ARTISTIC PROGRAMME 2019–2020 (19/06/2019)


ARTISTIC PROGRAMME 2019–2020
 
 
A Note from the Artistic Director
Our theme for the 2019–2020 season: the “vital lie”.
That is, the lie we tell ourselves to hide a painful truth.

The term is directly linked to Ibsen’s work—and especially with his “PILLARS OF SOCIETY”—but is also a theme running through Chekhov’s “THREE SISTERS” and, of course, Crommelynck’s “MAGNIFICENT CUCKOLD”.
The heroes of Bakolas’ “Crossroads” feed off their vital lies, and so do the three characters in Friel’s “Molly Sweeney”.
 

Vital lies flourish, too, in the two cousins in Spilioti’s “WHO DISCOVERED AMERICA?”, the girl in Aglaja Veteranyi’s “Why the Child Is Cooking in the Polenta?”, and the daily lives of the two teenagers in Ridley’s “Fairytaleheart”.
But we do not need the vital lie to live alongside our neighbour, as Volker Ludwig shows us in “A PARTY AT NOURIAN’S”.

In short, at this critical juncture for our country and for Europe as a whole, the time has come for us to seek the TRUTH and to bring it into the light. The theatre provides us with any number of tools that will be of use to us in this quest. Even though, as some say, there is never only one Truth in the end (so there’s a new and highly convenient... vital lie with the power to reassure us...).
 
 


“THREE SISTERS” by Anton Chekhov
Translation: Giorgos Sevastikoglou
Direction: Cezaris Grauzinis
Première: 9/11/2019
RUSSIA

A few words about the play
 With the enthusiasm of youth and the values and everything else that comes with their bourgeois upbringing, the three sisters and their brother dream of a glamorous life in faraway Moscow. Time passes and they continue to live in the small Russian provincial town, where another way of life, very distant and other—almost vulgar—haunts their daily lives and gradually alienates them from it. The future draws in, bringing new frustrated expectations with it.
 Frittering away their time with dreams and idle chatter, the three sisters prove incapable of taking charge of their own lives, sink into compromise and fail to act on their desires. The only imaginary sites of escape left to them now are elsewhere and after.
 Written in 1900, Anton Chekhov’s play is a study of the Western psyche as it strains under the weight of a complex personality and proves itself unprepared for the demands of the coming age. In “Three Sisters”, the nature of man and human relations are depicted on stage through the prism of the turn of the 20th century and the transition to a new society.
 
 
Director’s Note
About “Three Sisters” by A. P. Chekhov
What does the elegant and melancholy world of the “Three Sisters” hold in store for us?
I assume that the observant doctor Chekhov was reflecting on how passionately and inevitably our losses mature as he wrote his saddest and most vicious work. Sooner or later, all of us begin to learn the art of separation—from our loved ones, our lovers, from our innocence, illusions and expectations. Farewells, farewells and more farewells mark our journey, one might say. This exhausting journey, one might add.
 So why continue? And with occasional bouts of joy...
 
 
The NTNG is staging “Three Sisters” this year to mark the 40th anniversary of its first production (Theatre of the Society for Macedonian Studies, November 1979). 
 
Credits
Translation: Giorgos Sevastikoglou, Direction: Cezaris Grauzinis, Sets: Kenny MacLellan, Costumes: Claire Bracewell, Music: Martynas Bialobzeskis, Movement: Edgen Lame, Lighting: Alekos Giannaros, 2nd Director’s Assistant: Iordanis Aivazoglou, Set-Costume Designer’s Assistant: Maria Mylona, Production Coordinator: Filothei Eleftheriadou
With: Markos Gettos (Fedotik), Maria Karamitri (Anfisa), Ifigenia Karamitrou (Masha), Alexandros Koukias (Tuzenbach), Christos Mastrogiannidis (Rode), Manolis Mavromatakis (Chebutykin), Lena Natsi (Irina), Christos Ntaraktsis (Batman), Kleio-Danai Othonaiou (Natalia Ivanovna), Grigoris Papadopoulos (Vershinin), Apostolos Pelekanos (Kulygin), Giorgos Sfyridis (Ferapont), Samson Fytros (Solyony), Konstantinos Chatzisavvas (Andrey Prozorov), Christina Christodoulou (Olga)
 
Days and times of performances
Wednesday at 18:30 | Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 20:30 | Sunday at 19:00
 
 

“THE PILLARS OF SOCIETY” by Henrik Ibsen
Translation: Giorgos Depastas
Adaptation-Direction: Yannis Moschos
Première: 15/02/2020
NORWAY
 
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. 
“The Pillars of Society” is a precursor to the playwright’s other well-known and popular realist dramas (“A Doll’s House”, “Ghosts”, “An Enemy of the People”, “The Wild Duck”, “John Gabriel Borkman”) and is very rarely staged in Greece (In fact, just twice, both times in Athens in 1902 and 2016). The NTNG is thus proud to be staging Thessaloniki’s première production of a lesser-known work by the great Norwegian dramatist, adapted and directed by Yannis Moschos. The director and theatre studies academic (he wrote his doctorate on Ibsen) brings the work closer to the present and draws chilling parallels with our current reality.
 
