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Fools


4 SUMMER NIGHTS – SUMMER AT VASSILIKO THEATRE


“Salvatores Dei”“I Have Never Forgotten You”“After the Campsite” and “Fools”: four productions which have extensively toured in Greece and abroad, will now touch base to be presented in alternating repertoire at the Vassiliko Theatre. Metaphysical quests, Sephardic and rebetika songs, contemporary social theatre and satire will take Thessaloniki’s audience on a journey, from 17 July to 7 September 2018 in the Theatre’s air-conditioned auditorium.

Tuesdays to Fridays, at 9 p.m.
All productions will be presented with English surtitles.
Performances Schedule >

Tickets ONLINE >
It’s a play that satirizes the social morals and political systems of the 20th century, written by the great and award-winning American playwright and scriptwriter, Neil Simon.

 

"Fools"
A small village in Ukraine.
A curse that has doomed in lifelong stupidity all the inhabitants during the past 200 years.
A new teacher.

Will he manage to break the curse in 24 hours or will he become a fool as well?
Are there curses or is all this nonsense?
Will color doesn’t go well on fingers? Yellow or blue?
How many times can someone propose marriage in a day?
What is the purpose of Man’s existence?
And what about this fluttering of the heart?

 

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.
 
 
Director’s Note
One of the saddest teachings of History is this; if we have been duped for a long time, we tend to reject every indication of deceit. We no longer wish to learn the truth. The deceit holds us captive. It’s too painful to admit, even to ourselves, that we have been gullible.
Carl Sagan, astronomer-astrophysicist

"Fools" is a romantic existential tale that talks about faith. The belief that you deserve the best, that you can live the life you want and not the life that is imposed on you. Or to believe the opposite; that you aren’t capable enough, that you cannot think, that you cannot decide or act. Because you are a fool. Because you are ugly or slow. Because you are different.
 

Reading this play again and again, I started to discover a sense of humor different from the one I discerned from my first reading. A darker sense of humor, almost vitriolic. I began to understand the aesthetic of Monty Python, the comments from the Muppet Show, the wild allure of the Adams Family and all the deadlocks of Groundhog Day. Even elements from Shakespeare’s and Chekhov’s work.
The writer ponders “What is the purpose of Man’s existence?” His answer is this; Cupid! And I feel like he’s “winking” at us again.
Who, Cupid??
Like the writer himself says, as a deeply optimistic person, “no one can ever know how a story will end…”.
 

This play is dedicated to the memory of Errikos Belies.

 
CREDITS:
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)
 
The following are internship participants in the production: Konstantina Vaitsi, an IEK AKMI student, as Second Assistant Director and Sofia Passia, a student from the School of Drama,  Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, as Assistant Set-Costume Designer.
 
 

 
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A small village in Ukraine.
A curse that has doomed in lifelong stupidity all the inhabitants during the past 200 years.
A new teacher.

Will he manage to break the curse in 24 hours or will he become a fool as well?
Are there curses or is all this nonsense?
Will color doesn’t go well on fingers? Yellow or blue?
How many times can someone propose marriage in a day?
What is the purpose of Man’s existence?
And what about this fluttering of the heart?