Tampere Theatre Festival 6-12 August.

Returning for its 44th year, the Tampere Theatre Festival has once again designed a week of eclectic and explosive theatre. Playing in over 20 venues around the city, an abundance of dramatic choices are on offer, starting with the iconic Programme Tent returning to stage concerts, vocalists, dance, monologues and drama. The festival also welcomes back the “Encorebaana” element to local restaurants and bars, bringing small-scale acts and comedy to the occasion, and Thursday night marks the unique experience of “The Great Nocturnal Happening”, whereby visitors get swept up in a theatrical carnival atmosphere.

Most precious about the largest Nordic theatre festival is the “OFF Tampere” scheme; a fringe event running throughout the week, giving amateurs the chance to show case and experiment with their creative drama projects. Alongside this are a range of seminars and meetings, bringing theatre lovers together for vibrant discussions of the plays.

Cap all this off with the professional main programme that won’t fail to impress and you have a stunning and vibrant week of high drama. Theatre is the mirror to all that surrounds us in life and with plays such as HOMO!- A Queer Opera and The Rise and Fall of Estonia included in this programme we have a festival of theatre at its best, delivering what it’s best at and being accessible to all.

A number of Finnish performances this year will be subtitled in English.

Beth Morton