Oskar Luts (1887—1953), the popular Estonian novelist, had a talent of creating such lifelike characters that we tend to take them as people who actually existed. To some, they might even be more familiar than the names found in history books. The Paunvere churchwarden, Chunky-Charlie, as he’s called behind his back in The Spring, is one of them. Everybody knows him! 

Then again, Luts doesn’t tell us much about the churchwarden. We know him as a mean and quick-tempered man who gave Bible classes to the schoolchildren of Paunvere. But what was his past? Who were his parents? What was the churchwarden like as a little boy? These questions spark our imagination.

The churchwarden’s character makes us think about growing up on a wider scale. When looking at a gentleman or a lady, it’s often hard to believe that there was a time when they too liked to have childish fun and believed in fairy tales. What happens to the child inside us? Why are some people able to hold on to that child? Or is it still there, in each of us, only very, very deep down?


Peeter Tammearu – Tallinn City Theatre’s Colleague Award for Best Actor, 2017