Viirus is a Swedish-speaking theatre situated close to the heart of Helsinki. Viirus was founded in 1987 by three young actors, Robert Enckell, Mats Långbacka and Johan Storgård together with Arn-Henrik Blomqvist, a director fresh out of the university. They wanted Viirus to be an alternative to the institutional theaters with focus on a young audience. The repertoire represented something new and different, consisting of plays that Robert, Johan, Mats and Arn-Henrik wanted to do themselves and that they found interesting.
Over the years Viirus has developed into an acclaimed and well-known theatre, but it still has the ability to provoke and surprise its audience. Many rising stars have performed on Viirus’ stage and there are more to come!
Viirus had its own venue form almost twenty years on the island of Rajasaari, in an old red-brick building that used to be the water purification plant of Helsinki City. Viirus turned it into the most intimate, compelling and fascinating facility a theatre could ever want, but unfortunately the building was in a very bad condition and the theatre had to move out in September 2007.
Since 2010 Viirus was situated in Meritullinkatu 33 in Kruununhaka, Helsinki. A new generation of theatre workers has been responsible for the activity since the beginning of 2011. Viirus generation 2 intertwine the artistic acrimony and the democratic work methods that has been a trade mark for the theatre all these years with new methods and a more open profile.
Viirus has three to five opening nights annually. Some of the performances also go out on tour in Finland and abroad. In 2013, Viirus became the Co-ordinator of a long-term EU Culture Fund Project called Meeting the Odyssey – an Adventure Beyond Arts, Myths and Everyday Life in Europe 2013-2016, including 13 partners in 10 countries. The project is better described here.
Viirus is a member of IETM since 2011. The theatre has been awarded with several prizes, for example The Helsinki Prize (best theatre in Helsinki 2003 by the Nöjesguiden magazine, The Top of the Year -Prize by Radio X3M 2005, The Antonia Prize (No Return performance, the theatre event of the year 2006) by Hangö Teaterträff festival. In 2014 Viirus became the “Theatre of the Year” in Finland.
In 2017 Viirus moved to Jätkäsaari in Helsinki to the adress Välimerenkatu 14 to a new theatre hall and is active there today.