United for Nothing
Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, widows, widowers, orphans, lovers, prisoners, guards, dreamers, musicians, whores, footballers, even animals, and still, human beings, together, in a very big place with no way out and endless ways in. This and more, After the Campsite.
Madri, padre, figli, figlie, vedove, vedovi, orfani, amanti, prigionieri, guardie, sognatori, musicisti, puttane, calciatori, perfino animali, ma pur sempre essere umani, insieme, in un enorme luogo senza via d’uscita, ma pieno di ingressi. Questo e molto altro, After the Campsite.
Μητέρες, πατέρες, γιοι, κόρες, χήρες, χήροι, ορφανά, εραστές, φυλακισμένοι, φρουροί, ονειροπόλοι, μουσικοί, πόρνες, ποδοσφαιριστές, ακόμα και ζώα, αλλά παρόλα αυτά, ανθρώπινα όντα, μαζί, σε ένα πολύ μεγάλο μέρος χωρίς διέξοδο και ατέλειωτους εισόδους. Αυτά και πολλά άλλα, After the Campsite: από δω κι εμπρός.
When a piece of art manages to absorb the spirit of its time and transform a personal experience into a universal one, then we usually deem it a masterpiece, a creation that is worth sharing with as many of our fellow human beings as possible. When this happens with a play – in the quintessential space of timelessness and suspended reality that is the theatre – we are usually reluctant to get up and leave once the curtain has been drawn and the lights are now shining down on an enraptured audience, and when we do, we usually take very long and slow-paced walks home, trying to hold onto that elusive feeling of immateriality that touched us so deeply and briefly, but so surely.
When the play-project After the Campsite – outcome of the annual workshop which the National Theatre of Northern Greece runs for young refugees – came to an end, tear-streaked faces looked at one another searching for the same dawning, the same pain and the same promise of humanity that writer/director Michalis Sionas’ words communicated so clearly and so efficiently through the exquisite performance of his three thespians/musicians Timoleon Papadopoulos, Giannis Tsemperlidis and Stefania Zora. Beware, After the Campsite is not a play about the refugee crisis, but a play about a crisis of European values now that History has made it clear that Europe is anything but a Union. «The project chooses not to focus melodramatically on the past, on lost homelands and on all that was left behind. Instead, it sets out to highlight the youngsters’ hopes and dreams for the future and the ways in which they adapt to their new reality.»
With light yet substantial strokes, the painting of a shared martyrdom comes to the fore on the Royal Theatre’s stage, hinting at violence and suffering but never quite focusing on their depiction. Rather, honesty, irony and an endless love for storytelling fill the room to the brim, recounting the harshness of being a rootless heart looking for a home. After a sublime prologue by Sotiris Dimitriou – written specifically for the international festival The Future of Europe by Schauspiel Stuttgart National Theatre – in which Greece finally gives up its hard-headed pride and completely feeds its soul to the relentless capitalistic machine of the EU, rebranding itself as Diogeneia, the land of cynicism, where tourists can enjoy a relaxing Molotov throw in protected revolutionary environments or a regenerative session of spitting and scorning both police and government at extremely competitive prices, the play starts to intertwine the stories of Masoome, Mohadeseh, Aya, Nazanin, Fateme, Daniel, Yunes, Partiman, Elias, Mohammad, Asifa, Atifa, Morteza, Sara, Boshra and many more into one, big, shared mental campsite in which we all try to put up our shabby tent to make it through the night.
Seldom has Greek theatre been so self-aware, alive and necessary – and even more rarely were there so many points of view that coexisted harmoniously into one single container – as with After the Campsite, and despite the physiological blemishes of a throbbing play-project, one can only commend the purity (and naivety, too) of thoughts and actions that arose from that life-giving and essential operation of stopping, opening your arms and letting others in, and then slowly walk home.
The show is still playing
Royal Theatre of Thessaloniki
White Tower Square – Thessaloniki
26 and 27 of April 2018
2, 3 and 4 of May 2018
the National Theatre of Northern Greece presents
After the Campsite – After the Campsite: από δω κι εμπρός
director, writer, set design, lighting design Michalis Sionas
prologue of Diogeneia Sotiris Dimitriou
music composition Giannis Tsemperlidis, Michalis Sionas
live Performance Timoleon Papadopoulos, Giannis Tsemperlidis
movement Eddie Lame
first assistant director Nikolas Maragkopoulos
second assistant director Lila Vlachopoulou
third assistant director Konstantina Vaitsi (IEK Akmi student / intern)
production photography Tasos Thomoglou
production coordinator Eva Koumandraki
cast Timoleon Papadopoulos, Giannis Tsemperlidis, Stefania Zora