Before Us, Deluge

VABA LAVA lavastus Theatre EST

Organiser Vaba Lava and NUKU

Estonian Republic 100 theatre programme

Before Us, Deluge is a co-production of Vaba Lava and the visual and puppet theatre NUKU

 The flood myth motif is found among many (ancient) cultures such as the Mesopotamian flood stories, Deucalion in Greek mythology, the Genesis flood narrative etc. In the narrative, a great flood, destroying a whole civilization is often brought about by a deity as an act of divine retribution.


The genre of the piece would be `epic communal drama`, where a bursting water pipe brings chaos and causes devastating deluge in an apartment building at Õismäe Road 10. The event is well-documented: the flooding, wreaking havoc in the building begins on August 1987.


In the show, devastation caused to the building by flooding can be interpreted as an extended metaphor: it is a story of a decade, when the map of Europe was reshaped, a decade, which signalled an epochal shift in ideological power structures of the whole world, a decade which transformed people’s dreams.

At the beginning of the 1980s the modern Soviet apartment building embodied the essence of luxury for all Estonians, whereas by the end of the decade it had become a grey monument to a failed utopia.

The developments of the 1980s are seen through the eyes of three pre-teenagers Kristiina, Marek and Märt. Having survived the deluge, they must now create a new world of their own. Retrospective monologues, archive footage and staged video re-enactments enable to see the interaction between personal stories and official history by placing a housing block in Õismäe as its focal point.


Conceived and directed by Jaak Kilmi, Kiur Aarma and Andris Feldmanis

Stage and costume design: Liina Keevallik

Dramaturg: Piret Jaaks

Music and sound design: Horret Kuus

Conductor of the Tallinn Boys´ Choir: Tomi Rahula

Light: Priidu Adlas

Cast: Mihkel Tikerpalu, Anti Kobin, Liivika Hanstin and choir

Producers: Vaba Lava and NUKU theatre, collaboration partner the Baltic Film and Media School


Jaak Kilmi is an Estonian film director, writer and producer. He has (co-)directed and produced a string of successful short films (Tallinn Sprats, the short film series Underwater Flihts), a number of documentary films (Living force, The Art of Selling, Disco and Atomic War, Paper Town) and two feature films (Revolution of Pigs and The Dissidents). His films have been awarded internationally and have enjoyed successful theater runs in Estonia. He teaches film directing at the University of Tallinn.


Kiur Aarma is a film producer and scriptwriter who has studied semiotics and cultural theory at Tartu University. He continued his studies at the Baltic Film and Media School Master’s program, where he focused on scriptwriting. He has worked as radio and television program director and TV producer. In collaboration with Jaak Kilmi, he has been a co-writer and producer of several documentary and feature films such as the documentary Disco and Atomic War, short lenght film The Tallinn Sprats and short film series Underwater Flights.

Andris Feldmanis is an Estonian journalist and screenwriter who has written scripts for various TV series and films.


Premier on 22rd March 2018.