SAMPO Festival
International Puppet Theatre Festival




Outdoor events








Festival Club

Fifth SAMPO Festival August 25th-29th 2021

SAMPO Festival is here!

Our opening performance this year is FUNNY – The best puppet show ever made by Dirty Duckling from Turku, Finland. This new performance had its premiere on Wed 25th August 2021 on Sampo Stage. Second and third performance on Thu 26.8.

The whole festival program is now public and you can also buy tickets! There are also lots of events free of charge and outdoor events. Our venues this year are Puppet Theatre Sampo, Annantalo, Teatteri ILMI Ö, Kolmikulma Park, Erottajanaukio and Tervasaari.

Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook! Events and moments from the festival will also be posted on Puppet Theatre Sampo´s Instagram.

Have a look at the Festival Book here:






A few words from Ivo Barić, the artistic director of the festival

To organize an international theater festival in a time when the surrounding conditions are constantly changing feels like an absurd idea. A huge amount of work and plans are being wasted time and time again because of the ever-changing restrictions preventing things from happening.

We live in a time and environment where, at the time of writing, the law allows serving drinks in our theater hall for 100 people at a time, when prohibiting more than 25 people from attending a cultural event in the same space. As those in power hide behind the paragraphs of legislation, arbitrary restrictions slowly gnaw the cultural life to the nonexistence.

Therefore, the idea of ​​not organizing this event seems even more absurd. In times like these, art needs to stand out and show its power. In difficult times, one should not submit but adapt and do what is possible.

Fortunately, things can be done in several ways. Stylishly and safely.

The program of the 2021 SAMPO festival consists of performances, exhibitions, discussions and workshops that will spread not only to traditional theater spaces but also to parks, squares and street corners.

Dear reader, I encourage you to spend these five festival days enjoying our diverse program, while relaxing and getting inspired. You will have time to read the news again later.

 – Ivo



SAMPO Festival offers memorable, touching and entertaining performances for children and adults. One of the biggest puppetry festivals in Finland, it showcases artists from across the field, different styles of puppetry and visual theatre, and crosses borders between different fields of art. In addition to performances, the program also features films, workshops, outdoor performances, discussions and diverse artist meetings.

SAMPO Festival gives a place for encountering, also for professional puppeteers. For the first time in 2019, the Festival invited also guests from different countries around the world to see performances and take part in discussions. Domestic puppeteers have also had a chance to portray their upcoming work and ideas for a jury of professionals at our Open Stage event.

The festival is organized by Puppet Theatre Sampo.

SAMPO Festival was organized for the first time 29.8-3.9.2017, the second time 22.-26.8.2018, for the third time 28.8.-1.9.2019 and for the fourth time 26.-30.8.2020 (exceptionally as SAMPO XX). The program books of the earlier festivals can be looked at at the bottom of the page.

SAMPO Festival is a curated festival and we invite performing groups from around the world.

Check out the festival trailer for 2019 to have a glimpse at what to expect: SAMPO 2019 Official Festival Trailer


The Festival is organized by Puppet Theatre Sampo, that was founded in 1977 and has its premises in the center of Helsinki.

We invite people of all ages, shapes and sizes to enjoy the cosy atmosphere of our Puppet Theatre Centre and see puppetry performances for children and adults. We offer also art education: workshops and theme days. Sampo´s Fairytale Café is also open to the public at the theatre.

We are driven by imagination, humor and music. Welcome to be inspired by them! You may find some happiness, the treasure of friendship, a sparkle of joy in the middle of a busy day.


Dirty Duckling: FUNNY

Sampo Stage 25.8.2021 at 7 pm (FULL) & 26.8.2021 at 3 pm & 7 pm (FULL)
for adults
Tickets 20€ / 15€


