Of Greece and Men
Future and Heritage, the main topics of the 53rd Dimitria Festival, could not be represented any better by Alexandra K*’s caustic play Revolutionary Ways to Clean you Swimming Pool, directed by Sarantos-Georgios Zervoulakos and presented for the first time to Thessaloniki’s audience to its utmost delight.
Το μέλλον και η κληρονομιά, τα κυριότερα θέματα του 53ου Φεστιβάλ Δημητρίων, δεν μπόρεσαν να εκπροσωπούνται καλύτερα από το καυστικό έργο της Αλεξάνδρα Κ*, Επαναστατικές μέθοδοι για τον καθαρισμό της πισίνας σας, σε σκηνοθεσία Σαράντου-Γεωργίου Ζερβουλάκου, το οποίο παρουσιάστηκε για πρώτη φορά στο κοινό της Θεσσαλονίκης για την απόλυτη απόλαυσή του.
Futuro e patrimonio, i temi principali della 53° edizione del Festival Dimitria, non potevano essere rappresentati meglio dalla caustica pièce Metodi rivoluzionari per pulire la propria piscina di Alexandra K* per la direzione di Sarantos-Georgios Zervoulakos, presentata per la prima volta al lietissimo pubblico di Salonicco.
«There’s always been greed and heartbreak and ambition/and bravery and love and trespass and contrition-/we’re the same beings that began, still living/in all of our fury and foulness and friction,/everyday odysseys, dreams and decisions…»
A typical Greek family with a typical Greek pater familias becomes the stage for a typical Greek contemporary tragedy in the years of economic crisis, capitalist solipsism and the spoliation of the past in the name of the future. As the story goes, «the first privatization of public land is threatening the illegal beach house of Antonis Doe along with his whole personal mythology. Most importantly, it threatens the future of his children, at least the way Antonis has planned it. Determined to fight to the very end to save “the investment of his life”, Antonis will have to confront not only the State but his own children as well. Powerless and alone against the State and the foreign capital, he declares the land -which he now owns after trespassing- an independent state. And he becomes an acclaimed hero for one day. But the cause célèbre is now the day after; the future which once belonged to his children».
What surprises in Alexandra K*’s play (a young and talented Greek playwright) directed by Sarantos-Georgios Zervoulakos (another young and talented Greek director) is the precision with which contemporary Greece is portrayed in all its idiosyncratic “grandeur”: from the homemade video recording of a nostalgic past fixed in the sweet and salty memories of an endless summer to the biting and side-splitting lines fed to the unruly actors who taunt, fight and love each other like any Greek family does all the while holding fast to their shared animosity toward a wrong and corrupted society, the everlasting scapegoat to all personal issues, Revolutionary Ways to Clean you Swimming Pool gives access to the full range of Greekness one can wish for in a single piece of theatre. The unsettled clash between old and new generations, between fathers at fault and children at a loss, and ultimately between the law of the State and the law of men, endlessly wronged by the Government and always accountable for their righteous wrongdoings («The State is also me!», after all), lay the foundation for this original performance where well-built characters and to-the-point social and political criticism mix together under a careful directorial guidance, thus producing one of the most interesting examples of contemporary Greek theatre we have seen over these two years of cultural immersion in and around Thessaloniki.
Furthermore, learning that the prompt for the story is a true event adds to the magical feeling of reality that only the utopia of theatre can bring about: we truly are living in a temple of absurdity and the end of it all can only be as absurd as its beginning.
The show was played at
26th October Street 35 – Thessaloniki
Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 October 2018
the 53rd Festival Dimitria presents
Revolutionary Ways to Clean you Swimming Pool – Επαναστατικές μέθοδοι για τον καθαρισμό της πισίνας σας
by Alexandra K*
director, set design Sarantos-Georgios Zervoulakos
set and costume design Ilenia Douladiri
music Kornilios Selamsis
dramaturge Stella Rapti
lighting design Nikos Vlassopoulos
video Nikos Pastras
cast Manolis Mavromatakis, Michalis Titopoulos, Rosa Prodromou, Eva Maria Sommersberg