Director’s Note
“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 am preparing 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.
   
For the first time at the NTNG 
 
Credits
Translation: Giorgos Depastas, Adaptation-Direction: Yannis Moschos, Sets -Costumes: Tina Tzoka, Music: Thodoris Οikonomou, Movement: Stella Michailidou Lighting: Lefteris Pavlopoulos
With: Danai Epithymiadi (Dina), Thodoros Ignatiadis (Rummel) Dimitris Kartokis (Krap), Giorgos Kafkas (Karsten Bernick), Dimitris Kolovos (Aune), Ntina Michailidi (Martha Bernick), Maria Benaki (Mrs Holt), Dimitris Naziris (Vigeland) Ioanna Pagiataki (Mrs Rummel), Orestis Paliadelis (Rorlund), Alexandra Sakellaropoulou (Lona Hessel), Efi Stamouli (Betty Bernick), Christos Stylianou (Johan Tonnesen), Revekka Tsiligkaridou (Mrs Lynge), Samson Fytros (Hilmar Tonnesen)
 
Days and times of performances
Wednesday at 18:30 | Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 20:30 | Sunday at 19:00
 


“MOLLY SWEENEY” by Brian Friel
Translation-Direction: Glykeria Kalaitzi
Première: 19/10/2019
IRELAND

A few words about the play
Friel was inspired to write “Molly Sweeney” by the essay “To see and not see” by the neurologist Oliver Sacks and by a real-life incident. Molly, an independent woman, blind from the age of ten months, seems happy living in her darkness—she has friends, a job and a rich emotional life. But her husband Frank is convinced she will only ever be replete when she ceases to be blind. Mr Rice, the surgeon, hopes to boost his flagging medical reputation by performing a successful operation on Molly. We follow Molly before and after her blindness through three parallel monologues. The protagonists’ voices are raw but honest and humorous; it’s as if they’re reading pages from their diaries out loud. Maybe it wasn’t Molly that was blind after all—maybe it was the others who could not see...
 The play was first staged in August 1994 in Dublin, directed by the playwright; two years later, it moved to New York, before returning to London with all manner of distinctions and awards. In Greece, Antonis Antypas staged the work for Athenian theatregoers in 1996 at the Aplo Theatro.
 

The author
 Brian Friel (1929-2015) was born in Killyclogher in Northern Ireland and educated in Maynooth and Belfast. One of the greatest contemporary playwrights of Great Britain and Ireland, his plays have been staged with great success both at home and abroad. His main works include: “A doubtful paradise” (1959), “Philadelphia, here I come!” (1964), “Lovers” (1967), “The freedom of the city” (1973), “Faith healer” (1979), “Molly Sweeney” (1985), and “Dancing at Lughnasa” (1990). Friel was honoured with three Tony awards in 1992 for his play “Dancing at Lughnasa”, which was later made into a film in 1998.
 
For the first time at the NTNG 

Credits
Translation-Direction: Glykeria Kalaitzi, Sets-Costumes: Maria Karadeloglou, Music: Kostis Vozikis, Lighting: Dimitra Aloutzanidou, Director’s Assistant: Anna Karamanidou, Production Coordinator: Marily Ventouri

With: Ioanna Demertzidou (Molly), Giorgos Kolovos (Mr Rice), Vasilis Chatzidimitrakis (Frank)
 
Days and times of performances
Wednesday through Sunday at 21:15
 

WHY THE CHILD IS COOKING IN THE POLENTA”  by Aglaja Veteranyi
Translation: Sofia Georgakopoulou
Direction: Simos Kakalas
Première: 07/03/2020
ROMANIA-SWITZERLAND

A few words about the play
The terrible question hidden in the title of Aglaja Veteranyi’s “Why the Child Is Cooking in the Polenta” reflects its fairy-tale structure, which exploits the mythic dimension to highlight the cruelty of life. Having left her homeland in search of a better life, travelling with the circus and looking for safety, tenderness and hope, the protagonist finds herself faced with the harsh realities of adult life. Seeing the world through her youthful, sensitive gaze, the viewer follows along her bumpy road as she recognizes and interprets the realities we all confront: indifference, prejudice, abuse, injustice, the difficulty of communicating, the deep-seated malaises of family and society. This dark allegorical tale for adults provides us with answers to the “whys” that torment us.
 
The author
Aglaja Veteranyi was born in 1962 in Bucharest. Her parents were circus artists who defected to the West and toured Europe, Africa and North America before settling in Switzerland in 1977. She attended drama school and worked in Zurich as an actor and writer from 1982. In 1992, she founded the literary experimental duet “Word Pump” with her teacher René Oberholzer and in 1995 the “Angelic Machine” company with her partner, Jens Nielsen. Texts of hers have been published in anthologies, literary magazines and newspapers. In 1999, her first autobiographical novel “Why the Child Is Cooking in the Polenta” was published, earning her international celebrity almost overnight. She was honoured with numerous awards in Switzerland and internationally. Aglaja Veteranyi committed suicide on February 3, 2002.
 
