SAMPO Festival
International Puppet Theatre Festival




Outdoor events








Festival Club

SAMPO Festival 2022 is here – Jenni Haukio is the official patron of the festival!

We welcome all domestic and foreign guests to enjoy a wide variety of puppet theatre from several countries across Europe and beyond in Helsinki and nearby area on the sixth edition of SAMPO Festival August 24.-28.

First lady of Finland, Mrs. Jenni Haukio is the patron of the festival.

“SAMPO Festival, through its high-level and distinctive international program, offers opportunities to immerse oneself into the most inspiring aspects of contemporary puppetry. Puppet theatre as an ancient art form is still powerfully enchanting; for a modern person a moment at the puppet theatre is like a meditative opportunity for refreshment, where a humane form of expression free from technological saturation supports concentration on presence and the deepest meanings of the performances.

Each puppet theatre performance is unique and connects its audience to the ancient tradition of storytelling, where people gathered around campfires to listen, and watch performances. The puppet theatre is also an experiential space for emotional experience – a communal journey to the core of the emotional world of the human mind. I wish all the visitors of SAMPO Festival a fulfilling journey with wonderful performers and performances!”

JENNI HAUKIO, Sampo Festival 2022 patron.

Our program this year features professional puppeteers from the United Kingdom, France, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Greece. We will of course have several Finnish puppeteers performing on the festival also. There are performances for children and adults in the program.

In addition to the official program, there are workshops, films, outdoor performances, exhibitions, a masterclass, a symposium on diversity and inclusivity and talks about puppetry.

Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook! Events and moments from the festival will also be posted on Puppet Theatre Sampo´s Instagram. The Symposium on Diversity and Accessibility in Nordic Puppetry on Wednesday 24.8. in Annantalo will also be streamed online on Sampos Youtube-channel here.

The trailers for SAMPO 2022 Festival have been published! Check it out here!



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 fifth festival was arranged 25.-29.8.2021. 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.



Nukketeatteri PikkuKulkuri: MATA-MII – The adventures of a patisserie

Annantalo Wed 24.8.2022 at 6 pm

Annantalo Thu 25.8.2022 at 10 am

Age recommendation: 2+
30 min
Tickets 15€


Nukketeatteri PikkuKulkuri: MATA-MII – The adventures of a patisserie

Plasticine puppet theater performance

Based on Sanna Pelliccione´s children´s picture book

This performance will have its first premiere on SAMPO Festival!

A brisk little girl called Mata-Mii travels around the world, creates poetry and bakes cakes. This adventure is truly an adventure which carries one off with it. Mata-Mii signs up on a ship carrying spices and becomes an apprentice to the ships cook Leone. Before long Mata-Mii becomes the patisserie of the ship. Mata-Mii has a phenomenal ability to bake cakes and to cheer people up.

This puppet theater play is full of music, and it is executed as a miniature plasticine performance in which the scenery and puppets are built during the performance from play-dough. Each viewer gets a little pouch of play-dough as they leave. It works as an inspiration to mold for example one´s own Mata-Mii!


Puppet Theater PikkuKulkuri is a professional puppet theater that offers high-quality puppet theater experiences for all ages. PikkuKulkuri is a traveling solo theater and a long-term dream of Ilpo Mikkonen.

Script, scenography and puppets: Ilpo Mikkonen

Direction: Ilpo Mikkonen/Teija Paananen

Music: Ilpo Mikkonen/Salla-Marja Hätinen

Production: Nukketeatteri PikkuKulkuri

Stephen Mottram Animata (UK): In Suspension

Sampo Stage Wed 24.8.2022 - 7 pm

Sampo Stage Thu 25.8.2022 - 10 am

Sellosali Thu 25.8.2022 - 7 pm

Sellosali Fri 26.8.2022 - 9.30 am

60 min
Tickets 20€/15€

Stephen Mottram Animata: In Suspension


A Pandora’s box of magical surprises with beautiful string puppets which come to life as soon as they are touched.


In Suspension is an hour long performance of string puppetry, full of visual and musical surprises. It starts with complicated marionettes and gets simpler and simpler until some puppets are introduced which can easily be made at home. There is a tender mother bird with her egg, a dancing fly, an eerie circus and a fast moving fairy tale, complete with a prince and a princess. These simple figures and some basic elements of staging are used to present a fairy tale marionette ballet which is both funny and moving.


The stories are largely without text. The music is specially composed by Simon Waters, Glyn Perrin and Pete McPhail.


By the end of the performance, audiences will have seen carefully manipulated and highly crafted marionettes, learned how to make simple puppets for themselves and seen that the simplest puppets really can tell complex stories in an exciting and entertaining way.

This is a delightful hour of drama and fun presented by a master of the art of string puppetry.


Stephen Mottram´s Animata

Stephen has a wide repertoire of music based puppet work aimed at adults and at children which has travelled all over the world during the last 40 years. Using mostly string puppets, he creates little magical worlds based on simple ideas.

In Suspension / Eggbird is his best known piece for children.

Stephen has also worked on a number of films including ALICE IN WONDERLAND, THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and TALES FROM THE DECAMERON. He was one of the main puppet operators on STRINGS – a Danish feature film in which all the actors are marionettes. Stephen has visited SAMPO Festival in 2018 also.

Concept and realisation: Stephen Mottram

Music: Simon Waters, Glyn Perrin & Pete McPhail


In English. Morning performances are translated to Finnish.