Funny is fun. Funny is touching. Funny is the best puppet show in the world. You don't want to miss this show! The Dirty Duckling performance FUNNY pops the stage full of shape-changing balloons, fickle video projections and dreams of stardom. The puppet show conceptualized by Merja Pöyhönen and Riina Tikkanen aims straight at the corners of the audience’s mouths, their hearts and towards worldwide fame. This lightly saturated performance hides evil in cotton wool and contemplates on the tragedy of entertaining. A child-adult is revealed in the limelight, with an eternal smile and a sugar-tipped past. Laughter, helium balloons, Mary had a little lamb, an eternal birthday party and a family believing they were happy. But as the day turns into a night, a gun is found from the pillow, and sheep that don’t want to go away creep from under the blanket. In its imagery this wordless, humorous, and light-hearted performance hides issues on fear of violence and cracking mental health. Is there always emptiness behind a clown’s smile? If the balloon grows too big, will it explode? Can you grow up by only eating cotton candy? The stars of the entertainment world whimsically bossing each others around and the sparkle of the limelight find their forms in an incredibly little used puppet technique: balloons. In addition to live balloons the performance features full-sized human puppets and invisible puppeteering. The working group of Funny consists of heroes of Finnish contemporary puppet theatre. The star performers of the show, Merja Pöyhönen and Riina Tikkanen, are familiar, together and separately, from many of the recent Finnish contemporary puppet theatre successes. Group is supplemented by a careful selection of some of the best Finnish puppet artists. The team’s merits cover just about everything from big stage visual design and art prizes to pioneering organizational activities in the puppetry field.  



Duration 1 H (no pause)

Language nonverbal

For adults


Concept, text, on stage - Merja Pöyhönen & Riina Tikkanen

Director - Pia Kalenius

Puppets & scenography - Jenni Rutanen

Composer - Antti-Juhani Manninen

Lights - Essi Santala

Visual assistent - Heini Maaranen

Puppetry trainee - Eve Mäkitalo

Production - Kuuma Ankanpoikanen & Markus Alanen

In co-operation - Puppet Theatre Sampo

Pictures - Jenni Rutanen, Jussi Virkkumaa

Nukketeatteri Sampo: Pipu

Teatteri ILMI Ö Thu 26.8. at 10am & 12pm
30 min
Tickets 15€

Pipu is a small red ball that doesn’t bounce but wants to move in its own way. Pipu is curious and playful. For Pipu, anything is possible, and the whole universe revolves around itself. The performance is an almost nonverbal experience of color, accompanied by verstatile live music. Moods are created through instruments, songs, reflections, music, words, and dance. Pipu makes you sensitive to hearing, seeing, and feeling colors. Suitable especially for babies and toddlers.  



Puppet Theater Sampo is a professional puppet theater founded in 1977.

Puppet Theater Sampo’s group of authors and artists consists of diverse professionals in music, puppet theater and visual arts with solid experience in the field of art, as well as a strong desire to work for children’s culture. We want to do our best so that for every spectator, both child and adult, a visit to our theater will leave a good experience in their heart!

Our repertoire is rich and varied. The performances deal with themes of mutual interaction and caring that are important to both children and adults, through means of imagination, joy, and humor. Over the years, many of our performances have become beloved classics for our audience, which many come to see again and again from year to year.

Pipu is a production made for Helsinki City's Culture Kids program, started in 2020. All children born in 2021 in Helsinki will become god children of Helsinki theaters, and they will get invited to the theaters events twice a year.

On stage: Anne Lihavainen, Susan Aho, Antero Reinistö

Text, puppets, scenography: Anne Lihavainen

Devising and realisation: työryhmä

Original director: Bojan Baric

Production: Nukketeatteri Sampo




Milla Risku: Yes, I can!

Kolmikulman puisto Thu 26.8. at 5 pm & 6 pm
nonverbal, for all ages
30 min
Tickets free of charge

Yes, I can! - or, the afternoon of a stage artist   Amanda is a stage artist whose life has been taken away by a pandemic. To make time go faster, she hangs out in the city day after day ... Yes, I can! is a mask theater performance for one actor, shopping bags and a postal parcel. The performance mixes different art forms, from sculpture to rhythm music. The story goes forward by means of absurd humor and improvisation. Objects appearing from the woman's bag get new life as something totally different. The performance has been moved indoors to Puppet Theatre Sampo Gallery due to the weather! Erottajankatu 7

Text, direction, scenography, on stage: Milla Risku



Teatteri Mukamas: Hiirulainen ja suuri seikkailu - The Mouse and the Great Adventure

Annantalo Fri 27.8. at 9 am & 10 am
for the whole family
35 min
Tickets 15€

The mouse is on a trip with friends. Suddenly the tire of the bike bursts and the journey stops alltogether. This is where the Mouse´s Great Adventure begins. How do friends solve this puzzle? Do they manage to patch the tire? And what happens in the meantime? The joyous performance of the whole family combines circus, dance and puppetry. The Mouse and the Great Adventure is part of Theater Mukamas popular series of Mouse's stories.