Greek Première 
 
Days and times of performances
Wednesday through Sunday at 21:15
 


“SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS” by Carlo Goldoni – Second Version
Translation: Errikos Belies
Adaptation-Direction: Michalis Sionas
Opening: 05/10/2019
2nd Season
ITALY
 
The quick-witted and cunning Truffaldino takes up residence on Thessaloniki’s Vassiliko Theatre stage from October, ready to get the audience that has shown him so much love on its feet with his adventures and his tricks. One of the most successful productions of last season, the “Servant of Two Masters” returns for a limited run so those who haven’t seen it yet can and those who have can enjoy it again.
 
A merry-go-round of misunderstandings, twists and comic situations, the work was written by the reformer of Italian comedy Carlo Goldoni who mercilessly satirizes the society of his time. It remains both a classic and highly topical. The inventive translation by Errikos Belies and creative direction of Michalis Sionas bring one of the finest comedies in the international theatre repertoire to life on stage and give the audience plenty to laugh about.
 
In the role of the Servant, Thanasis Raftopoulos.
 
 
A few words about the play
A servant of two masters. Truffaldino, the cunning and resourceful blunderer and well-meaning hero of the play represents servants of every era as he serves, fools and is paid by two masters and gradually comes to play a crucial role in their lives. The characters seek love, passion and happiness in a series of comic clashes, passions and adventures... while the servant does his best to earn a crust and get by. Nothing can subdue this rebellious servant, except love...
 
 
Director’s Note
There is a sound that seems to come out of the navel, a little to the right perhaps, or sometimes the left, or many times a little below it. A sound that has us shoot a hand down to our belly, as though we want to stop it, abruptly, but we’re always too late. A sound that doesn’t respect the seriousness of a conversation or situation and which often—blast it!—chooses to make its presence felt at the worst possible time, in the pauses, in the gaps. An incredible sound which gets people into all sorts of trouble, misunderstandings, amusing situations and entanglements. And the worst thing of all is that it’s ever-present for the hungry man, there even when no one else can hear it. The “Servant of Two Masters” may well be that exact sound personified: the rumbling of an empty stomach.
   

Press reviews of the production
 
Michalis Sionas took Errikos Belies’ translation, adapted it with enthusiasm, brought a good deal more creativity to the direction and cleverly grafted several genres onto a single production. […] Great NTNG actors in roles which reveal their acting, movement, physical and vocal talents to the full and have audiences calling for curtain call after curtain call. Everyone is exceptional, while Thanasis Raftopoulos as the servant earns an extra “bravo!”. Alexandros Ioannou is superb as the on-stage musician, while the degree to which his music is synchronized with the actors’ movements is singularly impressive.
 
Pavlos Lemontzis, Kavala Web News
 
A commedia dell’ arte in all its glory with Felliniesque elements and some truly hilarious scenes. The poor, hungry but cunning Truffaldino (the excellent Thanasis Raftopoulos) has the audience rooting for him as he gets into all sorts of mischief trying to get his hands on some money for food. […]. The actors, fully orchestrated by the director, manage to make a simple popular form into high theatre and delight audiences in the process.
 
Kyriaki Beyoglou, Ephimerida ton Syntakton
 

A youthful company both in age and spirit, with Thessaloniki’s best director—and then some!—this is the antidote to boring, “more of the same” theatre. A production that manages to be art and hilarious. I could go on for hours about the production and the cast (one by one) who—together—set the NTNG stage alight.
Giorgos Papanikolaou, Rejected
 
Decisively directed by Michalis Sionas, who does not deconstruct Goldoni’s work but rather points out all its joints and mechanisms, highlighting the conditions that lead to deception and conflict both in the theatre and in the world outside it.

Zoi Ververopoulou, Lavart
 
The NTNG actor (Thanasis Raftopoulos) who last year put in an outstanding performance as Lucky in Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” returns this year in a starring role. He is comfortable in the role of the servant, his movement is sharply honed and he seems to enjoy his every moment on stage.
 
Lemonia Vasvani, Typos Thessalonikis
 
This deconstructive and powerfully allusive re-construction of the “Servant of Two Masters” gladdens the heart [...]. The simple, smartly structured plot uses a sequence of twists to bring its author’s social critique and critical thinking to the fore. Highly imaginative direction.

Angela Mantziou, Cityportal
 
The real surprise was the performance of the young Thanasis Raftopoulos in the role of the servant Truffaldino. Remember the name, because he was truly excellent.

Olga Sella, popaganda.gr
 
Carlo Goldoni’s “Servant of Two Masters”, which the NTNG has been staging for some time now at the Theatre of the Society for Macedonian Studies, has set Thessaloniki’s theatre and artistic scene alight, so it was with high expectations that we went to see it for ourselves. Attendance seemed high, too, as looking round the auditorium we saw very few empty seats, even though the production has been running non-stop since early March last year.

Nikos Aggelis Anthis, MAKEDONIA
 
 
 
Credits
Translation: Errikos Belies, Adaptation-Direction: Michalis Sionas, Sets- Costumes: Giannis Katranitsas, Music: Alexandros Ioannou, Movement: Edgen Lame, Lighting: Jörg Schuchardt, Masks-mask construction: Martha Foka, Director’s Assistants: Stavroula Koulouri, Eftychia Spyridaki, Set Designer’s Assistant:  Eleni Kanakidou, Production Photography: Tasos Thomoglou, Production Coordinator: Marleen Verschuuren.