Tickets 20€/15€.
Lower price for children (to 18y), students, pensioners.
Morning performance 15€ for all, group tickets for day care and school groups 12€ (only reservations).

Anna Nekrassova (FIN): Before Thumbelina

Sampo Stage Thu 25.8.2022 at 8 pm
For adults (15+)
45 min
Tickets 20€/15€

Anna Nekrassova: Before Thumbelina

I am a desert, full of tumbleweeds. No flowers, no rain. Fear crawls towards me, digs itself out from the dry ground, takes me in its tight embrace and whispers: “What if yet this seed will change nothing?”


Before Thumbelina is an everyday fairytale for adults. Telling a story about a person’s struggles; challenges with infertility, dreams and fears.


Carried by song, rhythms as well as puppet and object theatre, the first solo performance by Anna Nekrassova focuses on the moment before H. C. Andersen’s renowned story of Thumbelina. The very moment is focused on the story’s Mother, a character we only get to see by glimpse in the original tale.

Anna Nekrassova is a puppet theater artist from Turku. Nekrassova graduated from the Turku Arts Academy in 2014 and furthered her studies in the same academy by specializing in puppet and music theater 2019. After graduation Nekrassova has worked both as a free lancer and in repertory theater. She is an active member in Aura of Puppets puppetry network.

In her works Nekrassova skillfully combines puppet theater, song, dance and the craft of acting. She is also an able puppet builder and director. Before Thumbelina is Nekrassovas first solo performance. She is the script writer, director and performer. Rest of the work group consists of top professionals and multitalented artists.


Laura Hallantie

Antti-Juhani Manninen

Irene Lehtonen

Akseli Nivala

Jesper Dolgov

TeatteriQO: Hannah's little theater

Teatteri ILMI Ö. Thu 25.8.2022 at 2 pm

Teatteri ILMI Ö. Thu 25.8.2022 at 6 pm

Age recommendation: 10+
35 min

TeatteriQO: Hannah's little theater

Hannah’s Little Theater is a touring paper theater performance for people over the age of 10, traveling with Hannah Arendt to reflect on issues of the individual and society, good and evil, and democracy and humanity.

The performance is a humorous and serious solo puppet show that extends from the miniature to the world, based on Marion Müller-Colard's book Le Petit theater de Hannah Arendt.

Directed by Perrine Ferrafiat

Manuscript, puppet building, on stage: Mila Nirhamo

Sound design: Markus Tapio

HopSignor Puppet Theatre (Kreikka): Giraffe

Annantalo Thu 25.8.2022 at 5 pm

Annantalo Fri 26.8.2022 at 10 am

Age recommendation: 6+ and also adults
40 min
Tickets 15€

HopSignor Puppet Theatre: Giraffe (Καμηλοπάρδαλη)

“I can’t remember what I was first, a money box or  a giraffe. People keep feeding me coins that i never seem to be able to digest. My nights are full of dreams. Sometimes i become a cuddly toy and someone puts their arms around me. Sometimes I’m in the forest, running in the midst of high treetops.”

A money box in the shape of a giraffe changes hands and becomes alive in the minds of its different owners. Without it, a little boy would lose its only friend and, later on, a lover of the sky would never reach so high. Blending the animate with the inanimate, the story explores the life which exists in every object that carries emotions and sentiments. Through their relationship with the giraffe, our main characters connect with their ability to love, to befriend and dream on…


Hop Signor Puppet Theatre

Hop Signor puppet theatre was founded by Evgenia Tsichlia and Thanos Sioris. Having studied and worked in different fields such as theater, education, science, crafts and humanities, they found in puppetry a common ground for expression. Puppets, with their poetic and symbolic power, became for them the means to share stories. Hop Signor use minimal scenic elements that leave space for the exploration of movement. It is this movement, in conjunction with the use of sound and light that form the company’s non-verbal vocabulary. Their stories are inspired by places, objects and people. They are funny stories, moving stories, stories that invite you to complete them with your own imagination and sentiments.


Script: Evgenia Tsichlia, Thanos Sioris

Direction: Evgenia Tsichlia, Thanos Sioris

Assistant director / Work on manipulation: Michel Villée

Puppet and set construction: Thanos Sioris, Evgenia Tsichlia

Lighting design: Christina Thanasoula, Melina Mascha

Music: Agelos Agelidis, Antonis Skamnakis, Mihalis Kalkanis

Puppeteers: Thanos Sioris, Evgenia Tsichlia

Cie la Cour Singuliere (FR): Bambi, Get Off My Grass! (Tire-toi de mon herbe Bambi!)

Teatteri Avoimet Ovet, lobby Fri 26.8. at 6 pm

Lilla Villan Sat 27.8.2022 at 11 am

Sampo Stage Sat 27.8.2022 at 18.30

Sampo Stage Sat 27.8.2022 at 8 pm

Age recommendation: 7+
30 min
Tickets 15€

Cie la Cour Singuliere: Bambi, Get Off My Grass! (Tire-toi de mon herbe Bambi!)


A tiny little metaphorical fable about the spirit of ownership, the fear of others, but also an ode to nature, its grace and power... Through the theatre of objects and table puppets, one witnesses the struggle between ownership and savage instinct.  This little theatrical without words playfully allies visual poetry and black humour!

A couple is seduced by the idea of living in the country and decides to buy a house in the middle of a forest. But their greed to master and control  the nature around them soon make them become unreasonable. A severe fight between them and nature  begins….


