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The Pillars of Society

 
 
DATES: 15/02/2020–17/05/2020
DAYS & TIMES: Wednesday at 18:30 | Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 20:30 | Sunday at 20:00
ENGLISH SURTITLES: every Friday
RUNNING TIME: 110΄ (including interval)
TICKET SALES: NTNG Box Offices (Τ. 2315 200 200) | VIVA.gr | Τ. 11876 
 

A few words about the play
 
Karsten Bernick, a big businessman and mover and shaker in a provincial seaside town, is considered a man of unimpeachable morals and a great benefactor of his hometown; he is a pillar of local society. Karsten’s ambitious new project requires the support of the town and though it seems at first that it will not be difficult to convince the local community, the project suddenly finds itself at risk when two family members return after years away and threaten to take the lid off the secrets of his past. Karsten’s reputation suffers a blow, truths are revealed and the past casts its shadow over the Bernick family’s glorious present.
 
By focusing on the play’s main character, Karsten Bernick, Ibsen gives us a magnificent human composition which sheds light on the stifling, conservative atmosphere in a provincial town and the shaky foundations on which it rests. He sets his sights firmly on the hypocrisy of a society that is interested first and foremost in appearances and in stifling any voices that resist its dictates. Ibsen reveals the filth and stench that underlie respectability and morality. 
 
 

Director’s Νote
 
“The Pillars of Society” is a “forgotten” work by Henrik Ibsen which is rarely staged, either in Greece or internationally. The play may lack the maturity of Ibsen’s other better known and more popular theatrical works, but it is still a fascinating play and well worth staging for Greek theatregoers to discover for themselves. The loose adaptation which I prepared for the NTNG moves the “Pillars” closer to our own era and in doing so highlights—at least I hope it does—the work’s enormous relevance to today. It is my belief that to unlock the play’s many virtues for today’s audiences and to vindicate it in their eyes, it is essential to adapt it in a dramaturgically bold way and to take a good many liberties. In “Pillars”, Ibsen negotiates themes that remain frighteningly relevant in Greece: individual interests riding roughshod over social goods, the pursuit of wealth, hypocrisy, the individual’s struggle for freedom, the position of women in society. Never shy to tackle issues head-on, Ibsen reminds us what really lies behind small-town respectability and morality; now, more than ever, I believe it is crucial his voice is heard again as Greece, along with the rest of Europe, sinks ever deeper into obscurantism.
 
 
 
 
CREDITS
Translation: Giorgos Depastas
Adaptation-Direction: Giannis Moschos
Sets-Costumes: Tina Tzoka
Music-Sound Design: Thodoris Οikonomou
Movement: Stella Michailidou
Lighting: Lefteris Pavlopoulos
Video Design: Michalis Kloukinas
1st Director’s Assistant: Anna Maria Iakovou
2d Director’s Assistant: Angelos Kalfas
Set-Costume Designer’s Assistant: Eleni Kanakidou
Production Photography: Tasos Thomoglou
Production Coordinator: Filothei Eleftheriadou
 
3d Director’s Assistant (Intern): Athina Kerana
 
 
CAST
Karsten Bernick, ship and shipyard owner: Giorgos Kafkas
Betty Bernick, his wife: Efi Stamouli
Olaf, their teenage son: Giannis Gkrezios
Martha Bernick, Karsten’s sister, teacher: Ntina Michailidou
Johan Tønnesen, Betty’s younger brother: Christos Stylianou
Lona Hessel, Betty’s sister:  Alexandra Sakellaropoulou
Hilmar Tønnesen, Betty’s cousin, former army officer: Samson Fytros
Rørlund, schoolmaster: Orestis Paliadelis
Rummel, mayor: Thodoros Ignatiadis
Vigeland, judge: Dimitris Naziris
Dina, Bernick’s ward: Danai Epithymiadi
Krap, Bernick’s confidential clerk: Dimitris Kartokis
Aune, foreman of Bernick’s shipbuilding yard: Dimitris Kolovos
Mrs Rummel, mayor’s wife: Ioanna Pagiataki
Mrs Holt, notary’s wife: Maria Benaki
Mrs Lynge, doctor’s wife: Revekka Tsiligkaridou
A photographer: Giannis Gkrezios