With: Lila Vlachopoulou (Brighella), Giorgos Dimitriadis (Dottore), Christos Diamantoudis (Valet /Waiter), Thanasis Dislis (Waiter), Aristotelis Zacharakis (Silvio), Stefania Zora (Clarice), Georgia Kyriazi (Waiter), Eirini Kyriakou (Porter), Fani Xenoudaki (Waiter), Nikos Ortetzatos (Pantalone), Thanasis Raftopoulos (Truffaldino), Anna Sotiroudi (Beatrice), Giannis Tsemperlidis (Florindo), Anni Tsolakidou (Smeraldina)

On-stage musician: Georgios Madikas

Days and times of performances
Wednesday at 18:00 | Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 21:00 | Sunday at 20:00
 

“THE MAGNIFICENT CUCKOLD” by Fernand Crommelynck
Translation: Efi Giannopoulou
Direction: Eleana Tsichli
Première: 11/01/2020
(BELGIUM)
 
A few words about the play
The love between Bruno and Stella is so powerful and shared that it leaves everyone around them deliriously happy. But everything suddenly changes when the suspicion of infidelity worms its way into Bruno’s thoughts and he follows the dark passageways of jealousy to madness.
“The Magnificent Cuckold” teeters between farce and tragedy. Characters are in love and having fun one moment, wounding and being hurt the next. And we find ourselves spirited out of the initial refreshing, light-hearted, comic environment into a nightmarish place of no return, in the grip of obsessions and passions with nothing rational about them. An endless game of reductio ad absurdum... in which, ultimately, the protagonist’s real enemy is himself.
Born in France into a family of actors, Fernand Crommelynck wrote “The Magnificent Cuckold” in 1920. Influenced by iconic classic works and equipped with an excellent knowledge of theatrical writing and the theatrical act, he left us a lyrical and grotesque text on jealousy in its most sickening—and simultaneously comic (or ridiculous)—form.
 
Translator’s Note
What is the “Magnificent Cuckold”? The author presents it as a farce and uses many of that genre’s mechanisms to drive the plot. But its subject-matter and everything that transpires in the work add a dramatic dimension in which the smile distorts ever more frequently into a grimace and laughter becomes increasingly hollow and forced and bitter until it is nothing but a mask for tears. What is even more impressive is that this amalgam of the comic and the tragic is expressed in a lyrical torrent of exuberantly baroque language. Crommelynck’s theatre is not realistic (indeed, it is not even plausible), but it is a theatre of flesh and bone, even if the characters come across as ghosts or sleepwalkers escaping a nightmare and even if the mask is an essential building block of his dramaturgy. Combining a rigorous and robust plot with a masterful use of ambiguity and a well-judged balance of light and shadow, the author creates a work that mixes farce, the grotesque and the lyric in a way which defies any attempt to distinguish the three.
 
Efi Giannopoulou
 
For the first time at the NTNG 
 
Credits
Translation: Efi Giannopoulou, Credits: Eleana Tsichli, Production Coordinator: Athanasia Androni
With: Melina Apostolidou (Florence), Giorgos Dimitriadis (Petrus, Lover, Chorus), Christos Diamantoudis (Young Barrel-maker, Lover, Chorus), Efi Drosou (Nurse), Efstathia Lagiokappa (Stella), Nikolas Maragkopoulos (Estrugo), Maria Bagana (Cornélie), Nikos Ortetzatos (Lover, Chorus), Panagiotis Papaioannou (Mayor), Thanasis Raftopoulos (Cattleman), Dimitris Siakaras (Count, Lover, Chorus), Alkiviadis Spyropoulos (Lover, Chorus), Giorgos Stamos (Bruno)
 
Days and times of performances
Wednesday at 18:00 | Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 21:00 | Sunday at 20:00
 


“CROSSROADS” by Nikos Bakolas
Theatrical adaptation:  Akis Dimou
Direction: Eleni Efthymiou
Première: 12/10/2019
GREECE
 
This year, the NTNG honours Nikos Bakolas and his work.
 
Akis Dimou was commissioned by the NTNG to adapt “Crossroads”, a landmark in postwar Greek literature, for the stage. Nikos Bakolas wrote a novel whose action was centred on the city of Thessaloniki. The personal stories of its people intersect with History, while the city itself emerges out of the collective memory and the experiences of the characters; a city permanently beset by historical and political turmoil. A square that renders visible the actions of individuals.
 
“Crossroads” was honoured with the 1st State Prize for Fiction in 1988. Adapting such a complex text for the stage was a risk and a challenge for the NTNG and for Eleni Efthymiou, an extremely talented director of the new generation making her NTNG directorial debut.
 
 
Biography of Nikos Bakolas
 Nikos Bakolas was born on 26 July 1927 in Thessaloniki, where he lived almost all his life (he lived in the Mansions area, where most of his plays are set). He graduated in Mathematics from the University of Thessaloniki in 1956. He began to work as a journalist while still a student and journalism would form the cornerstone of his subsequent career.
 
