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T 18. Jul

The summer play “Ivan Narodny – the man who spun the truth”

19:00 - 23:55

Räpina parish | Leevi vabaõhulava

  • Theatre
  • Other


In 2024, the municipality of Räpina will bring to the stage the musical summer performance “Ivan Narodny – the man who spun the truth”. There will be 10 performances at the Leevi open-air stage between July 17th and 21st, 2024, and between July 24th and 28th, 2024. The writer and mythmaker Jaan Sibul, born in the municipality of Räpina in 1869, became known worldwide as IVAN NARODNY.

He led a vibrant life and endeavoured to influence world politics. On this journey, he interacted with many prominent figures, such as Lenin, Stalin, Maxim Gorky, Lev Tolstoy and Mark Twain. Narodny was a versatile, courageous, and active man. For instance, he was involved in the Learned Estonian Society, wrote poetry under the pseudonym Jaan Talune, operated as a bookseller in Võru, and owned the city’s first photo studio. In 1890, he relocated his photo studio to Tartu, where he also had a workshop in mechanics, galvanics, and zincography. Additionally, he founded the abstinence society Võhandu in Räpina, where a nightclub of the same name still exists today. His influence extended well beyond Estonia’s borders.

According to the manuscript’s author, Aapo Ilves, Narodny has been largely silenced or dismissed as a charlatan, but he was, in terms of his reach and cultural footprint, our Carmen Kass and Arvo Pärt of the first half of the last century. Additionally, he was the first Estonian science fiction writer, albeit he wrote in English. He served as a music and art critic and wrote about the dance history of various nations. And even though, according to his family’s tradition, he lied to secure work as a critic by producing fake articles with his name in a self-service print shop, made to appear as if they had been published in major European newspapers, he is still quoted in America to this day.

Manuscript by: AAPO ILVES
Stage artist: SILVER VAHTRE

The summer play “Ivan Narodny – the man who spun the truth” is part of the Tartu 2024 additional program.


  • Partially accessible for people with reduced mobility
  • Partially accessible for people with intellectual disabilities


Räpina Vallavalitsus


Kooli 8, Leevi, Põlva maakond, Eesti

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