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Undocumented Love

Belief in the existence of other human beings as such is love.
– Simone Weil –

Undocumented love is a documentary theatre project focusing on different situations which a large and growing number of undocumented people face in today’s Europe and its borders. We are interested in the experience shared by many refugees of a childhood spent in a conflict zone, and in the civil activists who are helping undocumented families in different countries. For the purpose of developing the script we have carried out interviews with people from refugee backgrounds in Finland, England, Germany, Serbia, Turkey and Lebanon. The script will be devised from various source materials and staged with a cast representing artists from different backgrounds. Documentary material will be transformed into a performance during the process. At the core of the project is the question of identity: What conditions and treatment do people have to tolerate in their bid for the right to exist? How does this change their perspective on life? What is it like to live a childhood in exile? What is it like to live in detention center?

The field work has also included circus and theatre workshops for Syrian refugee children in Turkey. The cast contains artists with refugee backgrounds, with whom The Finnish National Theatre collaborated in its previous production, critically acclaimed Other Home. Angela al Debs from Syria is invited to the project as part of the safe haven program of the Artists at Risk institution.

Undocumented love will premiere in the Omapohja stage of the Finnish National Theatre in early 2020. After the premiere it will tour in different European cities. To book the performance for your venue or festival, please contact producer Irina Duskova (contact info below).


Director and concept design: Jussi Lehtonen
Script and concept design: Kati Kaartinen
Movement: Kalle Lehto
Performers: Angela al Debs, Bakr Hasan, Kalle Lehto, Mohammad Manla, Marja Salo
Set and costume design: Katri Rentto
Sound design: Sanna Salmenkallio, Ali Saad
Lighting design: Eero Alava
Producer: Irina Duskova


Artists at Risk
An institution that facilitates safe passage to persecuted artists from their countries of origin, hosting them at “AR-Residencies” and curating related projects, including the “AR Pavilion”.
Race Horse Company
Race Horse Company is contemporary circus group founded in 2008. The company has toured extensively performing worldwide in Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and Russia. RHC has been awarded with Sirkuksen Lumo award as recognition for work done in the field of Finnish circus, and their shows have also won prizes in festivals abroad.
The Finnish Institute in London


Jussi Lehtonen
Artistic designer and director of Touring Stage The Finnish National Theatre / +358 (0)50 441 7611

Irina Duskova
Producer The Finnish National Theatre / +358 (0)50 359 4132