Performances suitable for non-Finnish-speaking audience


Tampere Theatre Festival will be organized for the 54th time on 7–13th of August 2023. The programmes include multiple performances suitable for non-Finnish-speaking audience. In this article we give tips for pieces that can be understood in English – and some pieces don’t require understanding any spoken language.

We have also listed some of the versatile music performances of Tampere Theatre Festival 2023. While on some occasions the music performances have Finnish lyrics, we believe that music can be enjoyed regardless of language.

Suitable performances for non-Finnish-speaking audience can be found in all of the Festival’s programmes: The Main Programme, OFF Tampere, T Lab, The Great Nocturnal Happening and More!

Performances suitable for everyone regardless of language

Flesh (The Main Programme) is a piece consisting of four wordless stories about exploration of the human condition. Flesh is another curious step into the unknown by the Belgian theatre company Cie Still Life.

Receptionists (The Main Programme) by Kallo Collective is a physical comedy about two slick and smooth front desk receptionists, who try to get through their day as hospitality industry professionals working at a five-star hotel. Although they are fluent in many languages, nobody understands a word they’re saying – and they are deathly afraid of their guests.

Yé! (The Main Programme) is a breathtaking physical spectacle including acrobatics, human pyramids and hip-hop. It is a story about ingenuity and new beginnings performed by a Guinean performing company Circus Baobab that blends contemporary circus with traditional African circus.

Alda (OFF Tampere) is a live installation inspired by women’s collective physical labour. It is a polyphonic event where dance, choreography, soundscape and material come together to create an atmosphere of deep listening and togetherness. Alda, meaning wave in Icelandic, is a performance created by Pirkanmaan Tanssin Keskus and ALDA working group.

Banan’o’Rama (OFF Tampere) by Ahuma Productions is a physical comedy with miming and circus skills. In this performance Mr. Banana approaches the theme of Gods and Super Heroes and our relationship with them.

Beyond (OFF Tampere) mixes circus and music to create a ruggedly humorous serious ideal machine. Sirkus Supiainen welcomes everyone to get wrapped up in unimaginable and search for deep folk tradition from the future.

Circus Ruska Festival: VAANNILA (OFF Tampere) is a piece of contemporary circus handling friendship in all its diversity. It includes acrobatics, tightrope walking, classic songs, surprising dance moves and unintentional humor.

Circus Ruska Festival: We Are the Champions (OFF Tampere) is a theatrical performance about achievements, directed and performed by Simon Llewellyn. The show includes circus acts, football juggling, warm ups with the audience and dance moves.

Core (OFF Tampere) by Sirkus Supiainen is a performance held in a small space where the stage becomes the core of the world with music, lights, smoke and balloons surrounded by the darkness. Step inside to the tiny dome and you can find hypnotic power of movement and light – and maybe even pieces of truth.

Performances in English

It Stays As It Is (The Main Programme) is a sharp, crisp and lovely piece about dreams becoming personal truths. Estonian authors-performers Juhan Ulfsak, Eero Epner, Mart Kangro and dramaturge Maria Arusoo have created a piece that takes a look at things through mental walls.

Lonely Lonely Oh So Lonely (The Main Programme) is a lecture piece about loneliness performed and directed by Canadian contemporary theatre maker James Long. This entertaining presentation takes a look at how people are experiencing their lives after the pandemic.

Shadow (The Main Programme) is a story about humanity, future impacts of AI and a town hall meeting drifting into chaos. It is the debut film by the internationally acclaimed Australian Back to Back Theatre. Shadow is performed in English and there are English and Finnish subtitles available.

Ceci N´est Pas Moi (OFF Tampere) is a sincere and intimate dance monologue by choreographer and performer Linda Kuha. The solo performance produced by Pirkanmaan Tanssin Keskus is about responsibility, the pursuit of freedom and how these two shape identity. The artistic context is based on complexity of identity and theories of truth.

Dreaming of Leadership (Seminars, Meetings and More) is a panel discussion that explores the diverse roles of leaderships in the performing arts. The discussion is based on the experiences gathered in a mentorship project coordinated by Tampere Theatre Festival in 2022–23.

Introducing Playwright Penda Diouf (Seminars, Meetings and More) is a discussion event organized by Theater Info Finland (TINFO) with French actor and playwright Penda Diouf, author of Pistes (engl. Tracks). Diouf is interviewed by Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen, member of Tampere Theatre Festival Artistic Team and director of Tampere Theatre.

Finnish performances with English subtitles

Jane! Jane! Jane! (The Main Programme) by Jurkka Theatre is a story about legendary Jane Fonda appearing to the play’s main character, whose world gets turned upside down in a snap. The performance tells the story of a personal breakout from a strange and tangled mess into freedom and action. The performance is in Finnish but there are English subtitles available via a mobile app.

Letting Go (The Main Programme) is a piece about unwanted childlessness, abandoning a dream, feeling sad about an unfulfilled wish but it’s also a celebration of everything that came true. The performance by the Finnish National Theatre deals with themes like how to mourn something that never was. The performance is in Finnish but there are English subtitles available via a mobile app.

Pottery Shards (The Main Programme) is a piece about personal experiences of social exclusion expressed through the art of theatre. The Porttiteatteri Company contemplates the impacts of what happens to someone who is shut out – or just drifting away – from society. The performance is in Finnish but there are English subtitles available via a mobile app.

More information about the app.


Hotel Tammer Brunch Concert takes place in the glamorous Tammer Hall of Hotel Tammer on Saturday 12 August. It will be organized for the third time by Tampere Theatre Festival and Radisson Blu Grand Hotel Tammer. This year the brunch concert is headlined by opera and concert singer Waltteri Torikka. A generous brunch buffet is served during the concert.

Marzi Nyman plays Jimi Hendrix (T Lab) is a gig where guitar superhero Marzi Nyman and his virtuoso band play Hendrix’s classics in their own arrangements, respecting the original.

The Best of Gösta Sundqvist (T Lab) is a tribute to Gösta Sundqvist, the wordsmith behind the songs of the legendary Finnish band Leevi and the Leavings.

Ykspihlajan Kino-orkesteri (T Lab) takes its listeners to the lush atmosphere of film music and Finnish schlagers from the 50s and 60s.

Hilke & Hänninen presents: Songs by Anssi Tikanmäki (OFF Tampere) is a concert where singer/actress Minna Hilke and actress/singer/musician Laura Hänninen perform Finnish song arrangements originally by Anssi Tikanmäki.

Park Concert 2023 (OFF Tampere) is the traditional outdoor concert in Sorsapuisto, organized by Tampere Philharmonic and Tampereen Sähkölaitos.

Pim & Pom Take New York (OFF Tampere) is a part of the series called New York: An Observation. The lyrics are written during the visit to New York 17–26 March 2023. The songs are recorded in Helsinki, Finland, in April 2023.

The descriptions of the events during The Great Nocturnal Happening are available in English on our website.

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