Astrid och Elsa Olenius


“Elsa turned me into a dramatist." You cannot write about Astrid Lindgren’s plays without first telling the reader about the librarian, Elsa Olenius. Elsa was working at promoting good children’s literature and culture, and had started up an amateur theatre for children, called Our Theatre. She asked Astrid to write some children’s plays for her to use. In 1946 Astrid wrote her first play for this theatre – a one-act criminal comedy. After that she continued writing plays for them, about Pippi Longstocking and Kalle Blomkvist, Master Detective, amongst others.


Mankind is preoccupied with two great things: death and love; these catch the interest of all ages. You shouldn’t scare children to the point of anxiety, but just like adults they need to be moved by art.

Dagens Nyheter, 8th September 1959