Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014
UK premiere

Stellar Quines & Lung Ha’s Theatre Companies
in association with the Finnish National Theatre

13 Sunken Years

… into the depth, let the current grab your hair and your arms and spread them wide and – that’s when you start to soar. Riding the rapids with the current. I know all the rocks, the hazards, the eddies, I’m the queen of the white water, the bravest of the brave, the most daring of daredevils, the freest of free spirits…

Set in a remote Finnish town, 13 Sunken Years is the story of three generations of women who are dealing in one way or another, with loss in their lives, whilst finding strength from each other, and from the landscape that surrounds them.

The European Premiere of Finnish playwright Paula Salminen’s haunting and poignant play has been translated and edited for this production by Eva Buchwald and is presented in association with the Finnish National Theatre. It is the first co-production between two of Scotland’s leading theatre companies who champion the work of women in theatre, work with people with learning disabilities and who encourage accessibility in their work both on and off the stage.

13 Sunken Years is directed by Maria Oller, set and costume design is by Jan Bee Brown, lighting design by Simon Wilkinson and composer/sound design by Susan Appleby.

The talented Scottish cast includes; Anne Lacey, Louise Ludgate, Billy Mack, Nicola Tuxworth, Stephan Tait and Ben Winger.

The production which won Best Play in Finland in 2012 will play at Assembly Rooms Fringe, Monday 11 – Sunday 24 August before touring to the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, Paisley Arts Centre and Heart of Hawick, post festival.

For further information
Shirley Monteith, Marketing
Mobile 07737 168680

Read 13 Sunken Years Reviews.


  • Monday 11 – Sunday 24 August 2014 (no performance Mon 18 Aug)
  • Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED
  • Time: 14.05pm Tickets: £13 / £ 9 concession
  • Box Office +44 (0) 844 693 3008 or +44(0) 131 226 0000 or
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe Box Office +44 (0) 131 226 0000


This production has been chosen as part of Made in Scotland 2014, a curated showcase of Scottish performance on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. It is a partnership between the Festival Fringe Society, the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST), the Scottish Music Centre and Creative Scotland.

Stellar Quines
Established in 1993, Stellar Quines is an award winning Scottish theatre company that celebrates the energy, experience and perspective of women. This year we are celebrating our 21st anniversary and are proud to have provided a platform for women’s stories and created live theatre driven by women and where female practitioners are at the forefront of all creative roles throughout this time. Stellar Quines has established a reputation for high quality, diverse work which reflects an eclectic range of theatrical styles and is underpinned by a commitment to pushing boundaries and challenging stereotypes.

Lung Ha’s Theatre Company
Since 1984, Lung Ha’s Theatre Company has been one of the leading professional Theatre Companies in Scotland providing opportunities for adults with learning disabilities to become actively involved in the performing arts.

Over the past 25 years the Company has produced nearly 36 original stage productions making its mark in Scottish theatre. The Company has collaborated with a wide array of arts professionals from across Scotland and beyond. In 2005, to further cement the ongoing development and continued success of the Company, Lung Ha’s Theatre Company was able to appoint its first full-time Artistic Director.

Lung Ha’s Theatre Company distinguishes itself not only by the quality of its work, which marries a successful blend of theatrical invention, technological creativity, and poetic writing, but also by the way the Company succeeds in challenging its audience whilst still being accessible to all.

The Company has a membership of 25 actors with learning disabilities.


Writer – Paula Salminen
born 1977, is a Finnish playwright and dramaturg who graduated from the Finnish Theatre Academy in 2003 and has since worked as a freelance writer for theatre, radio and television.  Although Salminen, who began writing plays at the age of nine, has worked on numerous projects, 13 Sunken Years was her first full-length, non-adaptation work to be performed at a professional theatre.  It premiered at the Finnish National Theatre in March 2012. Salminen is currently working on three new plays, as well as editing and writing a book on dramaturgy and co-founding a new collective for children’s theatre.

Translator – Eva Buchwald
studied at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University of London. She is a dramaturg at the Finnish National Theatre where her role includes developing new Finnish writing and seeking international work for the programme. Eva also adapts work for the stage, most recently Dostoevsky’s Idiot (2010) and the Finnish novel Over Dark Waters by Peter Franzen (2012).  Eva has also translated over a dozen Finnish plays into English.  Many of these, such as Juha Jokela’s Fundamenlist, Sirkku Peltola’s Finnhorse and Sofi Oksanen’s Purge and have enjoyed readings or productions in the UK and USA.  Her translation of Sirkku Peltola’s Happy to Stand opened at ACT (graduate programme) in San Francisco in October 2012.  She has recently completed the translation of Paavo Westerberg’s They Don’t Live Here Anymore and is currently working on a stage adaptation of Ian McEwan’s Saturday for the Finnish National Theatre.

Artistic Director – Maria Oller
Maria has been Lung Ha’s Theatre Company’s Artistic Director since 2009. She was born in Finland and trained at Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris and London and at the drama Academy in Helsinki. Since then Maria has been working as an actress and director in theatre, film and TV in Scandinavia and the UK.

Maria’s most recent productions for Lung Ha’s Theatre Company are The Hold by Adrian Osmond (in collaboration with National Museums of Scotland), Un Petite Moliere by Morna Pearson, Antigone by Adrian Osmond (in collaboration with National Youth Orchestras of Scotland), Huxley’s Lab by Ben Harrison (in collaboration with Grid Iron Theatre Company), Checkhov Shorts by Carol Rocamora.

Maria is also a member of the Hearts&Minds Clowndoctor and Elderflower team.

Artistic Director – Muriel Romanes
Muriel has over thirty years of experience in theatre both as an actor and director. She was Associate Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and is one of the co-founders of Stellar Quines Theatre Company, where she has been Artistic Director since 1996.

Her many directorial credits include The Clearing by Helen Edmondson, The Reel of The Hanged Man by Jeanne-Mance Delisle, Sweet Fanny Adams in Eden by Judith Adams, the critically acclaimed The Memory of Water by Shelagh Stephenson and the world premiere of Three Thousand Troubled Threads by Chiew Siah Tei.

In February 2007 Muriel co-directed The Unconquered by Torben Betts, which was presented in Scotland and New York. She then went on to direct Judith Adam’s theatrical adaptation of Muriel Spark’s The Girls of Slender Means which played at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009. Muriel won the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland Best Director award for Stellar Quines’ production Age of Arousal by Canadian playwright Linda Griffiths, which was a co-production with the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.

In 2012 Muriel directed The List, a one woman play starring Maureen Beattie, at the Edinburgh Fringe and won a Fringe First and a Herald Angel and the Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland for Best Production. It was then restaged at the Fringe in 2013 and was a sell-out success for a second year.