US comic emerges from Tallinn lock-down as Estonian rapper

Rachman Blake.
Rachman Blake. Source: Rachman Blake/Heldeke

The gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions is seeing live, in-club stand-up comedy making a comeback, among all the other cultural events. Well-traveled US comic Rachman Blake, who, while he first ended up having to extend his stay in Estonia due to lock-down, is now not only remaining voluntarily, but also bringing his brand of English-language comedy and his observations of living here.

Blake, originally from Florida, said: "At first I hated it, but then I loved it. Estonia is a great place to develop self esteem."

The Estonian language, efficient and fun to learn, also adapts itself well to dirty talk in and out of bed - as he colorfully mentions in his irreverent show: "Täida mind nagu vastlakukkel"... 

Rachman has been six months now living in Estonia so has been able to put together the show, entitled "Becoming an Estonian rapper" and in residency at Kalamaja's Heldeke Theatre-Bar, to: "Profess my love for this place," singing, rapping and baring all in the hour-long, funny, exciting, and bumping show, all about becoming an Estonian rapper. 

Off-stage, Rachman, who has traveled and performed in many European countries, says he quickly fell in love with winter swimming, walks in the pristine forest and the lack of good customer service, so much so that, rather than return to sunny California, where he had been living, he stayed on to brave the punishing Estonian winter. 

Despite the depressingly dark days, he found the place to be unexpectedly special, he says, and, while he apologizes profusely for his own country, is now proud to call Tallinn, Estonia his new home. 

Shows at Heldeke, on Tööstuse 13 in Kalamaja, have been running through June and will take a break for Jaanipäev, before returning at the beginning of July.

ERR News put their money where they mouth was and actually attended an event they were writing about and can confirm the show will have the normally reticent Estonians, not only laughing, but opening up in all sorts of ways. We also saw a guest spot from local stand-up Ari Matti Mustonen, and Rachman's Tallinn run, which restarts in July, comes highly recommended.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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