Theater A festival dedicated to puppet theater begins in Helsinki, and performances can be seen for free around the city: Turkish theater in Tervasaari and Turku theater in Sampo

The International Puppet Theater Festival Sampo Festival is held despite strict restrictions.

Tomorrow on Wednesday it starts: the fifth international puppet theater festival Sampo Festival.

This year, everything was uncertain due to the circumstances until the last time, says the spokesperson-producer of Puppet Theater Sampo, which is organizing the festival. Anna Martikainen.

However, cancellation was not an option.

“We all need moments to be able to wonder about the world. That there are things that can only be enjoyed, ”says Martikainen.

Especially children and young people being deprived of the performing arts for such a long time have saddened the people of Sampo.

In effect Due to the strict assembly restrictions in place, a very small number of puppetry artists will be able to enjoy indoors this year, but there is also a good side to it.

This year, there are more free outdoor performances of the festival than usual and in more places than before. In addition to Kolmikulma Park and Erottajanaukio, the puppet theater can be seen for free on Tervasaari.

On Separator Square, for example, the caravan theater Caravan, brought by Caravan Theater, will be seen on Friday. Strange stuff and on Sunday in Tervasaari you can see karagözi, the Turkish shadow theater, and the Theater Horseshoe Fairy tale characters right in the yard.

International groups are involved from Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. A performance by the Polish Lalek pleciuga theater will be shown at the Annantalo on Friday and Saturday. Kołysanki Północy or Wind songs from the north. The performance, which is based on Polish and northern lullabies, also includes Finnish songs.

On Friday and Saturday, Slovenian Teatro Matita will perform at Erottaja at Sampo’s premises Being Don Quichotte. In Tervasaari, Matita will present something for the whole family on Sunday Attention, Moose! work.

The festival opens a new premiere of the Kuuma Ankanpoikanen group from Turku Funny – the best puppet show ever made. The premiere on Sampo’s premises at Erottaja has been sold out, but Funny performances will be held in Sampo and elsewhere in Finland also after the festival.

In Sampo’s theater space, the difference between restaurant operations and art events is concretized. Since in Sampo both the ascending auditorium and the stage are drinking areas, an event could be held in the space without a performance at any time with a 75% occupancy rate: 40 people on stage, in 70 auditoriums.

But if a single performer is brought to the stage, only 25 people are allowed in the auditorium.

The festival artistic director Iivo Barić, why did you want to organize the festival despite strict restrictions?

“Why not. At least I personally think that forced life has to go on. Otherwise, we will stay forever doing nothing and nothing will change. ”

What kind of festival is starting now?

“At least really versatile. And really high quality, there are good performances and performers. Hopefully people will also find outdoor stuff, they are always challenging in the Finnish climate. ”

How does it feel to organize a festival when the constraints on indoor gatherings are so strict?

“It feels absurd and absurd. We can make a show for 25 people, but if we throw the performer away, we can take a hundred people in the same space to drink and spend the evening. It seems really strange that this is still the case. It is sad that this is such a society. ”

Sampo Festival 25–29 August More information online at

Merja Pöyhönen and Riina Tikkanen will be on stage at the Hot Duckling’s Funny premiere.



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