The production was sponsored by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre’s project EMTASTRA).

According to Estonian folklore, Kratt is a supernatural being who rounds up riches for its master. How to make one? First, you should build your Kratt’s body from anything that’s handy. Then go to a crossing of four roads on a Thursday night during the full moon and whistle three times. On your whistle, the Devil appears and offers you a deal: he will give your Kratt a soul and you promise him that your soul will go to Hell after you die. You must certify the deal by donating him three drops of your blood. Then the Kratt will become alive and do anything you tell it to do. But be careful! If you should try to get rid of your Kratt before you die, in order to save your soul from the eternal damnation, Kratt will turn against you, set your house on fire and destroy all your belongings. 

Kratt is also Eduard Tubin’s ballet, based on Estonian folklore. Estonia Theatre wished to produce it in 1941, but the new Soviet power didn’t give them permission to stage a ballet based on national heritage. Before the world premiere of Kratt in Vanemuine in 1943, both leading ballerinas hurt their leg, one of them, Velda Otsus, even to the extent that she had to give up dancing and continue as dramatic actress. When Kratt finally also premiered at the Estonia Theatre in 1944, everything went really well – until the sixth performance. On a Thursday with full moon, as soon as the Kratt got its soul in the performance, the bombs started to drop on Tallinn. Dancers, wearing costumes and make-up of demons, ran on the streets to escape. A bomb dropped on the Estonia Theatre and it caught fire. The only existing score for Kratt was destroyed. (Eduard Tubin was later able to restore it, but it took him a whole year.)

Kratt, created as independent project by students of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, was inspired by mythology as well as theatre history, but is looking for contemporary, everyday equivalents to the situations described in fairy tales and the ballet. What are the possessions we are gathering and desperately afraid to lose? How far are we willing to go in order to achieve our goals? Who are the devils we are selling our souls to today? 

The directing student Ingmar Jõela has a background in choreography, so movement has an important role in his production. Kratt also features original music by Valter Soosalu.