La Cour Singulière’s story started with sculpture and the creation of a poetic world close to Outsider  Art with the desire to add movement to this little world , to make the characters talk and dance. The Company’s first  show «  l’Enfermée », was followed  by « Les empreintes », both presented in various festivals (Charleville Mézières-Mima, ArtPantin, Chalon dans la rue, Aurillac, Belgique, ….) These two shows talk about the end of one’s life with poetry and lightness. « Tire-toi de mon herbe, Bambi! », our last show, is a silent show where puppets mix with object theater and it shows the conflict between our fears and wild nature. We are currently working on two other puppets shows: « Josette  et Mustapha », puppets and contemporary dance . We are passionate about meeting people and we believe creation offers a space for  freedom and accomplishment. The  Company works all year round and proposes creative  workshops (sculpture, puppets, storytelling) among different audiences (festivals, secondary schools, retirement home, psychiatric hospitals…)



Olivier Lehmann, Creator, Puppet master, technical staff

Hélène Rosset, Creator & Puppet master



Naivní divadlo Liberec (Czech Rep.): CHOO. CHOO. WHISTLE. WOOF! About dogs and trains

Culture house Stoa Fri 26.8.2022 at 10 & 6 pm

Annantalo Sat 27.8.2022 at 4 pm

Annantalo Sun 28.8.2022 at 12 pm & 2 pm

40 min
Tickets 15€ - for groups in the morning 12€

Naivní divadlo Liberec (Czech Rep.): ŠŠŠŠ. ŠŠŠŠ. HŮŮŮ. HAF! or CHOO. CHOO. WHISTLE. WOOF!

Once upon a time there was a boy dog. And once upon a time there was a girl dog.

He has been guarding his garden all days, and she has been running behind his fence until her owner whistles at her.

And as it happens, in lives not only of dogs, the two have begun to fancy each other, despite high planks of the fence that are keeping them apart. But she didn't want to go into an unknown garden and he couldn't leave his backyard.

The non-verbal performance is intended for the youngest children, enthusiastic railwayfans and passionate dog lovers.

The studio production was prepared by the team of the director Michaela Homolová (author Vít Peřina, artist Robert Smolík and musician Filip Homola), which also created a successful performance for the youngest children About the Lamb that Fell from the Sky, that was seen on the first SAMPO Festival in 2017. And the “dogs on the track” can be certainly measured with the "lamb". This time, the production is for children of the age of 3 years, it is almost without words and for a little number of audience sitting almost on the stage. On a specially adapted stage, a large railway is gradually being built and a story of a dog who decides to overcome the fear of the unknown to find his girl dog friend and is heading towards a great train adventure is being unfolded. On his journey to find his love, he gets a lot of new dog friends who help him in his quest ...




The Naïve Theatre Liberec was established in 1949, and it was one of the first professional puppet theatres in the former Czechoslovakia. Even though its production has naturally taken various directions, it has remained in the minds of the audience as well as professionals as the Czech puppet theatre of an excellent quality. Stanislav Doubrava has been acting as managing director since the beginning of the nineties. The theatre has no permanent director and collaborates with visiting professionals from other puppet and drama play theatres. The theatre organizes the well-known puppetry festival Materinka.

Director: Michaela Homolová

Dramaturgy: Vít Peřina

Set design: Robert Smolík

Music: Filip Homola

Cast: Filip Homola, Adam Kubišta, Marek Sýkora, Antonín Týmal



Compagnie á (France): LA CONQUÊTE – THE CONQUEST

Sampo Stage Fri 26.8.2022 at 7 pm

Sampo Stage Sat 27.8.2022 at 2 pm

Age recommendation: 12+
60 min
Tickets 20/15€

Compagnie á (France): LA CONQUÊTE – THE CONQUEST

Object theatre for colonized bodies

The Conquest explores the mechanisms of colonization through object theatre, and uses the body as a stage, a landscape, an object to be conquered, submitted and possessed: ressources will be exploited, landscapes trans­formed, religions and cultures reformed, new frontiers will be set, populations will be di­vided. The duo gather two artistes who are deeply related to the colonization : Dorothée Saysombat (actress and director originates from Laos and China) and Sika Gblondoume (actress and singer originates from Benin). Based on their personal story linked to the universal history, this show talks about colonization as a legacy which concern all of us.



Compagnie à


Compagnie "à" was created in 2003 by Dorothée Saysombat and Nicolas Alline.

The company was born out of a desire to explore theatre writing, through the relationship between actor and manipulated object and the relationship between audience, sound and space.


The company favours an intimate and precious relationship with the spectator, and promotes closeness, where popularity and conviviality do not oppose high artistic standards.

The company's work aims to take a different and poetic look at our social and political context, through live performance and theatre, a collaboration of images, gestures, sounds, emotions, and objects, big or small.
 Their shows are a combination of clown and Object Theatre, bringing together humour and cruelty, tragedy and comedy, using burlesque nonsense and poetry, without ever prejudging the audience.



Created and directed by: Nicolas Alline & Dorothée Saysombat

Performed by: Dorothée Saysombat & Sika Gblondoumé

Stage manager: Latifa Le Forestier

Dramaturgical support: Pauline Thimonnier

Sound design: Isabelle Fuchs

Lighting design: Rodrigue Bernard

Set design: Nicolas Alline

Technician: Rodrigue Bernard / Donatien Letort

Props construction: Nicolas Alline, Géraldine Bonneton, Latifa Le Forestier, Arnaud Louski Pane, Priscille du Manoir.