Established in 1979, Theatre Mukamas is a professional puppet theatre from Tampere. Mukamas´ idyllic own stage is located in Pispala, and it tours frequently in day care centres, schools and other places in Finland and abroad. Puppets, actors, objects, shadows, live music and modern puppet theatre techniques are ingeniously combined in performances. Mukamas also organizes theatre courses and workshops for children in different ages, and the MUKAMAS International Puppet Theatre Festival.

Mukamas employs permanently 10 people and freelancers.

Text & Director:
Katarina Stycz

Ringa Aflatuni

Emma Hanikka

Edward Smycz

Juuli Hyttinen & Raisa Kekarainen

Patrick Stycz

The 10 am show is full!

TEATR LALEK PLECIUGA: Kołysanki Północy – Lullabies of the North

Annantalo Fri 27.8. at 5 pm / Sat 28.8. at 10 am & 12 pm & 3 pm
for all ages
45 min
Tickets 15€

Marta Łągiewka's innovative work is based on traditional Polish and northern lullabies in new arrangements.   It is not a typical performance, it is not a typical concert, it is more of a musical meeting during which parents or grandparents together with their children and grandchildren will be able to listen to traditional Polish and Scandinavian lullabies and actively join in. Sitting on soft cushions we will move to a delicate land at the borderline of daydreaming and dreaming. "Lullabies of the North" is an invitation for the young viewer to sing along with their parents, it is an invitation to create music together and build a world in which the main role is played by the child with parents or grandparents. It's a great opportunity to feel being together, as family, and the warmth of it.


Puppet Theater "Pleciuga" is a municipal cultural institution from Szczecin, established in 1953.

Its history was created and is still being created by outstanding creators, actors-professionals, as well as experienced employees.

The theatre offers performances on small and large stages and other spaces for children and adults. The repertoire includes large shows, as well as small performances, the realization of which uses a variety of puppetry techniques. One of the most famous performances, important not only in the history of "Pleciuga" but also in the history of Polish puppetry, was the diptych for youth and adults "Rzecz o Jędrzeju Wowrze" by Jan Wilkowski (1983). It was this performance that could be considered the first to fully break the stereotype that the puppet scene is aimed exclusively at children. "Pleciuga" systematically presents its work in Poland and abroad.

Scenario and direction: Marta Łągiewka

Scenographer: Kaja Cykalewicz-Licak

Composer: Tomasz Licak

Cast: Marta Łągiewka, Maja Bartlewska

First performance: 26 May 2019

Caravan Theatre: Nukketeatteri Ofelia - Strange stuff

Erottajanaukio Fri 27.8. at 4pm & 4.30 pm & 5pm & 6pm & 6.30pm & 7pm
for all ages
13 min
Tickets 5€

Caravan Theater Karavan brings with it Puppet Theater Ofelia's performance Strange Stuff. The performance plays with proportions, creating a dreamlike world on a small stage. Magical, funny things happen, the impossible is possible. In the performance, familiar objects and things change, gaining a new form and meaning. Nothing is what it looks like at first. The performance takes place in a unique fun language and is suitable for all languages and all ages.  




The Caravan Theater is the caravan of Metropolitan Puppets, which can be transformed almost anywhere as a space for performing arts. The caravan has seats for a small audience. At the SAMPO Festival, you can find the Caravan Theater on Erottajanaukio.


Note: the venue is an old caravan, and there is space for an audience of seven people.


Text, visualization, direction, on stage: Anne Lihavainen

Music: Sampo Kylmänen


NOTE: there is only one event for all shows in the events calendar - when buying tickets, go to the event (Buy now) and you will see where there is still space!


Caravan Theatre: Roosa Halme - Palikkateatteri

Erottajanaukio Sat 28.8. at 11am & 12pm & 1pm & 4 pm & 5pm
for all ages
20 min
Tickets 5€

Palikkateatteri (Block theater) is a visual theater that evokes the imagination. The performance invites the audience on a journey in which abstract wooden blocks come to life and lead to adventure in different worlds and moods. Supported by the puppeteer, music and sound world, the pieces designed by visual artist Kai Ruohonen, carved from different types of wood, can start to spin as helicopters, dance as people, rumble like motorcycles or defy gravity. What do you see in the blocks?  


