Love in the Time of Hypocrisy
Tempestuous Desires of my Heart blends Cretan folk lyricism with an abstract and modern setting in an attempt to find an answer to the forever unanswerable question: “What is love?”. A boy, a woman, a mother and a man try to set a definition, forgetting that the first love is a force that cannot be constrained, let alone understood.
I desideri tempestosi del mio cuore unisce il lirismo popolare cretese a una scenografia moderna e astratta nel tentativo di trovare una risposta alla domanda da sempre inevasa: “Cos’è l’amore?”. Un ragazzo, una donna, una madre e un uomo cercano di dare una definizione, dimenticandosi che il Primo amore è una forza che non può essere costretta né tantomeno capita.
Όσα η καρδιά μου στην καταιγίδα συνδιάζει τον κρητικό λαϊκό λυρισμό με ένα αφηρημένο και μοντέρνο σκηνικό σε μια προσπάθεια να βρεθεί μια απάντηση στο αληθώς αναπάντητο ερώτημα: «Τι είναι η αγάπη;». Ένα αγόρι, μια γυναίκα, μια μητέρα και ένας άνδρας προσπαθούν να δώσουν έναν ορισμό, ξεχνώντας ότι η Πρώτη Αγάπη είναι μια δύναμη που δεν μπορεί να περιοριστεί, πόσο μάλλον να γίνει κατανοητή.
Picture a boy balancing on his head a bucket filled to the brim with water needed to quench the thirst of his sheep. The road from the spring to the manger is long, but the boy is young and full of energy and decides to run so that he can reach his parched sheep and alleviate their pain more quickly. On the road, he sees many flowers, trees and rocks that capture his attention and make him stray from his path time and again. When the boy finally reaches his animals and takes the bucket from his head, however, he finds out that all the water has spilled along the way and only a few drops are left.
Now, change the boy for director Panos Delinikopoulos, the bucket for his four actors, Giorgos Kolovos, Konstantinos Liaros, Maria Tsima and Momo Vlachou, the sheep for the audience and the water for Akis Dimou’s play Tempestuous Desires of my Heart, and the simile is complete. Captivated by the poetic sensitivity of the text, Delinikopoulos rushes into his production with all the best intentions, but ends up delivering a disjointed image of what could have been an interesting take on the classic of Greek literature “First Love” by Ioannis Kondylakis.
The story, simple in its tragedy, is that of a boy falling in love for the first time with a woman. Despite the age gap being the norm now, it was quite the stir back in 20th Century Crete, and hence the judgement, the prohibition, the hatred and the unavoidably ensuing death of one of the two lovers. Kondylakis, and therefore Dimou, are not the first ones approaching the theme of mismatched and unbecoming love between an older woman and a younger man (Euripides’ “Hippolytus” and Sarah Kane’s “Phaedra’s Love” being two eminent examples). However, as societies destroy and replace one another over time, so do customs and traditions, opening new and unexplored paths of morality that are only waiting for someone sensitive enough to notice them and analyse them.
And here lays the crack between Kondylakis and Delinikopoulos. Here is the tipping point. Where the former sees an opportunity to study his peers, the latter gets lost in images and fragments that try too hard to evoke a past that is far closer than expected. The four actors try their best to be heard over the thumping music and the exasperating abstractness of a scene that breaks the spell over and over again, relying on bursts of action rather than a continuous and intertwined flow of events. Stories brush past one another, igniting small sparks that would need more time and more friction to flare up. As Akis Dimou says, «our love stories have nothing to do with the way we live our loves, but with the way we tell them once they are done». This specific love story is overwhelmingly focused on the figure of the Mother as victim, judge and jury of a relationship that does not and should not concern her, leaving very little space to the other roles (and actors) that still show prowess, pathos (like the very convincing Momo Vlachou, agonizing on the floor for the better part of the play) and relevance to a more structured and balanced representation of love in the time of hypocrisy.
The show is still playing
Small Theatre Moni Lazariston
Kolokotroni 25-27, Stavroupoli – Thessaloniki
from 13 January to 31 March
Wednesdays at 18,00
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 21,00
Sundays at 19,00
Tempestuous Desires of my Heart – Όσα η Καρδιά μου στην Καταιγίδα
by Akis Dimou
director Panos Delinikopoulos
sets-costumes Fani Skoulikidi Boukouvala
lighting Eleni Houmou
movement consultant Eirini Kalogira
assistant director Katerina Liatsou
second assistant directors Maria Christofidou, Lydia Zaharaki
production photography Tasos Thomoglou
production coordinator: Marleen Verschuuren
cast Giorgos Kolovos, Konstantinos Liaros, Maria Tsima, Momo Vlachou