• Mon 12/02/24 19:00
  • Thur 01/01/70 00:00

“Orzel. Laidoner’s Nights”

“Orzel. Laidoner’s Nights” is a fact-based, but partly fictional stage-play focusing on the so-called “Orzel incident”, which was to have fateful and tragic consequences for the independent Republic of Estonia. The “Orzel incident”, was used by Soviet Russia to force the “treaty of defense and mutual assistance” on Estonia, which was signed on 28 September 1939 and allowed the Soviets to establish several military bases on Estonian soil. The Soviet troops occupied the whole territory of Estonia in June 1940. The two characters in the play are Johan Laidoner, the CommanderinChief of the Estonian Armed Forces and his wife Maria Skarbek-Kruszewska, a descendant of Polish nobility, who discuss the events and their consequences from both converging and different perspectives. 

The play is set during four pivotal nights (14.-18.09.1939) at the beginning of the Second World War. The events that trigger a fateful “avalanche” start with the interned Polish submarine  Orzeł escaping from Tallinn, in neutral Estonia, to the United Kingdom. Was it an act of bravery from the Estonian side to let the submarine leave? The official investigation, however, failed to find proofs that the submarine was
deliberately assisted in her escape. The context of the play – the relations of the Republic of Estonia with the neighboring countries already at war, is a topic that resonates with the present political climate perfectly. The German and Estonian press covering of the incident at the time was controversial and shrouded by secrecy and ambiguity. In Estonia, only the newspaper Uus maa, which was politically aligned with the then Estonian government, was allowed to cover the incident, which paved way to various speculations and mystifications.

Stage-play by Loone Ots
Directed by Jaanus Nuutre
Stage and costume designer Jana Wolke

Sound designer Tobias Tammearu
Lighting Designer Targo Miilimaa (Estonian Youth Theatre)
Light and sound technician Margus Ruhno
Make-up artist Tuuli Alliksaar
On stage Liina Tennosaar and Peeter Tammearu

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