Theater Actress Liisi Tandefelt was told at the age of 22 that she was “dangerously old”: Now the actress returns to the stages at the age of 84 and speaks on behalf of all the female actors

After a 15-year break, actress-costume designer Liisi Tandefelt returns to the theater and makes the first Niskavuori interpretation of her life in Mikkeli.

“I quote here is a replica of Niskavuori’s old mistress from her death scene: it is refreshed when she sees the people around her, ”replies Liisi Tandefelt to the question of what it feels like to be on the theater stage after a long break.

Tandefelt, 84, reached by telephone during the theater break What about now, Niskavuori?Fifteen years have passed since Tandefelt’s previous theatrical work as an actor. There is an even longer time to be a theatrical costume designer.

Hella Wuolijoki in the last part of the Niskavuori saga, written in 1953, 1940 lives in Niskavuori. Niskavuori is threatened by division and the old hostess fights for space for the last breath. The play is decided by the director Raija-Sinikka Rantala The Niskavuori trilogy started in 1987 at the Lahti City Theater. It will premiere in Mikkeli on Saturday, January 23, as interest rate restrictions allow.

The performance, which takes place in the last moments of the Continuation War, has reminded Tandefelt of his own childhood war experiences.

“In the summer of the truce, I was taken to Suomenlinna with relatives at the age of four. I remember the differences from my parents and other wartime experiences well. Yes, it leaves its mark. ”

The text of the Wuolijoki River is also very topical for him. “Here are the same elements that exist in our time: immigrants vs. Karelian evacuees, the sense of danger brought by war versus the dangers of the corona.”

Tandefeltin the latest acting has been seen on film screens: last year Zaida Bergrothin Tovein the movie Tove Jansson as a landlady and in 2012 Antti J. Jokisen In cleaning, whose role as old Aliide Trudena Tandefelt was awarded the Jussi Prize for Women. “Although About cleaning I refused to my shame twice, ”he says.

The reason for the refusal was the location. At the time, Tandefelt was enjoying his retirement at his self-renovated summer place in Hartola all year round.

“However, Antti Jokinen got me dragged from Hartola to Estonia for filming and it was terribly nice. Since then I have again taken up the roles of something, but very little. “

Liisi Tandefelt (center) Mikkeli Theater What about Niskavuori now? in rehearsals with Vintte Viitanen (left) and Riina Uimonen.­

The final performance of the fifteen-year break holds much for the first time. For Tandefelt, the role of the old hostess is the first Niskavuori interpretation and the first work at the Mikkeli Theater and under the direction of Raija-Sinikka Rantala.

“When I came here, I said that I know from time immemorial that when there is a break from the stage for a couple of years, you can almost get in there. Everything is so new again. And there’s a little more work to refuel on the head of replicas at this age, ”Tandefelt says. Tandefelt’s career has come to an end this year 60 years.

Originally he wasn’t supposed to become an actor – at least in his mother’s opinion.

“Mom asked me when I got a student what to study. When I replied that I was going to Theater School, he pinched his lips tightly together and said ‘I wish I wasn’t my daughter’. ”

Tandefelt says he was “so unwilling” that he first went to college for a year to read art history. From there, he continued at the School of Art and Design to the line of interior design. However, he defied his mother’s opinion so much that he acted in the Student Theater.

“After graduating from Art and Design, I worked for one year in Asko. When I finally applied to the Theater School in 1959, I realized I was over. ”

The age limit for women on the actress line at that time was 23 years. Luckily, Tandefelt got the application papers in when he was 22 and, to his surprise, got to study for an acting line. Even though they were on the selection panel Ritva Arvelo and Wilho Ilmari were of the opinion that Tandefelt was “dangerously old”.

“I guess it was that they didn’t think I could be modified anymore after I had played big roles in the Student Theater as well.”

The question of age is absurd to him. Tandefelt announces that a small speech will now be made “on behalf of all actresses”:

“When I turned 40, one theater director told me that oh, oh when you’re in a difficult age,” he gasps. At the age of 34 at the Helsinki City Theater from the age of 50 Rosa Luxemburgia and at the age of 36 in the same theater Ibsenin Villisorsan Performed by 14-year-old Hedvig, Tandefelt replied to the director, “Excuse me, but when is the actress the right age?”

“Nowadays I’m at that age that I die all rooleissani,” he says and laughs.

Tandefelt made a long career in a double role. He was attached as both an actor and a costume designer at the Television Theater, the Tampere Workers’ Theater, the Helsinki City Theater and the Turku City Theater. However, the presentation of monologues drew him to become a free artist.

Tandefelt toured with monologues about the woman’s life that included music, among other things Eeva Kilven and Solveig von Schoultzin texts Finland and Central Europe with the slogan “From Ten to the Danube”.

“Luckily I got the scholarships, they haven’t had a terrible pension in hand, and now you feel it in your bones. But it was a nice time, ”Tandefelt recalls.

When, at the age of 62, he came to the conclusion that he could no longer sit in a van and live on tour at any time, he sought his own space at the Theater for Open Doors, which he founded as a tour theater in 1994.

Unique, the Central European-style salon theater was founded in 1997 on Töölö Museokatu. Tandefelt served as its director until his retirement, until 2003. Today, the Theater Open Doors is operated by Erottaja.

Theater After the Open Doors, Tandefelt took a break from making art.

“I needed a break, building the theater alone and running it almost killed me.”

During the break, Tandefelt renovated his summer place in Hartola with his own hands. Today, Tandefelt, who lives in Helsinki, spends summers and autumns in Hartola, growing carrots, potatoes and beets. Where does all this energy come from?

“I don’t know if I have any special energy in me. I think it’s a normal life. ”

However, Tandefelt replies to possible future wound roles: “Isn’t my acting here now?”


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