Puppet artist, director, composer, musician and educator. Halme is interested in the human mind and associations, the thinking of animals and children, and how pure joy and other emotions are born and generated in people. In the theater, the most important thing for her is to experience the atmosphere, and she is fascinated by the idea of a complete work of art. Halme is active e.g. at the international TIP-Fest and the Puppet Theater Guild in Teme. She has also worked as a county artist in puppetry.

Idea and realisation: Roosa Halme

Blocks: Kai Ruohonen

Producer: Annukka Ketola

Production: KO-KOO-MO


Note: the venue is an old caravan, and there is space for an audience of seven people.

Puppetry in the park: Punch in the park

Kolmikulman puisto / Puppet Theatre Sampo Wed 25.8. - Sat 28.8.
for all ages
15-30 min
Tickets free of charge

During the festival week, there will be events in Kolmikulma park. From Wednesday to Saturday, the booth of Jo Hadley will stand in the park, and you can come see

Punch in the park

at 11 am & 12 pm & 1 pm & 2 p

Jo’s Punch & Judy Show is a work in progress by amateur children’s entertainer and English Helsinki resident, Jo Hadley. Born 9th May 1662 in London’s Covent Garden, the UK’s most famous seaside puppet, Mr. Punch, will be 360 years old next year! Jo intends to help him celebrate it, and his European ancestry, with full performances of his long-running comedy drama in Helsinki during summer 2022! But Punch likes to start his party early! Short excerpts from his chaotic drama will be presented on SAMPO Festival in classic seaside style from an authentic ‘Punch and Judy’ booth. Come join in the fun and meet a full cast of 14 traditional characters, all hand-made by master puppet-makers in the UK. “That’s the way to do it!”  

NOTE! CHANGE IN PROGRAM: Wednesday 25.8. Punch in the park will be moved indoors to Sampo! >> Punch in Sampo!

Puppetry in the park: Karagöz in the park

Tervasaari Sun 29.8. at 11am - 3pm
for all ages - workshop 7+
Tickets free of charge

We have program outdoors also.  On Sunday, you can come to Tervasaari to see

Karagöz in the park

at 11 am & 12 pm & 1 pm

Karagöz is a form of shadow theatre in Turkey in which figures known as tasvirs made of camel or ox hide in the shape of people or things are held on rods in front of a light source to cast their shadows onto a cotton screen. The usually comic stories feature the main characters Karagöz and Hacivat and a host of others, including a cabaret chanteuse called Kantocu and an illusionist-acrobat named Hokkabaz, and abound in puns and imitations of regional accents. The puppets are manipulated by one lead artist, the Hayali, who may have one or more apprentice-assistants who are learning the craft by helping to create the tasvirs and accompanying the action with music. Once played widely at coffeehouses, gardens, and public squares, Karagöz is found today mostly in performance halls, schools and malls in larger cities where it still draws audiences. In 2009, Karagöz was registered in UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. On SAMPO Festival Karagöz is presented in a low-key form by Filiz and M. Mahir Aksu from Turkey, where they have studied Karagöz and have a long experience with the artform. They have lived in Finland for a few years and played in several events. Schedule Sun 29.8. In Tervasaari: 11 am & 12 pm short Karagöz performance, presentation of plays and puppets (duration 30 min) 1 pm shadow theater workshop with Karagöz puppets - Age recommendation 7+ (duration 1) [Note: venue has changed, new venue is Tervasaari.]


Fekete Seretlek in concert

Kolmikulma park Sat 28.8. at 8 pm

Tickets free of charge

Fekete Seretlek concert on SAMPO Festival on Saturday 28.8. at 8 pm in Kolmikulma Park Fekete Seretlek is a group of six musician-actors, that started in 2004 as a trio and has played at different music and theatre festivals around Europe. The group is reusing, changing and mixing motives from world music and making up its own original compositions. Fekete Seretlek concerts are not only exceptional musical, but also visual experiences - lively and variable, adapting to different situations: from big stages to clubs or streets. The members have graduated from the Prague Theatre Academy (DAMU).  



