sucking you in and making you identify with the characters. Moreover, it is full of everyday observations, expressions and phenomena and they open very different angles to our everyday life than Purge, which as a drama is a classic tragedy.”
“Stalin’s Cow’s is the most intense, most oppressive – in the best of ways – and the most beautiful theatre experience of the season.”
“Aino Kivi’s dramatisation and direction of Stalin’s Cows is a fantastic stage adaptation. The cultural atmosphere 15 years ago was not paranoid in the way we can see in Stalin’s Cows. Nowadays, however, it is easily recognizable.”