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Petros’ War

Adaptation: Savvas Kyriakidis, Takis Tzamargias
Direction: Takis Tzamargias
 

DATES:13/10/2019 – 19/01/2020
DAYS & TIMES: Tuesday to Friday at 10:00 (Schools)
    Every Sunday at 11:00 (General public)
RUNNING TIME: 120 min. (including interval)
TICKET SALES: NTNG Box Offices (Τ. 2315 200 200) | VIVA.gr | Τ. 11876 

Evening performances 25/12 & 26 /12/2019 & 1/1/2020 at 20:00
Alki Zei’s much-loved book, a favourite of all our childhoods, is brought to life on the Vassiliko Theatre stage in Savvas Kyriakidis’ and Takis Tzamargias’ adaptation, taking us back to Athens during the difficult years of the Occupation viewed through the eyes of little Petros. An emotional journey, a work that combines harsh reality and the struggle to survive with the light-heartedness and innocence of childhood. A production for the whole family, loved by children and adults alike, which will keep us company through the festive season.
 
 
A few words about the play
The war broke out and everything changed: people, relationships, life itself. Hunger and poverty are no longer just stories from a distant past—they are the new conditions in which people live. Little Petros is called upon to take a stand, decisions and responsibility; to grow up. War loses its heroic sheen. The beauty of marches and medals is transformed into pain and loss—of things, people and the carefree nature of childhood itself. But children have an amazing ability to see things differently and, armed with their imagination and gift for play, they manage to give a tragic reality another dimension. Through the children’s eyes, we can see the war afresh for ourselves and recall our recent past.
 
Giannis Grezios in the role of Petros.
 
Director’s Note
Petros, now a grandfather, recalls memories, relating snapshots from his childhood and adolescence in a difficult historical period, when his homeland was occupied by a foreign invader and deprivation, hunger and death were everywhere. His tiny flashlight of memory illuminates people, relationships, ideas, changes people’s minds, demolishes received truths and stereotypes. Petros’ journey helps us see with fresh eyes all those children around the world today who are growing up surrounded by war, hardship, hunger and death, as well as the Greek “hot spots” where children from neighbouring Syria are housed. His bravery and strength give us the courage we need to not lose faith and to keep on fighting the battles that must be fought “... for a new life”, so we can rediscover the optimism and the smile that are gradually deserting us. He helps us remember that in difficult times dominated by ideas and values, we can be enthusiastic about Greece’s “little things”.
Following in the footsteps of the productions in Cyprus and Athens, our production has taken on the task of illuminating through Petros’ eyes the experience of children from Northern Greece and children from everywhere whose lives are turned upside down overnight, turning them into witnesses and victims of an increasingly violent world. It is frightening how History determines all our little histories so totally, throwing normal social life to the wind and changing the life of a family beyond recognition.
 

Press reviews of the production
“Petros’ War” is by far the best play for children brought into being by the Greek theatre for many a year. But even if you’re not a child, even if you don’t have children to accompany you, go and see it. I’m pretty sure that you will leave with tears in your eyes, just like I did.

Dimitris Chaliotis, Proto Thema
 
Tzamargias’ production of “Petros’ War” comes from the heart—I can’t stress that enough. Its comic notes will have laughing till you cry and singing your heart out, while the dramatic climaxes will move you. Over and over again, I caught myself becoming a rosy-cheeked child again and I had to wipe the tears from my eyes just as often—tears of joy and of sorrow. A singularly impressive SPECTACULAR. Yes, this really is an NTNG blockbuster. Tzamargias’ triumph is, of course, due too to the excellence of his collaborators.

Vasilis Bouziotis, Enikos
 
A remarkable piece of theatre, which maintains the balance between the tragic and the comic with distinctive mastery. [...] For his acting, we must first pick out Giannis Grezios, who, playing little Petros, conveyed all the despair and tragedy of the era, but always filtered through the innocence and naivety of childhood, which throughout the show serves to deaden the pain caused by the atrocities of war.

Nikos Angelis Anthis, Makedonia
 
“Petros’ War” addresses child and adult audiences in equal measure, having everything it needs to captivate all ages and to draw them totally into its world. The directorial viewpoint was tender, sensitive and human and maintained the narrative thread of the original material in full. The director worked with every member of the large cast, which responded almost universally to the requirements of a demanding theatrical undertaking. The enthusiastic applause from young and old alike at the end was totally deserved.

Giorgos Christopoulos, OnlyTheater
 
Takis Tzamargias picks out all the heroes of the work, which describes the ordeals and dilemmas faced by people in wartime. Beautiful scenery and costumes by Edward Georgiou. Anna Kyriakidou is wonderful in the role of the mother. Giannis Grezios gets inside Petros’ soul and performs his role with great success. But all the other actors, young and old, were magnificent. The NTNG lavishes considerable care on all its programmes, but I found the beautiful notebook-programme that accompanied this production to be exceptional. After the show, in the foyer of the Vassiliko Theatre, I saw young children drawing and writing down their impressions in them.

Kyriaki Beyoglou, Ephimerida ton Syntakton
 
 
Credits
Adaptation: Savvas Kyriakidis, Takis Tzamargias, Direction: Takis Tzamargias, Sets-Costumes: Edward Georgiou, Music: Dimitris Zavros, Lyrics: Dimitris Zavros, Nevi Kaninia, Movement: Froso Korrou, Lighting: Stelios Tzolopoulos, Music coaching: Panagiotis Barlas, Video Art: Christos Dimas, Ada Liakou, 1st Director’s Assistant: Dimitris Tsesmelis, 2nd Director’s Assistant: Christodoulos Andreou, 1st Set-Costume Designer΄s Assistant: Danai Pana, 2nd Set-Costume Designer΄s Assistant: Maria Ossa, Production Photography: Tasos Thomoglou, Production Coordinator: Eva Koumandraki
 

With: Lefteris Angelakis (Achilleas), Iordanis Aivazoglou (Giaourter / Six-footer/ Agarinos), Ioannis Varvaresos (Giannis), Giannis Gkrezios (Petros), Dimitris Kartokis (Uncle Aggelos / Italian soldier), Aigli Katsiki (Drosoula / Puppetteer), Dimitris Kolovos (Grandfather), Anna Kyriakidou (Mother), Panagiota Bibli (Rita / Puppeteer), Vasilis Papadopoulos (Sotiris),  Katerina Plexida (Antigoni), Polyxeni Spyropoulou (Mrs Leventi), Eva Sofronidou (Nioura / Red Cross Lady / Girl), Stergios Tzaferis (Father), Dimitris Tsesmelis (Mr Loukatos / Michael / Italian soldier / Moura / Garibaldi), Manolis Fountoulis (Interpreter / Soura)