Costumes: Anne-Emmanuelle Pradier

Puppet: Géraldine Bonneton

Set construction: Atelier du Grand T-Théâtre de Loire Atlantique, Olivier Guillemain, Nicolas Gallard, Sébastien  Matégot.

Work-in-progress: Puppet Theatre Sampo: Da Da Sur

Teatteri ILMI Ö. Sat 27.8.2022 at 10 am

Teatteri ILMI Ö. Sat 27.8.2022 at 12 pm

Age recommendation: 0+
appr. 30 min
Tickets 5€

Work-in-progress: Puppet Theatre Sampo: Da Da Sur

Da Da Sur is an experimental and interactive dive into the world of dadaism and surrealism, aimed at toddlers.

The stage fills up with compositions of boxes and carried by live music, we enter into dreamlike worlds where reality and logic lose their meaning and imagination takes over…

Enjoying the performance is not dependent on language skills!

The concept and direction are by Iivo Baric and as performers are Elina Vehkaoja, Susan Aho and Antero Reinistö.

This performance is going to have its premiere in September in Puppet Theatre Sampo. On SAMPO Festival you will get a work-in-progress peak into this new production!

Work group: Susan Aho, Iivo Baric, Kristiina Jokinen, Tape Komulainen, Jere Kouhia, Antero Reinistö, Anna Platonova, Elina Vehkaoja

Work-in-progress: Dirty Duckling: Ariadne aus Crete

Teatteri ILMI Ö. Sat 27.8.2022 at 5 pm

Teatteri ILMI Ö. Sun 28.8.2022 at 2.30 pm

for adults
Tickets 5€

Dirty Duckling: Ariadne aus Crete

A ridiculously wooly puppet theare solo for grown ups! – Work in progress

Puppet theatre Dirty Duckling´s, or in in this case Merja Pöyhönen´s upcoming puppet theatre solo boldly tries out it´s magnetism in front of an audience. The performance binds together the Ariadne myth from the antiques, past problems with love and a monster looking for it´s form. The final premiere is in the spring of 2023. At the SAMPO Festival we will see a prototype with lots of delightful clues of what is to come. Join in and follow this puppet theatre artist as she tries to keep up with the countless amount of characters and shows off her newly required talent – ventriloquism. During the summer the performance will be introduced to test audiences in Island and Sweden and by August it will surely be superbly hilarious with puppets of a stunning standard and completely in English.


Merja Pöyhönen (born 1980) is a puppet theatre artist and director from Turku.

She has studied puppet theatre in the Turku Academy of Arts in 2001-2005 and physical theater in the renowned École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in 2007-2008. Pöyhönen is interested in puppets, emotions and movement and has directed several of the best known productions in the field of puppetry. Performing included, Pöyhönen has been involved in close to 40 puppet or physical theatre productions during her professional career. Her most significant works include Leda (2020), Missing Amelia Earhart (2016) and Shakespeare with Grandeur - trilogy (2013, 2015, 2017). Pöyhönen is a founder member of the puppet theatre Dirty Duckling and is an active operator in TEHDAS Theatre and puppetry network Aura of Puppets. In 2019 Pöyhönen debuted as a director abroad (Theatre Chemnitz, Germany; Nuku Theatre, Estonia). Pöyhönen has been granted a five year artist scholarship for 2020-2024, possibly as the first puppet theatre artist ever.

Merja Pöyhönen: consept, script, performer, puppet building, sound design, production
Eve Mäkitalo: technical run, puppet building, assisting in pretty much everything
As Helsingin hands:
Essi Santala: lights
Antti-Juhani Manninen: sound
Hanne Lammi: puppets
Aura of Puppets: production

Fekete Seretlek & Studio Damúza (Czech Rep./Slovenia): EXIT

Teatteri Avoimet Ovet Sat 27.8.2022 at 7 pm

Teatteri Avoimet Ovet Sun 28.8.2022 at 4 pm

60 min
Tickets 20/15€

Fekete Seretlek & Studio Damúza (Czech Rep./Slovenia): EXIT

Music & object theatre experiment on motives of H.C. Andersen.

Once upon a time - there was silence. Cabaret of live folk-electronic music combined with sound materials.

Empty space, six musicians, actors, puppeteers, singers and six music stands. Candlestick, doll, paper, toys. Each object has its own musical role, each functions as a sound instrument, each has its own composition based on fragments of motifs from Andersen's short stories. The images are interpreted through the sound of objects, intimacy is alternated by musical-cabaret parts.

Improvisation and communication with the viewer will draw you into the atmosphere of the 1920s. What will our world look like in 1000 years?


Fekete Seretlek

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 performances and 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 – percussions (Czech)


Studio DAMÚZA has been active on the theatre scene since 1999, and operated until 2004 in a space with the same name in the Old Town of Prague. The group incorporates mainly students and graduates of DAMU – producers, theatre artists, musicians and other artists, who want to reveal, provoke and explore ways of doing alternative theatre, puppet theatre, visual theatre, music and dance, away from the regular theatre institutions.

Directed by: Matija Solce

Music: Matija Solce, Ivo Sedláček & Fekete Seretlek

Skenography: Jana Nunčič, Matija Solce, Jiří N. Jelínek

On stage: Anna Bubníková, Pavol Smolarik, Jan Meduna, Ivo Sedláček, Jiří N. Jelínek, Matija Solce


Production: Studio Damúza & Art Frame Palác Acropolis (Tšekki)


Sponsored by the City of Prague and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.