He first published writings of his as a journalist in newspaper “Nea Alitheia” in 1951, but his first professional involvement was in 1952–1953, when he worked for the short-lived weekly newspaper “Eleftheros Kiryx”. Subsequently, mainly between 1956 and 1986, when he retired, he worked at some time or other as an editor (undertaking translations, editing content or taking charge of the literary and arts pages) on almost every one of the Thessaloniki dailies (“Makedonia” 1957–1960 and 1982–1986, “Eleftheros Laos” 1960–1962, “Thessaloniki” 1964–1967, “Nea Alitheia” 1970–1971, “Ellinikos Voras” 1975–82) and as an associate editor (1956–1960) and later editor-in-chief (1967–1969) of “Drasis”, a weekly publication. He also worked in and later headed the Press Department of the Thessaloniki International Fair (1959–1967) and served as secretary of the Thessaloniki Film Festival from 1960 to 1965. He served as the General Manager of ERT-3 for a five-month period in 1989–1990.
 
 
He made his debut as a writer of fiction in 1952, taking the second prize in the “Morfes” magazine novella prize with his “Parallagi sto penthimo emvatirio” (Variation on the funeral march). In 1958, he published his first book, “Min klais agapimeni” (Don’t cry, sweetheart), which took an award in the literary contest organized by City of Thessaloniki. This was followed by: “The Garden of the Princes” (1966), a landmark in his development as a novelist, then “Emvatiria” (Marches, 1972), “Ypnos thanatos” (Death Sleep, 1974) and “Mythology” (1977). The latter was universally well-received by the critics and won the “Tomes” magazine award. In 1987, he published his novel “Crossroads”, which earned him his first state fiction prize. In 1990, he published the novel “Katapatisi” (Violation), which completed the quartet he had begun with “The Garden of the Princes”; in 1994, he published “I kefali” (The head). In 1997, he received his second top state prize for fiction for his novel “I ateleioti grafi tou aimatos” (The endless writ of blood). This book was also the Greek entry for the European Literary Prize that year. He also received the Balkanika award for his last novel “Besa gia besa i O allos Fotis” (Besa gia Besa or The other Fotis, 1998), though the awards were not announced until a few weeks after his sudden death on 13 November 1999. Two collections of his short stories have been published posthumously, both of which he prepared himself for publication: “Chronies agies kai agries” (Times holy and wild, 1999) and “To taxidi pou pligonei kai alla diigimata” (The hurting journey and other stories, 2000).
 
Nikos Bakolas also translated foreign, mainly American, works of literature: William Faulkner (“The Sound and the Fury”, 1963 and “A Rose for Emily”, 1995), F. Scott Fitzgerald (“The Great Gatsby”, 1971), Henry James (“The Turn of the Screw”, 1973), etc.
 
 
In many ways, the theatre existed in parallel to his journalistic and literary pursuits. From 1958 on, he wrote theatre reviews for the papers with which he collaborated. He was primarily interested in Greek postwar playwrights, and he wrote numerous articles on subjects focused mainly on Greece’s state theatres. He also served as chair of the artistic committee (1974–1975), rapporteur on repertoire (1977–1980) and artistic director (1980–1982 and 1990–1993) of the NTNG. In his younger years, he also wrote a play entitled “O kokkinos fakelos” (The red file), an adaptation of a short story of his, but it was never performed.
 
The translation of Faulkner’s novel “Sartoris” was also found among his papers. He was working on this right to the end, as well as on his novel “Gia ton erota kai mono” (For love alone) and texts dealing with his relationship with the theatre and several other subjects. He often signed his pieces in newspapers and magazines with the pseudonym Nikos Christoforou.
 
 
Director’s Note
Through the everyday stories of ordinary people in interwar Thessaloniki, through their dreams, fears and expectations, an invisible world is opened up to us against the background of a turbulent historical period of social and political upheaval. A world in which Man is revealed stripped of every characteristic associated with the “hero”, weak and compromised before history. Taking Nikos Bakolas’ poetic, masterly novel as its starting point along with Akis Dimou’s film version, we will create a production in which realism supersedes allusion, discourse supersedes music and every character is revealed as part of the human whole in its most poetic dimension; our ultimate aim, to create a dark and original mosaic of 20th-century Thessaloniki.
   
Greek Première 
 

Credits
Adaptation for the stage: Akis Dimou, Direction: Eleni Efthymiou, Sets: Evangelia Kirkine, Costumes: Angelos Mentis, Music: Lefteris Veniadis, Movement: Tasos Papadopoulos, Lighting: Zoi Molyvda Fameli, Video Art: Dimitris Zachos, Music coaching: Panagiotis Barlas, 1st Director’s Assistant: Giota Kouitzoglou, 2nd Director’s Assistant: Dimitris Kalakidis, Set-Costume Designer’s Assistant: Elli Nalmpanti, Production Coordinator: Athanasia Androni