Matija Solce – accordion (Slovenia), Pavol Smolárik – double bass (Slovakia), Jan Meduna – trumpet (Czech), Anička Bubníková – violoncello (Czech/Russia), Jiří N. Jelínek – violin (Czech), Ivo Sedláček – cajon (Czech)


Outdoors concert in Kolmikulma park

(With bad weather the concert will be moved inside to Puppet Theatre Sampo)


Teatteri ILMI Ö Sat 28.8. & Sun 29.8. at 10am & 11am & 1pm & 2 pm
for the whole family
45 min
Tickets free of charge, reservation required

Bug workshop for the whole family In the Bug Workshop you can get acquainted with the new children's song album Ötökkälauluja (Bug Songs)! In the workshop, musician Maija Karhinen-Ilo sings the songs on the album, and under the guidance of puppet theater artist Anne Lihavainen, the children can make their own bug out of natural and recycled materials. At the end of the workshop, we let the bugs move to the beat of their own song and then let our own bugs fly home. Participants in the workshop will also receive the album Ötökkälauluja (Bug Songs)!      

Teatteri ILMI Ö, Sat 28.8. at 10am & 11am & 1pm & 2 pm, su klo 10am & 11am & 1 pm & 2 pm

Free of charge.

Reservation required – through the website (limited attendance). Reserve places for all that will be attending.


The songs on the Ötökkälauluja album are compositions and lyrics by Maija Baric, and on the album they are performed by Maija Karhinen-Ilo, who has also arranged the songs.

Teatro Matita: BEING DON QUICHOTTE - two-men one-puppet show

Sampo Stage Fri 27.8. at 7 pm, Sat 28.8. at 6.30 pm
for adults
Tickets 20€ / 15€

The tragicomedy is starting with the poor puppeteer, which lives without stage, without lights and has to make his way through life with only one marionette. Interfered by the manager, which only wants to build a commercial hit, the simple traditional puppet show escalates into physical theatre, commedia dell’arte and surrealistic scenes, in which the stage spreads all over the place and the audience becomes actively involved. And after the puppet cut her strings off, after puppeteer loses his job, after the public leaves the disastrous show… the new ideas start growing again.


Teatro Matita was established by musician, puppeteer, actor, director, puppetry professor, festival organizer and activist Matija Solce in 2002 after completing his studies at Bruno Leone’s traditional Italian hand puppet school in Naples (Italy). His first shows E Beh? (2002) and Little Night Tales (2003) proved to be great successes and were subsequently presented at a range of international festivals around the globe. In his works he closely connects music and theatre, and therefore his concerts often turn into interactive theatre performances, or his puppet shows become musical compositions. In his latest performances, Matija is experimenting with basing object theatre shows on musical principles. Matija also directs in theatres. He teaches puppet students on Theatre academies (DAMU in Prague) and gives workshops on this theme and on puppet animation for adults and children. Matija has visited SAMPO Festival several times before.

Directors: Vida Cerkvenik Bren & Matija Solce

Puppet: Mitja Ritmanič

Scenography, music, author: Matija Solce

Performers: Filip Šebšajevič, Matija Solce

TEHDAS Teatteri & working group Väntsi-Mäkiranta-Susi: The Wise Matti and other stories

Kolmikulman puisto Sat 28.8. at 4 pm & 5.30 pm
for all ages
40 min
Tickets free of charge

  The Wise Matti and other stories Poetry surveyors tour parks and yards   Wise Matti and other stuff is a touring yard theater of two poetry surveyors, musician Kari Mäkiranta and puppet theater artist Timo Väntsi. The performance, which consists of puppet theater and live music, has been directed by Marja Susi.   Poetry surveyors like to park in places where people walk around and spend time. Diligent surveyors stop to measure both the park benches and the words. During coffee breaks, the friends make up stories and from them, a potpourri of Finnish folk tales with a big heart sprouts out. The red thread of the somewhat absurd and silly stories is an endless optimism and fooling and outwitting those who think they are something special. Accompanied by music, hand puppet characters such as Viisas Matti, Hauki and Kiiski, Ampiainen Pampiainen and Tonttu get their own star moment on stage.  


Esityksen ensi-ilta oli 20.6.2021 Turun Seikkailupuistossa. First premiere on June 20th 2021.