Teatteri ILMI Ö. Sun 28.8.2022 at 11 am
Age recommendation: 7+
45 min
Tickets 5€


Hacivat sets up a swing business into the neighborhood and Karagöz insists to join in. Hacivat finds and sends customers to Karagöz who then pushes the swing. All the money will be shared between them. Typical of him though, Karagöz makes a mess of everything.

Customers, despite of this, like to come and swing because of Karagöz´s sillyness.

This fun filled play is based on traditional Turkish Karagöz shadow puppet shows. Meant for audiences of all ages from 7yrs up this magical and exhilarating show will take you in it´s warm embrace. Wouldn´t you like to have a great time with puppets made of calf and camel skin, and watch the 700-year-old Turkish shadow puppet theater?

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 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.

Concept: Karagoz Salıncakçı

Performers: Filiz Aksu, Mustafa Aksu


Language: Turkish


Compagnie Bakelite (FR): Envahisseurs - Invaders

Sampo Stage Sun 28.8.2022 at 1 pm

Sampo Stage Sun 28.8.2022 at 3 pm

Sampo Stage Sun 28.8.2022 at 5 pm

Age recommendation: 7+ and adults
25 min
Tickets 15€

Compagnie Bakelite (FR): Envahisseurs - Invaders


The little green men are landing on our planet, but is the world ready to host these strange creatures from another place? Confrontation is inevitable. In 30 minutes, we will witness the appearance of flying saucers, an alien invasion, the deployment of the armed forces, and the destruction of the main global capitals. Are we seeing the end of humanity?

Trailer in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVPXze6cBPc


It’s been a very long time since the Bakélite Theatre Company gave up the idea of doing things the easy way…

The company’s shows come about through experimenting. We see our creations as a tribute to inventiveness and ingenuity, open to everyone, where the strings are visible and where the audience becomes part of what’s happening on stage. It’s about playing with ordinary, everyday objects, whether “Made in Taiwan” or “Made in Brittany”.

Directing and acting: Olivier Rannou

Directing associate: Gaëtan Emeraud

with the help of Pascal Pellan, Alan Floc’h, Agnès Dupoirier

Punch & Judy in the park

Diana Park Sat 27.8.2022 at 1 pm

Diana Park Sat 27.8.2022 at 2.30 pm

Diana Park Sat 27.8.2022 at 4 pm

all ages
30 min
Tickets free entry

Punch and Judy in the park


Jo’s Punch & Judy Show is a work 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, is 360 years old this year! Jo intends to help him celebrate it, and his European ancestry, with performances of his long-running comedy drama in Helsinki during summer 2022 – and of course also on SAMPO Festival!


Punch will present his chaotic drama in Diana Park 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!”

Remember also Punch & Judy -workshops by Milla Risku between the shows 12.15 & 13.45 & 15.15!

Free entry!

Bug workshop

Diana Park Fri 26.8.2022 at 3 pm to 4.30 pm
Age recommendation: 4+ / under 7y with adult

Tickets free entry

Bug workshop for the whole family

In the Bug Workshop you can come make your own little bug!

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.

Free entry

Bug workshop at Diana Park non-stop 3 pm to 4.30 pm.

Exhibition: Puppets 4.0 - Museum without walls

Central Library Oodi - Kuutio Fri 26.8.2022 - from 12 pm to 5 pm

Erottajankatu 7 - entrance through Puppet Theatre Sampo Sat-Sun 27.-28.8.2022 from 12 pm to 5 pm

Age recommendation: 12+
30 min slots available
Tickets free admission


The German Forum for Puppetry Arts (dfp) brings the diverse world of puppet theatre to life in an interactive exhibition: Equipped with virtual reality headsets, visitors of "Puppets 4.0 – Museum without walls" immerse themselves in five digital rooms and learn about Fritz Wortelmann's puppet collection.

The former founder of the German Institute for Puppetry is part of the virtual exhibition himself: as an animated figure, he provides useful information and introduces visitors to the virtual environment. Visitors learn interesting facts about the history, development and forms of puppetry and experience fascinating exhibits from different countries in action.

What to discover?

A virtual curtain falls: Welcome to the forest! You meet puppets from Fritz Wortelmann's lifetime here; his own hand puppet theatre, propaganda puppet theatre of the Nazi era and the artistically designed hand puppets of Lore Lafin, which are experimental and far ahead of their time.

In the second room, visitors find themselves amidst a medieval market. Kasper and his international relatives from Italy, England and Turkey invite visitors to linger and enjoy the atmosphere.

Under a starry night sky in the third room, visitors learn all about wayang, the traditional shadow, puppet and mask play of Indonesia while strolling through an Indonesian bazaar.

The fourth room continues with a visit to a temple. The sacred atmosphere opens a spiritual dimension and underlines the importance of religious contexts for numerous puppetry traditions of Japan, China and Myanmar.

The last room is in the research center of the German Forum for Puppetry Arts in Bochum where the visitors can familiarize themselves with the institution and get to meet the spectacular shadow figures of the Australian artist Richard Bradshaw, or the knights of the Sicilian Opera dei Pupi.

The project is supported by the Bundesbeauftragte für Kultur und Medienand the City of Bochum, Kultur.Gemeinschaften a collaborative funding strategy byBundesbeauftragte für Kultur und Medien, Neustart Kultur and Kulturstiftung der Länder.


In 1948, Fritz Wortelmann, a man from Bochum, began to build up collection of items on puppet theatre.