With: Giannis Mastrogiannis (Fotis), Nikos Kapelios (Christos), Katerina Sisinni (Angela), Christos Papadimitriou (Giannis), Christos Papadopoulos (Stratis), Nikos Milias (Angelos), Maria Chatziioannidou (Myrsini), Eleni Thymiopoulou (Amalia), Nikos Kousoulis (Dimitris), Melina Kotselou (Alkmini), Christina Sotiriadou (Antigoni), Theodoros Skourtas (Evgenios), Foteini Timotheou (Domna), Mara Tsikara (Efthalia), Dimitris Sakatzis (Pavlakis), Viktoria Fota (Betini), Evi Sarmi (Eleni), Dimitris Morfakidis (Ilias), Vasilis Tryfoultsanis (Charis), Giannis Karamfilis (Evripidis)

Days and times of performances
Wednesday at 18:00 | Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 20:30 | Sunday at 19:00
 


“THE ELEPHANT” by Kostas Vostantzoglou
Direction: Yannis Leontaris
Opening: 17/10/2019
2nd Season
GREECE
 
After an impressive run of sold-out performances and a stint at Ioannina’s Municipal Theatre, “The Elephant”, last year’s surprise hit, which proved a great success with fans and critics alike, will be returning to the Lazaristes Monastery to shed still more light on the dark side of the Greek countryside and to transport us with its hilarious dialogues and “surreal situations”.
 
Kostas Vostantzoglou manages to get us laughing and indignant at one and the same time by cleverly “abusing” the Greek language and shining a light on a whole raft of characteristics that are rooted (whether buried or hidden) in the minds of a large portion of the Greek people.
 
 
Director’s Note
There are people—not us, mind!—who say: “You’re not telling me nothing! I’ll do just what I want!”. And they do it.
There are people—not us, mind!—who say: “I’ll have the last word I will. You don’t know what I'm like!”. And they do it.
There are people who say: “You’re time comes, you take a swing and smash the lot. You send everything flying. Flatten it. And you don’t care... About nothing!”. And they do it.
Those people aren’t like us. They do what they say and they don’t think when they do it. What is it separates humiliation from dignity? A plate of lentils, that’s what. The poison begins to spread through the bodies of the play’s protagonists the moment they hit adulthood. Or maybe even earlier... Those people aren’t like us, until there’s proof to the contrary. You never know.
Kostas Vostantzoglou’s “Elephant” is an exceptional piece of contemporary Greek theatrical writing, combining as it does its theme of grim brutality as an aspect of human relations in remote villages with the codes of comedy and an extremely bold handling of the Greek language. The local dialect—which could be from Thessaly, Roumeli or Epirus—alternates with brutal treatment of the Greek language. The quality of the language of the play’s protagonists is formed out of these basic ingredients: ignorance, lifestyle, a primitivist traditionalism and a fascist conception of everyday family life.
“Greek tradition”: a mosaic of the grandiose and the tawdry, subjugation and rebellion, crime and punishment, brutality and tears. “The Elephant”: a bucolic musical, a comic symposium of death.  
A blind elephant wandering the Pindos mountains in search of someone who will play it music.
 

 
 
Press reviews of the production
 With its use of exaggeration and kitsch, the directorial approach weaves the fabric of everyday human relations onto the weft of the pathogenesis of the Greek family and Greek tradition with surgical precision and detail. […] The director makes use of intelligent gambits which keep the viewer on the edge of their seat until the very end. The four performances are at an equally high level and the on-stage chemistry between them is excellent. One of the most pleasant surprises of this year’s theatrical season.

Giorgos Christopoulos, OnlyΤheater
 
A text that leaps and jumps on stage as four actors “let loose” in the Lazaristes Monastery - Studio Theatre. Kostas Vostantzoglou’s play directed by Yannis Leontaris looks you straight in the eye as it vomits up hidden truths, spits out pathologies and, with incredible humour, regurgitates garlic and lentils in the yard of a village house...

Maria Mavridou, Columnist
 
The actors’ performances are hyper-realistic and win over the audience from the very first scene, confirming in the best possible way how excellent and talented people trained at the NTNG go on to serve it with fervour and how skilfully they bring difficult and demanding characters to life on stage, at even the most frenzied pace. They were all of them excellent. They deserve all the applause and curtain calls they received at the end. They earned enthusiastic reviews with their sweat—literally and metaphorically. And for that alone, it’s well worth experiencing this production for yourself.

Pavlos Lemontzis, cityportal.gr
 

Black comedy in an inspired contemporary text. Great music, rapid dialogue and an everyday popular setting help the director Yannis Leontaris to make this successful rock show.

Kyriaki Beyoglou, Ephimerida ton Syntakton
 
“The Elephant” is an extremely well-prepared production which plays out in a way which moves, shocks and excites the audience. Stirring the imagination and emotions, it leaves us dazed by the emotional ups and downs of the characters and delighted when their lives are brought to an end in such a unique and intriguing way.

Vangelis Raftopoulos, Cityculture

Credits
Direction-Musical supervision-Video Editing: Yannis Leontaris, Sets-Costumes: Alexandra Bousoulegka, Rania Yfantidou, Lighting: Nikos Vlasopoulos Director’s Assistant: Marilena Katranidou, Production Photograpy: Tasos Thomoglou, Production Coordinators: Marily Ventouri, Dimosthenis Panos
 
With: Sofia Kalemkeridou (Gogo), Nikolas Maragkopoulos (Mitsos), Panagiotis Papaioannou (Tasos), Marianna Pouregka (Voula)
 
Days and times of performances
Wednesday at 19:00 |Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 21:15 | Sunday at 20:00
 
This show is suitable for theatregoers aged 15 and up.
 

