"Fools" by Neil Simon
Opening: Friday 9 February 2018
Municipal Theatres of Thessaloniki

The National Theatre, in an attempt to strengthen its relationship with the city's theatrical audience, presents the new production "Fools" by Neil Simon, in cooperation with the municipalities.
This play is dedicated to the memory of Errikos Belies.

Author’s Νote
Another play appeared, this one more of a fable. I called it Fools. It was based very loosely on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, wherein he wrote about a fictional village in middle Europe called, I believe, Chelm. Chelm had one great distinction. Everyone who lived there was stupid. My Chelm was located in Russia and I called it Kulyenchikov.

Fools was pure vaudeville couched in the guise of a fable, the story of peasants who were so sweet, so innocent, so pure that their inability to put two coherent sentences together was as touching as they were silly. Leon, a schoolmaster from Moscow, wanders into this remote village looking for employment and instead finds love and no one to talk to who makes sense. He meets the local doctor and his wife, and their daughter, Sophia. When the doctor asks a patient to read an eye chart, the patient would read the letters aloud, “O… R… K… M… Z…”. Then he’d say to the doctor, “Did I get them right?”. “I don’t know”, the doctor replies. “Sounds good to me”. You get the drift.


Well, if it was laughs, love and a two-thousand-year curse put on a village you were looking for, we had two hours of it. If it was a hit show you wanted, try Mister Roberts. We ran about six months in New York and the play is still performed today in theatres everywhere from Bangor, Maine, to possibly a village in Russia called Kulyenchikov.
Neil Simon’s Memoirs: Rewrites and the Play Goes on, Simon and Schuster, 2016, p. 476-477.

Translation: Errikos Belies
Director: Grigoris Papadopoulos
Sets-Costumes: Chrysa Serdari
Music: Kostis Vozikis
Choreography-Μovement: Konstantinos Gerardos
Lighting: Dimitra Aloutzanidou
Assistant Director: Maria Bagana
Production Photography: Tasos Thomoglou
Production Coordinator: Athanasia Androni

Cast in alphabetical order: Giolanta Balaoura (Lenya Zubritsky), Ektor Kaloudis (Magistrate), Giannis Mastrogiannis (Gregor Yousekevitch), Kleio Danai Othonaiou (Sophia Zubritsky), Roula Pantelidou (Mishkin), Tasos Pezirkianidis (Snetsky), Konstantinos Rampavilas (Leon Tolchinsky), Vasilis Spyropoulos (Doctor Zubritsky), Polyxeni Spyropoulou (Yenchna), Giannis Tsatsaris (Slovitch)
Second Assistant Director: Konstantina Vaitsi (IEK Akmi student / intern)
Assistant Set-Costume Designer: Sofia Pasia (Drama Department AUTH student / intern)