The performance has been supported by:

Taiteen Edistämiskeskus Suomen Kulttuurirahaston Varsinais-Suomen rahasto, Turun Teatterisäätiö, Aura of Puppets, Turku 2029-säätiö


Text: Timo Väntsi & työryhmä / working group

Directed by: Marja Susi

Music: Kari Mäkiranta

Puppets and visuals: Timo Väntsi

Performers: Timo Väntsi & Kari Mäkiranta

Production: Tehdas Teatteri


Kuuma Ankanpoikanen: PRINSESSA PIKKIRIIKKI - Princess Pikkiriikki

Sampo Stage Sun 29.8. at 1 pm & 3 pm
55 min
Tickets 15€

“Princess Pikkiriikki - The hero of all the naughties” is a colourful and engaging puppet theatre play for the whole family. 
During the play princess Pikkiriikki goes through everyday adventures such as finding a friend, running away from home  and questioning the (silly) rules of adults. With the little help from magic dog Makkara everything ends well and Pikkiriikkis’  smile reaches again from ear to ear - which is the  most important thing. 
The colourful table top puppets, prankish storytelling  and the episodic structure carries even the smallest spectators through the performance. Princess Pikkiriikki offers for both the child and adult audiences a recognizable, hilarious and ambitious puppet theatre experience.
The performance is based on a well-known children’s book series by Hannele Lampela ja Ninka Reitu. This is the first time Princess Pikkiriikki is adapted to puppets. 

Kuuma Ankanpoikanen – Dirty Duckling – is a puppet theater group from Turku and one of the modest pioneers of Finnish contemporary puppet theater. Since 2008, this enthusiastic collective has been a strong contributor to the rise of this marginal arts industry. In total, thirty performances have been created and made for both adult and children's audiences. Stylistically, Kuuma Ankanpoikanen is known for his slightly anarchist but uncompromisingly ambitious approach to puppetry art and for mask improvisations that have delighted festivals and events. Ducklings also often use visiting artists in their performances and the members are part of the wider Aura of Puppets puppet theater network.

Visual design, puppets, scenography, props, costumes: Pia Kalenius

Dramatisation: Merja Pöyhönen

Director: Timo Väntsi

Music & Sound design: Valtteri Lipasti

Lighting design: Antton Kainulainen

On stage: Pia Kalenius & Merja Pöyhönen


Production: Nukketeatteri Kuuma Ankanpoikanen & TEHDAS Teatteri

Rights: Agency North


First premiere in March 2021 at TEHDAS Teatteri, Turku, for a small audience


Language:  Finnish

Teatteri Hevosenkenkä: Fairytale figures

Tervasaari Sun 29.8. at 4 pm & 5 pm
30 min
Tickets free of charge

Teatteri Hevosenkenkä: Fairytale figures - participatory improvisational theater   Teatteri Hevosenkenkä brings the fairy tale characters of the plays out on playgrounds. The characters need children’s help in solving various puzzles and taking the story forward through play, improvisation and interactivity.   The fabulous play path we experiment, how to warm the vocal cords and strengthen the clapping muscles. On this magical journey, we dive into something new, play with emotions, learn to listen carefully to others, and even sing a little.    

Teatteri Hevosenkenkä is a professional theater specializing in puppet theater established in 1975, Its repertoire is mainly aimed at children's audiences. The home stage of Espoo's first professional theater is located in Mankkaa, on the idyllic Juhannusmäki, in a 19th-century school building, which has been renovated and expanded into an ideal environment for children's audiences and which also includes three other theater buildings. In addition to the home stage, Hevosenkenkä performs in various parts of Finland and also abroad.

Theater Hevosenkenkä, Tusculum Hevosenkenkä and the Finnish Toy Museum Hevosenkenkä together form the Children's Cultural Center Hevosenkenkä.

Devising/text: Outi Haaranen, Pekka Heiman, Eero Ahre, Antero Nieminen & Elina Stirkkinen

Direction, tools for improvisation: Elina Stirkkinen


Outdoor performance



Teatro Matita: Attention, Moose!