“WHO DISCOVERED AMERICA?” by Chrysa Spilioti
Direction: Sophia Paschou
Première: 18/01/2020
GREECE
 
The NTNG honours Chrysa Spilioti, who left us too early.
 
A few words about the play
Who discovered America? Lisa and Kaiti grow up together trying, each in her own way, to answer the questions they’re posed at school and by life. For the two heroines, the road to adulthood and maturity is paved with struggles, dreams and frustrations. In the end, they find themselves together again, trying to answer the same question about life with which the play opened (and which is posed by the play’s title): who is the one doing the discovering and what did they find after all that searching?
Chrysa Spilioti’s “Who discovered America?” is an important example of contemporary Greek writing. It is a miniature masterpiece whose utterly real and convincing relationships and characters are drawn with psychological precision. With a light and humorous touch, her heroines succeed in getting down an entire society and generation. The rapid dialogues drawn the audience into a journey that seems to be over in a flash. Just like life itself.
 
Biography of Chrysa Spilioti
Chrysa Spilioti was born in Athens. She was an actor, director and writer. She graduated from the Greek National Theatre Drama School, attended improvisation classes in France, and worked for many years as an actor, playing important roles from the international repertoire in productions directed by Giorgos Sevastikoglou, Minos Volanakis, Giorgos Michailidis, Yannis Houvardas, Vaggelis Theodoropoulos, Niketi Kontouri, Giannis Margaritis et al.
She was a key member of Giorgos Michailidis’ Open Theatre and the Theatro Anoixis; she also collaborated with among others the Amore Theatro tou Notou, the Theatre on Kefallinias Street, the National Theatre of Greece and the Free Theatre.
She participated in a number of TV series and several movies.
In 1996, her primary focus shifted to writing plays. Her works were published by Sokoli, Dodoni and Kastaniotis Editions, while her collection of short stories entitled “Chameno dikio” was published by Kedros.
Her play “Who discovered America?” has been staged in 30 different productions and translated into seven languages (English, French, Polish, German, Croatian, Dutch and Portuguese). It was included in Polish in “Z Parnasu I Olimpu”, an anthology of Greek texts. Her play “Fire and Water” has been translated into English and staged at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London.
She served as the general secretary of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) and sat on its Board (2012–2014).
She led seminars in writing for the theatre at the Theatro ton Allagon for many years, as well as at the International Theatre Institute, the Panhellenic Association of Theatre Specialists, the Cyprus Theatre Organization and the Open Theatre of Cyprus. Participants at her seminars have presented their plays professionally in theatres in Athens and Nicosia.
She also worked in radio for many years as a producer of talk radio shows and as a writer, mostly at ERT, the Greek state radio and television organization, but also with private-sector broadcasters. She wrote scripts for television series and programmes on ERT, as well as for many of ERT’s children's programmes.
She was also involved in teenage theatre and worked with teenage theatre groups.
Chrysa Spilioti was a member of the NTNG Board of Directors, which she served consistently from 2015 to 2018 as a representative of the Association of Greek Playwrights.
 
List of works
“O gios mou Nikolaos Mantzaros” (My son Nikolaos Mantzaros), 2017
“I alithini sou istoria?” (Your true story?), 2013
“Portes”, (Doors), 2012
“To mati tis Tigris” (The Eye of the Tiger), 2012
“Poios koimatai appose?” (Who is Sleeping Tonight?), 2010
“Fotia kai Nero” (Fire and Water), 2007
“Me diafora stithous” (Winning by a breast), 2004
“Agka-sfi kai fi” (Hug, Squeeze and Kiss), 2003
“Skotseziko Ntous” (Scottish Shower), 2000
“Who discovered America?”, 1996
 
For the first time at the NTNG 
 
Credits
Direction: Sofia Paschou
With: Momo Vlachou, Chrysa Toumanidou

Days and times of performances
Wednesday at 19:00 | Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 21:15 | Sunday at 20:00
 


VASSILIKO THEATRE

“PETROS’ WAR” by Alki Zei
Adaptation: Savvas Kyriakidis, Takis Tzamargias
Direction: Takis Tzamargias
Opening: 13/10/2019
2nd Season
GREECE
 
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.

 
Takis Tzamargias
 

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)
 
Days and times of performances:
Performances for schools: Tuesday to Friday at 10:00
Performances for the public: Every Sunday at 11:00
Evening performances 25/12 & 26 /12/2019 & 1/1/2020 at 20:00
 

“Α Party at Nourian’s” by Volker Ludwig
Translation-Adaptation-Direction: Vasilis Koukalani
Première: 02/02/2020
GERMANY
 
A few words about the play
The play is a thought-provoking comedy about prejudices and cultural reconciliation aimed at audiences aged five up—and everyone else as well! The play was written and performed in the early 70s by the Berlin Grips Theatre, which also created the innovative children’s play “Mormolis”, with which Xenia Kalogeropoulou scored a major hit. In the German version, whose title is “Ein Fest bei Papadakis” (“A Party at Papadakis’”), the family in the play were Greek immigrants!
 
