Draama 2024

Tiit Pagu

Tallinn City Theatre

Tiit Pagu foto
Photo: Tallinna City Theatre
       05.09.2023       at 6 p.m.
The Small Building of Theatre Vanemuine
       06.09.2023      at 6 p.m.
The Small Building of Theatre Vanemuine

“How should you take a cue
From someone’s outer surface
When the ground in front of you
Might suddenly just vanish?”

“Tiit Pagu” could have been the literary debut of Jaan Kross (1920-2007) but instead it was his last work which was published almost a dozen years after his death. This verse novel uses witty, dynamic and polished language to describe the rebellion and soul-searching of the youth. The title character Tiit Pagu is a student at the University of Tartu in pre-Soviet Estonia. He’s from a well-off family and he lives a jolly life of a fraternity brother. During the three spring months of 1940, events take an unexpectedly serious turn and he’s made to question everything he knows. The readers never find out where Tiit ends up because the story ends with the 267th stanza with the arrival of the pivotal June of 1940.

Kross apparently started writing “Tiit Pagu” before he was jailed and he continued writing during the rough years he spent in exile in Siberia when this former lawyer started becoming into a professional writer. He kept working on the verse novel after he returned to Estonia in the summer of 1954. The seemingly rough and brave story about the ideological wanderings of a young person hides several deeper paradoxes which many educated people living under the Soviet regime had to face. The most intriguing question is what would’ve come of Kross’ character and how would’ve his life turned out. The director Jaak Prints has said, “The reasons why Kross’ book was unfinished and why it was published posthumously should probably be sought from the same place. The time where we’re living in right now allows us to draw parallels with the time where the novel takes place. The shadow of a war. What does it mean to be young during turbulent times? What are your prospects? We’re all the children of our era.”

The premiere took place on October 8, 2022 on the grand stage of the Salme Cultural Centre.

The performance is a collaboration between Tallinn City Theatre and the XXXI class of the theatre department of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Author: Jaan Kross
Director: Jaak Prints
Stage designer: Kristjan Suits
Choreographer: Eve Mutso
Lighting designer: Emil Kallas
Sound designer: Arbo Maran
Singing instructor: Riina Roose
Verse instructor: Anu Lamp
Makeup artist: Anu Konze
Cast: students of the XXXIth class of the theatre department of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Markus Andreas Auling, Karl Birnbaum, Richard Ester, Lauren Grinberg, Hanna Jaanovits, Laurits Muru, Hele Palumaa, Herman Pihlak, Kristina Preimann, Kristin Prits, Emili Rohumaa, Alice Siil, Juhan Soon, Astra Irene Susi, Rasmus Vendel and Edgar Vunš.

NB! Half an hour before the performance, theatre students will play popular songs from the 1930s in front of the theatre building (in the foyer if it rains).  

The performance lasts for 3 hours and 50 minutes including an intermission.

The performance includes several scenes where people smoke on the stage.