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Leif Zern: Lasse Pöysti was a clever and curious cosmopolite

Lasse Pöysti did not play Moomin – he was Moomintroll for generations of Swedish children. He gave us a new dialect. All were more or less familiar with finland after the second world war. But Lasse Pöysti brought it closer to us with its mixture of gravity and ingenuity. Pippi had had a brother.

It was a happy time. Little theatre's recurring guest appearances in Stockholm became a tradition that began in 1967 and coincided with a live cultural exchange between Finland and Sweden. It was not only Moomintroll. I remember Shakespeare's ”measure for measure” by Lasse Pöysti and Birgitta Ulfsson, Max Frischs efterkrigsdrama ”Biedermann and pyromanerna” and, not least, the long line of personal and rare expressive actor: Elina Salo, Asko Sarkola, Lisa Bergström, Nils Brandt and many more. It was like having friends visiting.

Read more: the Actor and the director, Lasse Pöysti is dead

was just as vibrant – the swiss director Benno Bessson made, for example, a ”Hamlet”. It was an intellectual center.

Vivica Bandler was the Little theatre's dynamic general manager during the twelve years before she took over the management of the Stockholm city theatre. She was succeeded in 1967 by the pair Lasse Pöysti and Birgitta Ulfsson, then the Little theatre got a clearer profile facing to the left with the domestic German: Bengt Ahlfors Claes Andersson and Johan Bargum. Our climate was often more stringent – we were many who went to Helsinki to get the laugh. It remained Lasse Pöystis and the Little theatre's hallmark.

Against this background, it was natural to Pöysti during a critical period became the head of the royal dramatic theatre, stockholm (1981-85). However, it turned out to be a mistake, unfortunate for both. An example of a success rarely can be repeated.

all I want to remember him, for he embodied an era when we were more curious of each other

to official. He thrived best in context, where he got surprise, a Finnish Allan Edwall, who was loved because he was never obsequious. Moomintroll with his lovable charm has partly been in the way of his rather strive charisma. We forget easily that he appeared in countless movies and even was a Finnish actor.

all I want to remember him, for he embodied an era when we were more curious of each other. Then the Finnish and finland-Swedish theatre was as much a swede, when you guest starred and gästregisserade, then the dialects were numerous.

Let us remember a true cosmopolitan.

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