Tampere Theatre Festival Welcomes Back Foreign Entries


The 53rd Tampere Theatre Festival marks the return of international input after a two-year hiatus. As usual, Scandinavia’s biggest theatre festival also showcases a great selection of domestic productions. The festival is scheduled for August 1–7.

The Main Programme features 19 productions. Foreign theatre companies will be arriving from France, Spain and Belgium. The Finnish lineup includes The National Theatre, Helsinki City Theatre, Oulu Theatre, Rovaniemi Theatre, The Red Nose Company, KOM Theatre, Q Theatre and Turku City Theatre. The festival also plays host to numerous freelance outfits.

In the words of Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen and Tanjalotta Räikkä, the festival’s Artistic Team in charge of selections:

”The two focal points of this year’s Main Programme are family and the human mind – from mindscapes to mental health. It’s high time to ask what humanity, closeness and warmth mean to us.”

Three from abroad

French director Philippe Quesne makes his fourth visit to the festival, this time with a Vivarium Studio production Farm Fatale, a surrealistic vision of an eco-revolution carried out by unemployed scarecrows.

Combining meticulously crafted movement material with imaginative and humorous storytelling, Spanish choreographer Marcos Morau and his company La Veronal bring us Pasionaria, a portrayal of a future without emotion. The festival performance is a co-production with the Tampere Hall.

The Belgian-Dutch All Inclusive, a 2019 Venice Biennale entry, deals with the aestheticization of war and takes a satirical look at the art market. Director Julian Hetzel is a performer, musician and visual artist born in Germany and residing in the Netherlands.

North by Southwest

Shedding light on the city’s worsening drug problem, Oulu Theatre’s My Son Who Disappeared, directed by Heta Haanperä, is a statement-making piece about a family dealing with crisis and shame.

Rovaniemi Theatre’s Lempi is a tense drama set during the Lapland War. This stage adaptation of Minna Rytisalo’s acclaimed debut novel is helmed by the company’s artistic director Miika Muranen.

In The Death of the Actor, the Kajaani-rooted Vaara Collective raises the question of how to accept the hidden inclinations in ourselves and in people who are close to us. Directed by Eino Saari, the play digs into the unconscious motivations and shame behind acting and performing.

Turku City Theatre and director Maia Häkli take on a contemporary drama by one of today’s leading theatremakers, French playwright Florian Zeller. The Mother paints an intimate picture of a woman’s identity disintegrating when her husband and grown-up children drift further and further away from the nest.

Helsinki hits

Director Milja Sarkola and Helsinki City Theatre light up the festival and TTT Theatre’s main stage with their massive hit Bolla, a story about forbidden love, adapted from Pajtim Statovci’s Finlandia-winning novel.

Blind Spot, a documentary-like piece by the Finnish National Theatre, wants an answer to the question of why all the political decisions that affect our daily lives are obscured or made to appear smaller than they really are. Visionary director Susanna Kuparinen is known for the stage trilogies The Council and The Parliament.

KOM Theatre stages the story of Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861–1937). Directed by Riikka Oksanen, Lou Salomé is a praise to freedom and all the female writers who have been erased from history.

Ancient myth meets arctic tragedy in Q Theatre’s Eriopis, adapted and directed by Akse Pettersson from a script by E. L. Karhu.

Takomo Theatre welcomes you to experience their heartwarming teamwork piece, The Mustache Institute, a hybrid of silent cinema, live music and performing arts featuring mindblowing findings and lectures by a group of mustachioed researchers.

Challenging conventional narratives

Next-generation collective 4 Floors of Whores shatters the imagery of Finnish theatre and classics with niXXXavuori. The quartet of Astrid Stenberg, Emilia Jansson, Herman Nyby and Riku-Pekka Kellokoski operates at the intersection of physical theatre, contemporary choreography, sound design and performance art.

Arni Rajamäki & team treat us with Beginning Middle End, an advanced slice of theatre that doesn’t take itself or the Aristotelian tradition too seriously. Delivered as a cold reading by a different actor at each performance, Beginning Middle End is Arni Rajamäki’s thesis piece for the Helsinki Theatre Academy.

Where Did You Go? by Talvikki Eerola, a 2021 graduate of Tampere University’s theatre program, is a depiction of role reversal, the child becoming the caregiver of a seriously ill parent. This solo work was created with the help of associations for families of people with mental illness.

The Kotiteatteri company turns your private home into a stage with In the Living Room, their debut effort which kicks off a series of productions revolving around the concept of unknown hospitality. Any resident of downtown Tampere can offer their living room for a performance date. The show makes its stop at Tampere Theatre Festival in the middle of a nationwide tour, before moving on to rejuvenate living rooms across the Pirkanmaa region.

Friendly collaborations and a family delight

Celebrating actor Taisto Reimaluoto’s 60th anniversary, the Avoimet Ovet company and Lahti City Theatre present The Greatest Happiness is Being Happy, a monologue about Finnish outsider artist and offbeat thinker Elis Sinistö (1912–2004). The piece cross-cuts between the personal histories of Reimaluoto and Sinistö, two great lovers of life.

Inspired by the thoughts and observations of Eeva-Liisa Manner, When Even the Cat Died, I Started to Laugh opens an avenue for writer-director Elina Snicker to compare notes with the late poet on how to be yourself and remain connected with others. The play is a co-production between Theatre 2.0 and the Eeva-Liisa Manner Society.

The Red Nose Company takes on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in a family-friendly musical comedy starring the rock-solid comedy duo of Timo Ruuskanen and Tuukka Vasama as The Monster and The Doctor.


Festival tickets on sale from May 5 at Lippupiste website and outlets. Additional programming will be announced during the summer.

Main Programme press images (please credit the photographer):


More info:
Executive Director Hanna Rosendahl, +358 40 594 4600

Artistic Team interview requests:
Head of PR and Marketing Tiina Hurskainen, +358 40 865 5852 | tiina.hurskainen(at)teatterikesa.fi

The Tampere Theatre Festival, one of Europe’s premier showcases since its beginning in 1968, presents the cutting edge of theatre from Finland and abroad. The upcoming festival is scheduled for August 1–7, 2022.


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