Bengt Ahlfors

Author of Zambezi with Ritva Siikala

Director, playwright, composer

Born in Helsinki 1937

MA University of Helsinki 1967


Started his career as a theater critic in Nya Pressen (newspaper, Helsinki) 1959-63.

Has published satirical short stories, poetry, one novel, two books on theatre, some film scripts; and more than 30 plays, mostly comedies and cabarets.

Wrote and directed his first play in 1963 at Lilla Teatern in Helsinki, where most of his plays has been first produced. After that he has directed some 80 plays; Shakespeare, Molière, Brecht, O´Neill, Chehov… Since 20 years only his own plays (Sole exception: Strauss´ Die Fledermaus at the Finnish National Opera in 1995).

Artistic leader of Svenska Teatern in Helsinki 1975-78. Since 1978 freelance director and writer.


Two musicals, with book, lyrics and music by Ahlfors:

Stulen lycka (Stolen Happiness); a naiv romantic comedy (a la Fantastics), dedicated to the memory of Gene Kelly; first production in 1994; produced in all Scandinavian countries

Rysk roulett (Russian Roulette) 1996; an erotic and political thriller (a la Cabaret or Die Dreigroschenoper), based on the true story of Jevno Azef, a double-agent in the Czarist Russia. Only in Swedish and Finnish.


His plays have been translated to many languages, and produced in many countries.

The following plays are available in English:

Finns det tigrar i Kongo?(Are There Tigers In The Congo?) written together with Johan Bargum; one of the first heterosexual plays about AIDS; first produced at Lilla Teatern in 1986 (new version 2001); translated to 19 languages and produced all over the world.

Around The World In 80 Days (after Jules Verne)

A Theatre Comedy, several productions in Finland, Hungary, Slovakia and The Czech Republic. Run for ten years at the Slovakian National Theatre

Ashes and Aquavit

Stolen Happiness

The Last Cigar

The Illusionists

The Man who refused to use the Elevator


His newest plays:

My Elevator Days. A monologue play, translated into Norwegian, Finnish, German, Russian, Estonian. Several productions in different countries.

Tuppens hjärta. A monlogue play which he himself performes at Svenska Teatern in Helsinki since March 2010.