1Aura of Puppets
Have you always considered puppet theatre to be just a form of kid’s entertainment? Well, it’s nothing of the sort. A good example of this is Aura of Puppets, a network of puppetry professionals whose mission it is to reveal this hidden form of art and bring puppet theatre to the consciousness of audiences.
The artists of AofP take creativity and imagination to the next level. There’s also entertainment for children, but the artists are first and foremost known for their adult performances. The personal characters and captivating stories are so enthralling, that at some point, you are sure to forget you are looking at dolls rather than real actors.
Here’s a little tip – there’s something special about losing yourself at the opera. Saaristo-ooppera (Archipelago Opera) is a small opera company founded by opera singer Päivi Nisula. Delightfully intimate and unpretentious, it offers the ideal place to explore the world of opera. An experience guaranteed to show just how enthralling opera can be.
The stunning works of the Saaristo-ooppera are a skilful combination of opera and theatre. Performances alternate between being held in the Turku region and elsewhere in Western Finland. Check out the newest repertoire on the website!Photos: Robert Seger & Matti Vahtera
3Turku Summer Theatre
Pure joy! There’s no better way to describe an evening at Turku Summer Theatre. Set against the verdant surroundings of the Vartiovuori hill, this professional theatre delivers family entertainment, with a warm and authentic atmosphere and an ensemble of delightfully charming staff. Any stale preconceptions of a summer theatre as a tired form of entertainment vanish in an instant. You simply have to make this your new summer tradition!
Performances are packed with energetic and humorous dialogue, as well as entertaining musical numbers. That happy feeling lingers long as you carry the smiles all the way home. More of the same please!
Second photo from left: Jere Satamo
4Åbo Svenska Teater
Situated right on the corner of the market square is the oldest theatre house in Finland, Åbo Svenska Teater. Constructed in 1839, the theatre conceals within its walls a spectacular slice of theatre history, evident the moment you first step into the lobby. The main stage, from the 1800’s, with its glittering chandelier, ceiling painting and numerous ornamental gilded details, is particularly stunning.
Part of one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, the theatre’s main language is Swedish, and all performances of operas, musicals and plays on the main stage include subtitles in Finnish, so performances are suitable for wider audiences. Truly a place where art comes to life – see the website for details of the theatre’s repertoire.
The refreshingly different TEHDAS Theatre use their unique style to inspire and awaken audiences, just as true art should.
TEHDAS Theatre is located in the magnificent milieu of Manilla, the premises of a former factory right along the banks of the River Aura, offering a stage for open-minded productions as well as alternative artistic theatre.
The programme of this independent professional theatre emphasises multidisciplinary collaborations, contemporary theatre and puppet theatre. There’s also plenty for kids to experience. Check out the seasonal programme on the theatre website.
6Samppalinna Summer Theatre
The old mill peeks out from the trees, along with the magnificent view as you climb the hill. At the foot of the mill lies the Samppalinna summer theatre, having performed popular and talented summer entertainment in Turku for over 50 years. Where the atmosphere has both a touch of nostalgia and a wholesome spirit – something traditionally Turku. Summer theatre is as much a part of summer as strawberries and cream!
7TNT – Turku Youth Theatre
Turku Youth Theatre is found at the edge of the city centre, in an old print factory on Ursininkatu Street. The theatre itself is by no means young, having organised theatre activities for children and young people for almost 50 years. The productions include both classical pieces and light comedy, with a repertoire suitable for all ages.
Here, the talents of children and young people expand to fill extraordinary roles and performances, with no limits on imagination – nor is the fun and laughter restricted in rehearsals. Under professional leadership, children of all ages are taught how to make learning fun by breaking with routines, which is what makes this theatre special.
“Forget formality and have some fun,” goes Linnateatteri’s mantra, and nothing could be truer. No matter what your mood, Linnateatteri will get you up and keep you entertained.
In a nutshell, a leisurely dinner with great comedic entertainment – and we mean hilarious! In addition to the repertoire of plays, there’s also a smattering of concerts and stand-up performances – and even something the young theatre enthusiasts.
Linnateatteri’s venue exudes a sense of history. Housed in a 1920’s building connected to the Maalaistentalo – a building designed by famous architect Alvar Aalto – the Domino Theatre was for a long time a cinema but from autumn 2019 will serve as a new theatre and restaurant. Linnateatteri also performs at the Ruissalo boatyard during summer.
9Turku City Theatre
Turku City Theatre stands proudly in a prime location along the idyllic River Aura shores, its spectacular theatre building an unmistakable fixture of the Turku landscape. The theatre is one of the largest in Finland, with a diverse programme just as big. Immerse yourself in all types of live entertainment across the three stages, from musicals and drama to concerts and stand-up comedy.
If you’re looking for a unique event venue, the stages and other theatre facilities are available for public hire. The theatre also organises special guided behind-the-scenes tours – so take a peek behind the curtain!