Today, over 70 years later, this extensive collection named after him can be experienced in the most extraordinary way. With VR glasses, visitors can immerse themselves in a virtual world where they can move around independently. In the exhibition they travel through the international history of puppet theatre from a night market in Asia to an ancient marketplace.


Accompanying them at all times is a puppet replica of Fritz Wortelmann, who guides visitors through the exhibition, explains the exhibits and provides background information - including information on research into puppetry arts.


The exhibition is suitable for people from the age of 12. Every visitor can decide for him/ herself how deeply they want to go into any theme.


The exhibition is free of charge for the public. We recommend booking a time slot - you can do that on the ticket sales page.


“The fascination of European and Asian puppetry is transformed into a mixture of entertainment and knowledge.”


Note: People with epilepsy are strongly discouraged to visit the exhibition. The exhibition is wheelchair accessible.

You can find info here about using VR-goggles in this exhibition:

FAQ: What do I need to know before visiting the exhibition? - Fidena - Portal für Figurentheater und Puppenspielkunst

The German Forum for Puppetry Arts (dfp), Bochum



Project management and conception

Annette Dabs and Mareike Gaubitz

Development and programming

DIGIFACTURA, Alexander Philippi and team

Sound design

Loop Post-production, Maximilian Rodegra


Steffen Reuber Roy Kift


Booking a time slot:

go to the ticket sales page at nukketeatterisampo.fi/esityskalenteri/ where you will find separate Puppets 4.0 events for each day and choose a time slot suitable for you.

You can also come to see the exhibition without reservation.

Masterclass: To live and let live - Merja Pöyhönen

Annantalo, theatre class Sat 27.8.2022 & Sun 28.8.2022 from 10 am to 1 pm
For professional puppeteers

Tickets 90€ - performance ticket and lunch included!

Masterclass: To live and let live - Merja Pöyhönen

Just like a real person - basics of puppetry

In this course we jump straight into the fascinating core of puppet acting. Through practical excercises you will learn to play with table puppets that open their mouths. Skills obtained through these exercises can later be adapted into puppets of other techniques. The whole purpose of this workshop is to give tools to deepen the expression of feeling in any lifeless object, to build up courage in using puppets and to give ideas for their structural design language. This masterclass is also about having fun! The puppets used in the masterclass are built by puppet theater artist Laura Hallantie and the inspiration for them comes from so called Larvaire masks. The teacher of the masterclass is puppet theater artist Merja Pöyhönen who get inspired by pretty much anything!

Note: The Masterclass is a two-day event; you can participate on Saturday only, but not Sunday only.


The price of the workshop includes a ticket for Dirty Ducklings work-in-progress -performance Ariade aus Crete at Teatteri ILMI Ö. either on Saturday at 5 pm or Sunday at 2.30 pm and lunch on both days at Puppet Theatre Sampo.

Symposium: Diversity and accessibility in Nordic Puppetry

Annantalo, auditorium Seminar: 24.8.2022 at 09.30 am
Annantalo, auditorium Workshop: 24.8.2022 from 2pm to 4 pm

9.30am to 4pm
Tickets free admission to the discussions / workshop 10€

First symposium on diversity and inclusion in Nordic puppetry

Culture should be available to everyone. But how accessible are our Nordic theatres? Is there enough diversity within our theatres and venues? How about in themes, education, audiences? Who is our audience? How diverse is our staff? With whom are we working? What are the barriers that might exclude others? And what tools do we use to integrate people with different backgrounds?

As part of the 6th SAMPO Festival, Puppet Theatre Sampo organizes a symposium on diversity and inclusion in Nordic puppetry including workshops, keynotes and discussions.

The seminar and discussions are open to everyone and free of charge. The workshop has a fee of 10€ and registration is required. You can register by buying a ticket from the festival ticket sales (link above).


The discussion and panel in the morning will be streamed online on Puppet Theatre Sampos Youtube-channel. You can also see it on this page below.


09:30-9:50 Festival opening

10:00-11:00 Accessibility in virtual reality and online exhibitions: new chances, new challenges
Virtual Reality offers new chances to enable people but also comes with new challenges for accessibility. Anne Mäkijärvi from Digimuseo and Mareike Gaubitz from Fidena (Bochum, Germany) will discuss new possibilities and possible obstacles that come with virtual reality media. The audience is invited to ask questions and to take part in the conversation.

11:15-13:00 Panel Discussion: Diversity and Inclusion in Nordic Puppetry

In this panel, we discuss the accessibility and diversity within Nordic puppetry from an institutional, artistic, and pedagogical point of view. The discussion will be moderated by Tino Singh.

14:00-16:00 Workshop: Building bridges: developing international artistic exchanges using diverse mediums between schools

In this interactive and practical workshop we will explore the different ways to build an international art education program. The workshop will be facilitated by Arlene Tucker, a diversity agent, artist and educator, whose work focuses on adding play elements to daily life through her art.

Workshop tickets: 10€

Pre-booking required - through the festival booking site (link above)

Organizer: Puppet Theatre Sampo / Sampo Festival

Project coordinator: Svenja Fassbender, production assistant


The Panel discussion will be moderated by Tino Singh.


Rosemary Martin (Norway), PhD, Professor of Arts Education with a focus on Dance and Multiculturalism at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Tessa Rivarola (Iceland), puppeteer, community psychologist, theatre actress and author

Ujarneq Fleischer (Greenland), puppeteer and filmmaker

Rita Paqvalén (Finland), PhD, Executive Director of Culture for All

Workshop facilitator: Arlene Tucker

The main language of the symposium and workshop is English. Multilingualism is appreciated so if you would need linguistic support, please email toimisto@nukketeatterisampo.fi. We will find a solution for you.


