The “Elephant” by Kostas Vostantzoglou is a very special example of theatrical writing in the modern Greek theatre, as it combines the subject of the brutal barbarity of human relations in the remote countryside with an extremely bold proposal for the use of the Greek language. The local idiom −which may refer to Thessaly, Roumeli or Epirus− is associated with the abuse of the Greek language as a symptom of Modern Greek pathogeny.
The “Elephant” is a hilarious tragedy. The end of the play bears features of the “Shakespearean finale”, as most people die murdered, on stage. The catharsis of the punishment of the guilty is left pending; an issue that leaves the possibility, that the preceding murder could be considered as purification, open!
The rendering of an extreme version of emotional primitivism that coexists with behaviours expressing contemporary Modern Greek pathogeny (individualism, racism, dependence on television image, etc.) is the ground upon which both the stage performance and the hypocritical approach are meant to move.
The action of the play unfolds in a remote mountainous Greek village. This fact also inspired the basic direction of the performance: the coexistence of stage action with the live, stage-based partnership and a polyphonic vocal group. This is the musical version of the same contrasting dipole, found in “Elephant”: the wild and the familiar. The live, on-stage music will work in two ways: on a first level, the polyphonic song will comment as Chorus the peculiar tragedy that unfolds in front of the viewer’s eyes. On a second level, he creates a rhythmic score, on which the play of the theatrical discourse will rely.
The actors promote their actions and their relationship with the props and the shaping of the characters, talking about both rhythm and tone with the music, combining theatre with musical performance. In addition, the proposal for this production brings a very important, but not very much performed, Modern Greek play back to the spotlight.