Before Us, The Deluge is a co-production between NUKU theatre and Vaba Lava platform about the 1980s in Estonia. The production is part of Estonia 100 Theatre Series Tale of The Century.
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. 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.
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