The symposium is kindly supported by Nordic Culture Fund, The Nordic Institute in Greenland (NAPA), the Embassy of Norway in Helsinki and the Finnish Institute in Stockholm.

Contact person regarding the symposium: Svenja Fassbender, svenja.fassbender@sampofestival.fi

Workshop: Building bridges / Symposium

Annantalo Wed 24.8.2022 from 2 pm to 4 pm

Tickets 10€

Workshop on diversity

Building bridges: developing international artistic exchanges using diverse mediums between schools

In the workshop we will explore the different ways to build an international art education program. We will look at the needs of the communities, the platforms used, how to overcome language issues and anything else that may occur during a digital artistic exchange. During our time together we will look at Dear You Art Project for children and youth (read more here: https://www.dearyouartproject.com/aboutdearyou-1) and share other existing examples of cross-cultural international artistic exchanges between schools. Participants will also be able to brainstorm and start to develop their own project.



The workshop is facilitated by Arlene Tucker, a diversity agent, artist and educator, whose work focuses on adding play elements to daily life through her art. Inspired by translation studies and nature she finds ways to connect and understand our meaning making process in our shared environments. Her process-based artistic work creates spaces and situations for exchange, dialogue, and transformations to occur and surprise all players. She is interested in creating projects that open up ideas and that engage the viewer; that invite the viewer to be a part of the narrative or art creation process. In translation, your participation continues to propel the story.


Workshop tickets: 10€

Pre-booking required - buy a ticket through the festival booking site (link above)


The main language of the workshop is English. Multilingualism is appreciated so if you would need linguistic support, please email toimisto@nukketeatterisampo.fi. We will find a solution for you.



The workshop is a part of the first symposium on diversity and inclusion in Nordic Puppetry.

Discussing Puppets 4

Annantalo auditorium Fri 26.8.2022 at 1 pm to 2.30 pm

Tickets free entry

Discussing puppets 4


How to bring the lifeless to life? How to find the connection between an actor and a puppet? What kind of challenges do different puppet techniques bring along with them? As speakers in the panel, we have puppet theater experts both from Finland and from the groups visiting the Festival. The event is open for anyone with an interest in puppet theatre or acting with puppets and at the end of the formal program, there is time reserved for open discussion.

Discussing Puppets is organized by Finlands UNIMA ry in cooperation with Puppet Theatre Sampo. The discussion is hosted by puppet theatre artists Merja Pöyhönen and Timo Väntsi.


Movie: Hatching

Cinema Orion Tue 23.8.2022 at 7 pm
Age disctriction: 16+
89 min
Tickets 11/9€

Hatching is a horror drama about a young gymnast girl Tinja, who tries desperately to please her mother, a woman obsessed with presenting the image of a perfect family life to the whole world through her popular blog. Then, one night, Tinja finds a strange egg. She hides it, she keeps it warm. And when it hatches, what emerges is beyond belief.

World premiere: Sundance Film Festival 2022

This movie is seen as a prequel to SAMPO Festival on Tuesday evening, just before the official opening day of the festival.

NOTE! Tickets can be bought at Cinema Orions ticket office or online at cinemaorion.fi.

We do not sell tickets for this movie at Puppet Theatre Sampos ticket office.

DIRECTOR: Hanna Bergholm
MAKE-UP DESIGNER: Marina Ritvall
CASTSiiri Solalinna, Sophia Heikkilä, Jani Volanen, Oiva Ollila, Reino Nordin, Saija Lentonen, Ida Määttänen
PRODUCERS: Mika Ritalahti, Niko Ritalahti
DISTRIBUTOR: Nordisk Film Oy

The film is in Finnish and has English subtitles.

Movie: Annette

Cinema Orion Sun 28.8.2022 at 6 pm
Age limit K12
2h 20min
Tickets 11/9€ only from https://cinemaorion.fi/

Awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, this 2021 film by Leos Carax is a shamelessly melodramatic, absurd and fantastic fairy tale full of magical beauty and wild insanity - and puppetry. Annette was seen as the opening film of Cannes Festival in 2021.

Los Angeles, nowadays. Henry McHenry (Adam Driver) is a stand-up comedian with a fierce humor, Ann Desfranoux (Marion Cotillard) an internationally renowned opera singer. Together, under the spotlight, they form a happy and glamorous couple. The birth of their first child, Annette, an exceptionally talented, but mysterious girl with an exceptional destiny, will turn their lives upside down. Annette is depicted in the film as a puppet, which makes her even more exceptional.

Cinema Orion

Sun 28.8.2022 at 6 pm

Tickets 11/9€, from Cinema Orion Ticket Office
Age limit: K12

Duration: 2h20 min


Tickets from Cinema Orion!

CANCELLED: Ariel Doron (Israel): Boxed

Age recommendation: adults and 10+
25 min


Ariel Doron (Israel): Boxed

What´s that?

Is it me?

Is it a you?

Is this real?

Or just a joke?

It´s time we open the box!

Please close it.

I´m scared.


A minimalistic piece without words for a person with a box.

Ariel Doron goes another step into minimalism and creates a fascinating short story using only a shoebox.

A funny, sensitive and scary fantasy about a lonely man, trying to get in touch with himself and the world.


Ariel is a puppeteer, director and performer, originally from Israel and currently living and working in Germany.