Tervasaari Sun 29.8. at 7pm
7+ / in English
45 min
Tickets free of charge

object and puppet theatre with live music   Welcome to the wilderness of cold Lapland! Here you will meet a poor moose, who is trying to escape from a hunter and his hound. Here you will have to watch your step to avoid crushing a gnome, who is collecting blackberries for his loved one. Here, where a day lasts for half a year, a long time ago there lived two friends – a hen and an old lady. A simple story about the understanding between animals and humans, and about the cruelty of life that means someone can be born a hen, and another as a hunter. This show was created in Sweden, where Matija was studying world music. This can be seen in the show through his use of folk motives from Europe and Latin America. Music is also used to give expression to the characters, as compositions of sounds and gestures, connected by the storyteller moose, who leads the public into the next chapter of the story.   Each scene has its own manner of expression, through original puppets created from everyday objects such as bicycle bells. This provokes and stimulates the spectators’ imaginations and opens up possible interpretations of the show. Children will enjoy the rhythm, comedy, music and improvisation, and adults will also be able to recognise the tragedy of the story. Sensible atmospheres and contrasting provocative scenes are created with the help of the accordion, homemade drum set and the singing of the two actormusicians. Awarded with price "Golden Gender" on festival Kremnicke Gagy, Slovakia.


Teatro Matita was established by musician, puppeteer, actor, director, puppetry professor, festival organizer and activist Matija Solce in 2002 after completing his studies at Bruno Leone’s traditional Italian hand puppet school in Naples (Italy). His first shows E Beh? (2002) and Little Night Tales (2003) proved to be great successes and were subsequently presented at a range of international festivals around the globe. In his works he closely connects music and theatre, and therefore his concerts often turn into interactive theatre performances, or his puppet shows become musical compositions. In his latest performances, Matija is experimenting with basing object theatre shows on musical principles. Matija also directs in theatres. He teaches puppet students on Theatre academies (DAMU in Prague) and gives workshops on this theme and on puppet animation for adults and children. Matija has visited SAMPO Festival several times before.

Idea, director, stage design: Matija Solce
Dramaturgy: Tina Glenvik
Music: Matija Solce, Stefan Hedborg
Performed by: Matija Solce, Filip Šebšajevič

In English

Comet - a review of new puppet theater

Teatteri Avoimet Ovet Sat 28.8. & Sun 29.8.
for invited guests


Suomen Unima ry is organizing Komeetta - a review of new puppet theater performances as part of the SAMPO Festival. On the first day of the two-day review, pre-selected working groups meet in a workshop to develop performance topics under the guidance of mentors. On the second day, there will be a review session where groups will be able to present their demos in front of live audience. At the end of the review, the Superkomeetta of 2021 will be selected, with a production subsidy of € 1,000.


The review will take place on the festival weekend at the Teatteri Avoimet Ovet for invited guests.

The review includes four demos:

Aapo Repo: Tunnekaruselli (Emotional Carousel)

Nukketeatteri Mantan kapina: BZZZzZzZ!

Milla Risku: Teatteritalo Locum Vacuum esittää: Kulttuurihistoriaa! (Locum Vacuum Theater House presents: Cultural history!)

Minna Lenfeldova: Appelsiinia ja kanelia (Orange and cinnamon)


The SAMPO Festival Club provides a meeting place for artists and the public at the festival. Get ready for memorable conversations about the performances and everything else, exhilarating meetings, serious and less serious subjects, laughter and relaxing!

The Festival Club is open during the festival in Puppet Theatre Sampos Fairytale Cafe.

Surprise gig on the festival club: Fekete Seretlek from Czechia will perform at 9.15 pm!

Free entrance!


Elina’s Living Room

Elina’s Living Room meets twice at the SAMPO 2021 Festival in the auditorium of Puppet Theatre Sampo. Discussions about the performances of the festival, the life of a puppet artist, art, miracles and mysteries of everyday life. The evening will be hosted by puppet theater artist and director Elina Lajunen.

Thu 26.8. at 8.15 pm Elina’s guests Kuuma Ankanpoikanen’s working group and discussion about FUNNY – the best puppet show ever made. Come meet some great artists!

Pe 27.8. at 8.15 pm Surprise night with surprise guests. What have you always wanted to know about the life of a puppet artist, but  you never dared to ask? What do they eat, what do they get inspired about, what do they grieve and what makes them happy? Things they almost don’t dare to reveal, but reveal them anyway! Where do they go on vacation, what do they read, how do they enjoy their breakfast and what do they dream of?


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are extra safety measures during the festival.

The following guidelines will be carefully considered so that we can all come to watch the performances safely together.

