Moomins at the theatre: Theatre Museum’s 2016 exhibition

At the beginning of June, a part of Moominvalley will be presented at the Theatre Museum in Helsinki, Finland, when the summer exhibition Moomins at the theatre will open its doors. The exhibition is about theater performances of Moomins as well as Tove Jansson’s other theater works.

The exhibition will display very unique material, for example, from the very first Moomin theatre play. The play was written by Tove Jansson, and she also designed the costumes and stage settings. These dress treasures are now being conservated and will soon be ready to be presented for the first time in almost 70 years!

Moomin-themed performances have been presented in Finnish professional theatres more than 20 times. The exhibition will present the first three Moomin theatre plays, those in which Tove Jansson herself was involved. Moomins appeared on the stage for the first time in 1949 by the Swedish Theatre with the play Mumintrollet och Kometen. Next, the Moomins were seen in the Mumintrollet i kulisserna play at Lilla Teatern in Helsinki in 1958. The Finnish National Opera presented Moomin Opera in 1974. Muumit kulisseissa (Moomins behind the scenes) by Helsinki City Theatre from 2002 represents Moomin plays from the 2000s.

Tove Jansson Svenska Teaternin Momintrollet och kometen -esityksen jälkeen vuonna 1949. Taustalla esityksen ohjaaja Vivica Bandler. Kuva Rembrandt - SLS arkisto, SLSA 1270 Svenska Teaterns arkiv
Tove Jansson and actors after 
Mumintrollet och kometen play at the Swedish Theatre, 1949.
Photo: Rembrandt / SLS arkisto, SLSA 1270 Svenska Teaterns arkiv

The exhibition will also feature the stunning original costume sketches and costumes by Tove Jansson from the Swedish Theatre drama. The costumes from the Finnish National Opera and Helsinki City Theatre plays are also presented at the exhibition, and a comparison between the performances can be made through pictures. Tove Jansson’s other theatre work can also be explored at the exhibition.

Tofslan_och_Vifslan_Tove Janssonin luonnos Tofslanin ja Vifslanin (Tiuhti ja Viuhti) pukuihin Svenska Teaternin esitykseen Momintrollet och kometen, 1949. Tove Janssonin arkisto, ©Moomin Characters™
Sketch for the costumes for Thingumy and Bob by Tove Jansson.
Mumintrollet och kometen, 1949, The Swedish Theatre.
Photo: Tove Jansson’s archive, ©Moomin Characters™

Like a cherry on top of the Moominmamma’s cake, a paper basket decorated with the Moomin theme by Tove Jansson belonging to Vivica Bandler can be seen at the Moomins at the Theatre exhibition. Tove Janssonin koristelema paperikori, joka on kuulunut Vivica Bandlerille. Teatterimuseon kokoelmat
Vivica Bandler’s paper basket designed by Tove Jansson.
Photo: Theatre Museum’s archives

Lähikuva Tove Janssonin koristelemasta paperikorista. Kuva Teatterimuseon kokoelmat
Vivica Bandler’s paper basket designed by Tove Jansson.
Photo: Theatre Museum’s archives

Theatre Museum carries out the exhibition together with Moomin Characters Oy Ltd.

Moomins at the Theatre is open to the public from June 8th onwards.