Ages 5 and up

October 12-28

By Tove Jansson
Adapted for the stage by Graham Whitehead
Co-created by William Chesney, Leslee Silverman, Graham Whitehead
for Manitoba Theatre for Young People
An MTYP Production

Beneath a canopied dome, a miniature universe of mysterious forests, magical caves and sailing seas fill the theatre. Tove Jansson’s story of trust, bravery and ingenuity has delighted children across North America and has become an MTYP signature production.

“…simply the best piece of children’s theatre to play here in recent memory.” – Winnipeg Free Press


Since 1989, COMET IN MOOMINLAND has toured to cities throughout North America, both at festivals and major theatres. Considered to be MTYP’s signature production, COMET IN MOOMINLAND was recognized for its uniquely detailed set as the Winner of the Canadian Institute of the Arts for Young Audiences Award in 1992.

COMET IN MOOMINLAND represents the culmination of five years work for designer William Chesney. Chesney and MTYP’s Artistic Director Leslee Silverman, both avid fans of the Finn Family Moomintroll since childhood, thought Tove Jansson’s stories would make wonderful theatre, and thus began discussions in 1983. A warm and enthusiastic correspondence with author Tove Jansson followed.


Tove Jansson grew up in Helsinki, Finland as the oldest daughter of sculptor Vikto Jansson and designer Signe Hammarsten Jansson. An author, artist and illustrator, Miss Jansson won awards for painting and numerous literary prizes, including the Stockholm Award for best children’s book, 1952, the Selma Lagerlof Award, 1953, and the Elsa Beskow Award (Malmo) 1958. Her books have been on the Hans Christian Andersen honour list four times and she won the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1966. As a member of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, she wrote in Swedish, but her children’s books have all been published in English as well. Her books have also been translated into many other languages. Tove Jansson passed away on June 27, 2001 at the age of 86.

“The happiest childhood is, I think, the one which offers both security and excitement. In my books I tried to describe both, to find my way back to that early world which keeps the balance between the excitement of the commonplace and the safety of the fantastic, the child’s taken for granted world of kindness and cruelty, colourful light and impenetrable darkness. If there are any grays they are not the colour of gloom but rather those half tones necessary for the unspoken, the hidden. In a book for children I think there should always be something left unexplained and without any illustration. There should be a path at which the writer respectfully stops to let the child continue alone.”

Books by Tove Jansson

Finn Family Moomintroll, Moominland Midwinter, Moominpappa at Sea, Moominsummer Madness, Moominvalley in November, Tales from Moominvalley, and The Exploits of Moominpappa.

Recommended for ages ages 5 to 8
approximate running time: 60 minutes with no intermission

Comet in Moominland is a gem from MTYP’s repertoire. Even for adults, it’s worth the hour of sitting on the floor.” —Winnipeg Free Press, Randall King – read the full review

“Moomintroll classics enchant new generation.” —The Globe and Mail, Toronto

“It’s one of the rare shows for four and five year olds that works as theatre rather than as babysitting.” —NOW, Toronto

“The adventure of it all appeals to kids, the detail of the production appeals to adults.” —Montreal Gazette

“It’s a standout show.” —Edmonton Sun

“The play’s creators and performers simply trust the intelligence of children and the power of a good story.” — Theatrum



  • Production Benefactor Rick Lee and Laurie Shapiro

Performance run is complete.
Thank you for attending.

WFP Comet Review
Winnipeg Free Press: Comet Review
CBC Comet Review
CBC/Radio-Canada: Comet Review
The House at Pooh Corner
The House at Pooh Corner
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Comet in Moominland Still/Falling Program