Vivica Bandler

Vivica Aina Fanny Bandler (5 February 1917 – 30 July 2004) was a Finnish-Swedish theatre director and agronomist.[2] She founded a theatre in Helsinki and is credited for popularizing avant-garde Finnish theatre.[citation needed]

Vivica Bandler
Vivica bandler 1997.jpg
Vivica Bandler, 1997
Vivica Aina Fanny von Frenckell

(1917-02-05)5 February 1917[1]
Died30 June 2004(2004-06-30) (aged 87)
Helsinki, Finland
Spouse(s)Kurt Bandler

Early life and educationEdit

Vivica von Frenckell was born in Helsinki, Finland, in 1917. She was the daughter of Helsinki Mayor Erik von Frenckell and theatre historian Ester-Margaret Lindberg.[3] She studied agronomy, graduating in 1943. She then maintained her family home, Saari Manor, a historic home located in Tammela, Finland.[4] She served in the Lotta Svärd during World War II and married Austrian Kurt Bandler in 1943; they divorced in 1963.[1]

In 1946, she became involved in a love affair with the Finnish-Swedish writer Tove Jansson, which is documented by a series of letters they exchanged in subsequent years. Jansson incorporated the pair of them into her Moomin series as Thingumy and Bob (Bob, whose original name is Vifslan, being based on Vivica). Bandler eventually decided to stay with her husband, but the two women maintained a lifelong friendship. Bandler adapted two of Jansson's Moomin stories for theatre. In cooperation with her husband, she translated the first three Moomin books into German.[5]

Theater workEdit

After the war she started working in an amateur theatre in Tammela.[3] She studied, in Paris, France in the 1930s, under a French movie director. Upon her return to Helsinki she sought to become a film director, but because of her gender, the opportunity was lacking. She went on to get her degree in agriculture, instead.[4]

In 1939, she founded Helsinki's first Swedish student theatre, Studentteatern. Bandler also served as director of the theatre. When visiting film directors came to film in Finland she often served as translator, such as Jacques Feyder.[3] In 1969, she was awarded the Order of the Lion of Finland.[citation needed]


Film director Tuija-Maija Niskanen made the film Jäähyväiset (Avskedet) based on Bandler's life.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Finlands ridderskaps och adels kalender 2001, p. 171. Jyväskylä 2000. ISBN 951-796-233-9
  2. ^ Moring, Cherry. "Vivica Bandler". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Belinka, Karmela (1998). Vivica Bandler and clowns laugh. Juva: Wiley. pp. 31–40. ISBN 951-0-22607-6.
  4. ^ a b Robert Aldrich (5 December 2000). Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day. Taylor & Francis. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0-415-22974-6. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  5. ^ Tuula Karjalainen: Tove Jansson. Work and Love. Particular Books, London 2014.

Further readingEdit

  • Ahlfors, Bengt: Människan Vivica Bandler: 82 skisser till ett porträtt Helsinki: Schildts, 2011. (in Swedish)
  • Bandler, Vivica & Backström, Carita: Adressaten okänd. (Autobiography.) Stockholm: Norstedt 1992. (in Swedish)
  • Granath, Sara: Vivica Bandler at Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon
  • Pöysti, Lasse: Jalat maahan. Otava 1991. ISBN 951-1-11611-8 (in Finnish)

External linksEdit