In his work, he uses very little text and a lot of playfulness in order to deal with hard social and political subjects.

Each project is created with a the puppetry or performance discipline that best suits it, with the hope to always expand and question the media in which its created in, and with a desire to inspire viewers to feel, think and react.

His shows have won international prizes and are regularly invited to festivals and theatres around the world.

Created and Performed by: Ariel Doron

Dramaturgie: Tobias Tönjes

Artistic Consultation: Shahar Marom , Florian Feisel, Roni Nelken Mosenson

Co-Produced with the generous support of Erlangen Figurentheater Festival, Hanut 31 Theatre Gallery, Tel Aviv and FITZ! Figurentheater Zentrum, Stuttgart.


Exterior Eyes and Good Advice:

Clara Pallau Herrero, Aurélie Strohmaier, Sanni Lotzch, Mai Aylon, Sharon Gabay, Joachim Fleischer, Jan Jedenak, Frederike Miller, Sarah Chaudon, Gerda Knoche, Gildas Coustier, Marius Moses, Ari Teperberg, Inbal Yomtovian, Charlotte Wilde, Michael Vogel, Laila Betterman, Christiane Guhr, Nane Rotfuchs, Sabine Köhler, Heiki Ikkola.



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 every evening during the festival in Puppet Theatre Sampos Fairytale Cafe!

On Wednesday and Thursday, the club is open until 10 pm, on Friday and Saturday until 1 am, on Sunday until 10 pm.

On Friday evening the club is hosting the band Collodium Elastic after 10 pm.

On Saturday we get to enjoy the musical extravaganza of Fekete Seretlek in Concert after 10 pm.

Free entrance!


Elina’s Living Room

Elina’s Living Room will take place 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 is hosted by puppet theater artist and director Elina Lajunen.

On Friday evening 26.8. at 8.30 pm: Puppet theatre as a unique art form enables dealing also with challenging and serious themes. Often a table is acting as the stage for puppet theatre and this evening on this table we will confront even tough questions of forest, democracy, colonisation, society and humanity. Around the table discussing these subjects are amongst others puppeteers Stephen Mottram, Hélène Rosset, Olivier Lehmann, Mila Nirhamo and Perrine Ferrafiat.

On Saturday 27.8. at 8.30 pm: What is it about puppet theatre that touches our hearts and souls? How does it affect us if indeed it does? On Saturday we talk about feelings, sagas, red threads, poeticism, maybe even about ventriloquism in Greek. Winding threads of wool with us are puppeteers Evgenia Tsichlia, Thanos Sioris and Merja Pöyhönen.


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

A retrospective of Suvi Ylinen´s works

Suvi Ylinen (born 1949) graduated in 1977 from the University of Arts and Design as a textile artist, the same year that Puppet Theatre Sampo was established. Suvi Ylinen came up with the name Nukketeatteri Sampo (Puppet theater Sampo, Sampo is a magical devise in the Finnish epic Kalevala, akin to the horn of plenty of Greek mythology). Since then, Suvi Ylinen has had a great influence in the versatile visual image of the theater.

Hand printed programs, posters, pennants, tickets and T-shirts for the personnel in the beginning all came from the brush strokes of Suvi Ylinen. For almost 40 years she has designed and executed, with fabric printing technique, fabrics for puppet clothing, for bodies of animal figures, for scenery and different kinds of stage props. Her hand printed fabrics have also been used to make outfits for performers, and she has also made CD covers and book illustrations. Suvi Ylinen has hand printed nursery rhymes and folk tales into soft pictures, which have been used as visual inspiration in puppet theater workshops for children and adults.

Blue gallery/Puppet Theater Sampo
Free entry



Tickets for 2022 festival cost 20/15€/5€, depending on the performance and time. Group tickets for daycare- and schoolgroups in the morning performances 12€/child. Price for each performance is mentioned in the introduction of the performance.

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

Reservations can be made by phone or email or at the ticket office.

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, are not valid on the festival.



  1. Nukketeatteri Sampo, Erottajankatu 7, Helsinki - http://www.nukketeatterisampo.fi/
  2. Teatteri Avoimet Ovet, Erottajankatu 5, Helsinki - http://www.avoimetovet.fi/
  3. Annantalo, Annankatu 30, Helsinki - http://www.annantalo.fi/
  4. Teatteri ILMI Ö. Iso-Roobertinkatu 10B, Helsinki - http://www.teatteri-ilmio.fi/
  5. Kulttuurikeskus Stoa, Turunlinnantie 1, Helsinki - http://www.stoa.fi/
  6. Sellosali, Soittoniekanaukio 1A, Leppävaara, Espoo - http://www.sellosali.fi/
  7. Lilla Villan, Jussaksentie 16, Sipoo - http://www.lillavillan.fi/
  8. Cinema Orion, Eerikinkatu 15, Helsinki - https://cinemaorion.fi/



Past festivals







Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, please observe the following guidelines:

  • Use hand sanitizers, when you arrive. There are several in the premises. Washing your hands when arriving is also a good idea.
  • We prefer card payment at the ticket desk and the cafe.
  • We recommend booking tickets in advance.
  • 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 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 healthy! Contact us if you can not come, in order to discuss a refund.
  • The theatre staff only comes to work completely healthy.
  • Using a face mask is voluntary.

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!

Käytämme evästeitä sivuston toiminnan varmistamiseksi. Käyttämällä sivua hyväksyt evästeiden käytön.
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