Kuvassa Paavo Kinnunen (Kyllikki) ja Ella Mettänen (Runar)
Photo: Noora Geagea

Runar ja Kyllikki

Runar & Kyllikki is a story about a small village and a tragedy that touched the entire nation. This case has remained unsolved in Finnish criminal history.

Runar Karlsson, an evacuee boy who lost his father in the war, is a peculiar young man who would rather spend his time wandering in the woods and talking to animals. Suffering from loneliness, Runar does not match with the assumed image of a strong and successful man, but rather finds himself in the position of a weirdo, bullied by the community. 

There is also another maltreated young child in the village, a girl named Kyllikki Laiho. Kyllikki is the darling of the village, a kind and hard-working girl from a deeply religious house of Laiho. Raised by her strict father, Kyllikki becomes a target for forbidden desires and shameful acts, of which the community has chosen to remain silent. The life stories of these two young people eventually meet in a fatal way that shocks the entire village and its people. 

This modern classic is loosely based on a true story of the murder of Kyllikki Saari, but is mainly a story about individuals struggling under the pressure of community, the rotting power of double standard, the narrow gender roles, the shame of sexuality – and a world, where one has only two tasks to fullfill: to spawn, and to die.  

Title roles: Ella Mettänen and Paavo Kinnunen

Other roles: Juho Kuusamo, Lotta Lindroos, Juho Milonoff, Karoliina Niskanen, Kati Outinen, Niko Saarela, Satu Silvo and Eeva Soivio

Written by: Jussi Kylätasku

Directed by: Lauri Maijala

Scenographer: Markku Pätilä

Light design by: Tomi Suovankoski

Costumes: Sari Suominen

Sound design and music by: Jani Rapo

Hair and mask: Leila Mäkynen


Theatre, dance and circus



Target groups

Upper secondary and vocational education



Event languages

englanti, suomi


Contact person




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