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Great Siberia

Jaan Undusk

This play is based on situations from the course of Jaan Kross’s life at the time when he was living in exile in Krasnoyarsk krai after his release from prison camps, and thereafter back in the Estonian SSR. It was in Siberia that Kross started systematically working on his writing, which was fostered by his friendly cohabitation with the communist Alma Vaarman. Upon his return to Tallinn, he tried to earn a living by his writing, but initially without success.

An imaginary story connects and transfigures motifs from his life story that are sprinkled into the play. Its title derives from Andrei’s song in Yury Milyutin’s operetta Unsettled Happiness (‘Great Siberia, vast dark primeval forest…’), which became famous in its day as performed by Georg Ots. Much of the play’s factual background has been expanded upon by the play’s author in the Estonian academic historical journal Tuna [The Past] in 2017.

The play is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jaan Kross, the most internationally well-known Estonian writer. It is part of the same series of Undusk’s previous plays Boulgakoff (staged in 2008 at the Estonian Drama Theatre) and Quevedo (staged in 2010 at the Vanemuine Theatre), where the main character is a writer who acutely goes through the struggle between spirit and power in his own person.

Premiere: 15 February 2020 on the Big Stage.

Director: Hendrik Toompere
Art director: Ervin Õunapuu (guest)
Music designer: Lauri Kaldoja

Cast: Tambet Tuisk (guest), Merle Palmiste, Raimo Pass, Jüri Tiidus, Britta Soll, Tõnu Kark, Markus Luik, Marta Laan, Taavi Teplenkov, Viire Valdma.

Dates Start time Kirjeldus Stage
15.02.202019:00esietendusBig stage
18.02.202019:00Big stage
19.02.202019:00Big stage
12.03.202019:00Big stage
13.03.202019:00Big stage
14.03.202019:00Big stage
15.04.202019:00Big stage
16.04.202019:00Big stage