  • Only a part of the places in the auditorium are in use so that we can maintain the necessary safety distances between individual spectators / groups. The auditorium is unnumbered.
  • The entrances and lobby areas are kept congested and we open the auditorium doors well in advance so you can choose your place in peace. On Sampo Stage there are no separate seats but benches – please make sure that you leave a sufficient space to the next spectator, when choosing your seat. In other venues please leave at least one seat free between spectators. Staff will check and give instructions if necessary.
  • Observe safety distances also when queuing or waiting.
  • Use hand sanitizers, when you arrive. There are several in the premises. Washing your hands when arriving is also a good idea.
  • Please come to the theatre well in advance, hurry does not help to ensure safety.
  • We prefer card payment at the ticket desk and the cafe.
  • Leaving the auditorium after the performance will happen row by row. Please wait for the staff´s advice.
  • Please also make sure that you maintain a safety distance of 1-2 meters to other spectators and staff in all situations, including the foyer and toilets. Staff will guide if necessary.
  • Tickets for performances should be booked in advance so that we can take care of safety and keep the number of audience members limited.
  • When booking, we ask for your contact information, in order to contact you if the performance should be canceled or after the performances, if exposures occur.
  • We take extra good care of the cleanliness of the theatre and surfaces are wiped several times a day.
  • Don’t come to the theatre if you don’t feel completely healthy! Contact us if you can not come, in order to discuss a refund.
  • Cough or sneeze only into a handkerchief or your sleeve if there is no handkerchief. Hand washing / disinfection is also necessary thereafter.
  • The theatre staff only comes to work completely healthy. We also use face masks / visors in customer service.
  • We strongly recommend customers to also use a face mask, according to regulations in place. This applies to people over 12 years old.

We follow the pandemic performance guidelines for the performing arts sector which you can find out more about on the Finnish Theatres’ Associations website (link) and we follow THL’s (Finnish National Health Service) current guidelines.

With these instructions, we wish everyone a wonderful time at the festival!


There are exhibitions on the festival, giving you a chance to get to know more about puppetry.

Puppets From Around the World

This exhibition about the wonderful world of theatre puppets is a permanent exhibition at Puppet Theatre Sampo. The visitor can explore puppet traditions of different cultures and see puppets from around the globe from the 19th century to the present.

Puppet Theatre Sampo Gallery

Free Admission


– An illustrator for Puppet Theatre Sampo since 1994

Matti Westerlund began his career as an illustrator by making posters for Puppet Theatre Sampo. The shared path of the theatre and the illustrator has wound its way over hill and dale, through open fields and hedgerows. It has left its own distinctive mark on Finnish children’s cultural life.

Westerlund has had long conversations with the puppets on both sides of the stage and even after closing time of the theatre, and that’s when they tell different stories. They have told their stories by posing for illustrations and still lives that have found their way also to children’s books.

A lot of things fit into nearly thirty years. The exhibition showcases the theatre’s publications in all its forms, because Matti Westerlund is also the Graphic Designer for the theatre.

Blue Gallery (Puppet Theatre Sampo)

Free admission




Tickets are now available for the first published performances. 

Normal price: 20€

Discount price: 15€ (students, pensioners, theatre card)

Caravan theatre performances: 5€

Festival pass: 120€. With the pass you can get into all priced performances. (Reservation required!)

Tickets are sold on Puppet Theatre Sampo´s website: https://nukketeatterisampo.fi/esityskalenteri-en (also available in English).

Reservations can be made by phone or email or at the ticket office (note: only one person at a time).

Tickets can also be obtained at the door if the show is not full. Tickets for SAMPO Festival can only be obtained from Puppet Theatre Sampo.

Reservations: 020 735 2235, toimisto@nukketeatterisampo.fi

Ticket office: Puppet Theatre Sampo / Nukketeatteri Sampo, Erottajankatu 7, Helsinki.

Note: tickets purchased before for performances of Puppet Theatre Sampo and postponed because of the pandemic, are not valid on the festival.





  1. Puppet Theatre Sampo, Erottajankatu 7
  2. Teatteri Avoimet Ovet, Erottajankatu 5
  3. Annantalo, Annankatu 30
  4. Teatteri ILMI Ö, Iso Roobertinkatu 10
  5. Tervasaari
  6. Erottajanaukio
  7. Kolmikulman puisto, Erottajankatu



Past festivals





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