“Peks Mõisatallis” is a humorous insight into being an Estonian: part of a nation where singing and suffering walk hand in hand. We have been taught to think of suffering as something sacred. Yes, we can take it all - we swallow the biggest injustice and not a single word of hesitation will ever cross our lips. Even the history books confirm this: Estonians are a nation that have endured slavery for 700 years and everything we will ever achieve will paid for with sweat, blood and tears.
But, is life really such a struggle all the time? How much can we and wish to endure?
A picture has been painted of our past as a black hole, where ceilings where oh so low and our national dish 'kört' was oh so watery. But during the first year of theatre school we were taught a dance called 'The Stone Jacket'. It is a dance that talks of Estonian peasants who sew stone and hay under their jackets in order to endure the whipping by the lord of the manor. The lords whipped them as hard as they could and the recipients screamed as if being tortured while not feeling a thing. After the beating they ran home giggling: 'See, how I screamed this time!' Suffering was inevitable, but sense of humor was a choice. Which one of those actually saved us?
The collaboratively created play discusses being Estonian the way we see it and how we see others observe it. We ask what makes and Estonian an Estonian. What is our favourite way to suffer that we have mastered? Where next? Where really are the roots of Estonianness?And how much are we willing to endure as actors,the audience and members of society?
This year we celebrate our 100th year of independence, and the wellfare we have today is unprecedented. But even 25 years of total freedom after the end of Soviet Occupation, we haven't been able to overcome our national moto: Who suffers the most, will live the longest'.
“Peks mõisatallis” is a directorial debut for a young director Birgit Landberg, who graduated from Tartu University Viljandi Culture Academy in the spring of 2015. She describes her earlier works like “Aadamamängud” (“Games of Adam”), “Ada ja Evald” and “Kaunitar ja Koletis” (“Beauty and the Beast”) with a phrase “party on the stage”. Birgit does not appreciate art for the sake of art, Birgit does not appreciate suffering for the name of art.
Must Kast (Black Box), as a stage, is something that is opened for every possibility, where “theatre magic” can be born out of thin air. Must Kast, (Black Box) as a theatre, thrives from that very idea. We believe in theater, where everything is possible. We believe in theater that does not manifest itself through words but by actions. We believe in theater that grows with its audience. We believe in theater that could reach everybody, but without making any compromises in quality.