For a three-day hit-and-run, the Athenian Theatre OLVIO lands in Thessaloniki with its version of Jordi Galceran’s Fuita (here FUGA, a very risky choice of words given the nationalist stance of the playwright), a condemnation of political and social corruption dated 1998 imbued with clichés, wisecracks and mordant lampoon.
Immaginate di trovarvi davanti a una porta. Vi avvicinate e cominciate a battere i pugni contro il legno, ancora e ancora. Non lo fate semplicemente per esaudire il mero desiderio di entrare; avete bisogno di entrare. Non siete sicuri del perché, ma nel punto più recondito delle vostre viscere sentite la disperata necessità di entrare. E allora battete e scalciate e spingete, finché, finalmente, la porta si apre… verso l’esterno. Siete sempre stati dentro al luogo che cercavate. Questo, come dice Kafka, ist komisch. Tutto il resto, purtroppo, è FUGA.
Φανταστείτε ότι βρίσκεστε μπροστά από μια πόρτα. Πλησιάζετε και ξεκινάτε να χτυπάτε με τις γροθιές σας το ξύλο, ξανά και ξανά. Δεν σας κινεί μόνο η απλή επιθυμία να την διαβείτε άλλα μια έντονη ανάγκη να την ανοίξετε. Το γιατί δεν σας είναι ξεκάθαρο μα, κάπου βαθειά μέσα σας, νοιώθετε μια απελπισμένη ανάγκη να μπείτε. Έτσι, λοιπόν, συνεχίζετε να τη σπρώχνετε και να την χτυπάτε με γροθιές και κλωτσιές μέχρι, επιτέλους, να ανοίξει… προς τα έξω. Ήσασταν πάντα κλεισμένοι μέσα στο χώρο που ψάχνατε. Όλο αυτό, όπως θα έλεγε ο Κάφκα, ist komisch. Τα υπόλοιπα είναι, δυστυχώς, FUGA.
Envision yourself being in front of a door, and wanting to get it open. You come up and pound on this door, pound and pound, not just wanting admission but needing it, we don’t know what it is, but we can feel it, this total desperation to enter, so you pound and push and kick, etc. And then, finally, the door opens… and it opens outward: we’ve been inside what we wanted all along. Now, Das ist komisch. Unfortunately, however, that is not FUGA.
The young director Nikorestis Chaniotakis stages yet again what appears to be an innocent piece of consumer theatre. The cornucopia of screwball puns and sexual entendre supported by the kitsch set design confirms this hypothesis. And so does the story: A rich man’s fall is the rising moment for a small gang of bottom-feeding con artists who seek to make the biggest heist of their lives. But as the saying goes, he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.
There’s nothing quirky about this play. Just a tedious succession of flat moments and predictable twists which will make you laugh and yawn at the same time. As the English novelist George Meredith wrote in his Essay on Comedy, «the test of true Comedy is that it shall awaken thoughtful laughter». Here, however, a joke is a joke. Nothing more, nothing less. Here, every line is devoid of what theorists call “exformation”, that is, the certain quantity of vital information removed from or evoked by a communication in such a way as to cause a kind of explosion of associative connections within the recipient.
So much more could have been done with the versatile actors, who reluctantly jump and dance in tune with the banal pièce, thus fatally resembling a recreational, amateur group of wanna-be interpreters. If it’s true that everybody has their own strength, were the Theatre OLIVO to be a statue, it would be less marble, more cement
The show was played in
Vassilissis Olgas avenue, 35 – Thessaloniki
from 17 to 19 February 2017
Friday and Saturday at 21.00
Sunday at 20.00
Theatre OLIVO presents
translation Maria Chatziemmanouil
direction Nikorestis Chaniotakis
set and costumes Anna Machairianaki
choreography Natasa Papamichail
lighting Christina Thanasoula
lighting assistant Mariantzela Seferian
assistant director Isidora Doropoulou, Gerasimos Skafidas
photos Stefanos Kyriakopoulos
cast Leonidas Kakouris, Faii Xyla, Konstantinos Giannakopoulos, Nikorestis Chaniotakis, Bety Apostolou