The author
Volker Ludwig is the founder of Berlin’s historic Grips Theatre, which this year celebrated its first half century in operation. He was artistic director of the theatre from 1972 to 2008. During his time at the Theatre, he wrote over 40 plays for children, young people and adults. Plays of his have been translated into over 30 languages and performed in 50 countries.
Thanks to their efforts to animate children and young people through theatre, the Grips changed the theatre landscape for children around the world. The Grips Τheatre grew out of the student movement in what was then West Berlin. Having established itself as a free theatre group, it is now an indispensable Berlin institution.
 
Director’s Note
“A party at Nourian’s” addresses the very topical issue of racism and prejudice against immigrants and refugees based on their foreign-ness. The recent influx of immigrants and refugees found Greek society unprepared and unsure how to react, especially with regard to the education of children.
The play seeks to highlight the virtues of tolerance, understanding and immediate identification which children display among themselves, over and above the ghettoization imposed by the lines different ethnicities and social classes draw between themselves and others.
I believe that racial discrimination, xenophobia and racism are products of fear, a lack of education and ideological idées fixes and not a primordial tendency which can be justified as “natural”. This is a dialogue which circumstances have forced Greek society to have. The show hopes to become a meaningful and enlightening voice aimed at children and young people which makes use of the world of children who, in this play once again and in the most timely and realistic terms, “show us how it should be done”.

 
Vasilis Koukalani
 
For the first time at the NTNG 
 
Credits
Translation-Adaptation-Direction: Vasilis Koukalani

Days and times of performances
Performances for schools: Tuesday to Friday at 10:30
Performances for the public: Every Sunday at 11:00
 


LAZARISTES MONASTERY—SOKRATIS KARANTINOS STAGE

“THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME” by Simon Stephens
Translation: Margarita Dalamagka-Kalogirou
Direction: Eleana Tsichli
Opening: 26/10/2019
2nd Season
UNITED KINGDOM
 
The riveting play from the NTNG Youth Stage, Simon Stephens’ “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, returns for a second season after a hugely successful first run in which it moved audiences and critics alike. A theatrical adaptation of Mark Haddon’s award-winning novel, translated by Margarita Dalamagka-Kalogirou and directed by Eleana Tsichli features a 15-year-old protagonist, Christopher, who is on the autism spectrum.
 

A few words about the play
Christopher is a fifteen-year boy with special abilities and an extraordinary talent for mathematics. His social behaviour often makes his daily life difficult for him. He cannot stand to be touched, suffers seizures when disturbed and does not manage his emotions in the way most people do. One day, he decides to unravel the mystery surrounding the killing of a dog. But his investigation will lead him to discover a great truth about his own personal life. How high can he climb alone after this revelation?

Director’s Note
Christopher is a 15-year-old on the autism spectrum. As he himself confides to us, his world is different. Confused by people, he often dreams that he is all alone on Earth—a thought which calms him. He has numerous peculiarities, but gifts, too. He does not like it when people say he has “special needs” or “learning difficulties”; the way he sees it, everyone has “special needs” and “learning difficulties”. He prefers to describe himself as “different”.
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is, in essence, the diary of a boy who is “different”. In it, Christopher records events and thoughts as he experiences and thinks them. The story starts out as a detective story. Christopher sets out to unravel the mysterious murder of Wellington, his neighbour’s dog. But very soon, as he conducts his “police investigation”, he is confronted by various unexpected secrets that make him the protagonist in a story that will change his life. It is during this unexpected adventure that Christopher has to face the sinister world of “other people” alone for the first time—a world in which he can only survive if he can finds ways around the difficulties that present themselves.
A story which encourages us to look at life through the eyes of a special person. A hymn to the uniqueness of existence, a life lesson for adolescents but for adults, too.
 

 
 
Press reviews of the production
Vasilis Darmas: the young actor who entranced the NTNG
Vasilis Darmas nails the role of the intelligent, autistic teenager in the play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”.

Maria Ritzaleou, Ethnos
 
With the sensitivity and simple, clean lines bestowed on it by Eleana Tsichli’s direction, this is a very powerful production indeed. Its greatest strength is its young star... Darmas embodies Christopher’s innocence. Darmas insists that Christopher is scared just like he is, but that he also finds the courage to keep going, like he does.

Vasilis Bouziotis, enikos.gr
 
The performance was riveting. All the actors were great in their roles, but Christopher (Vasilis Darmas) simply took our breath away. A great talent who didn’t relax his grip on his challenging role for a moment, he portrayed the protagonist in a unique way. At the end of the show, the entire audience was on its feet applauding for curtain call after curtain call. Don’t miss it, if you find yourself in Thessaloniki.

Kyriaki Beyoglou, Ephimerida ton Syntakton
 
At the NTNG, they call it their “Youth Stage”. But it’s not just for teenagers! This is a show every adult should see. Eleana Tsichli worked on the detail with Vasilis Darmas, who plays the lead role, and created a winner... This is a play for everyone. I promise you you’ll be on your feet at the end applauding Vasilis Darmas—it’s impossible not to.

Giorgos Papanikolaou, rejected.gr
 

In “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, Vasilis Darmas is riveting in the demanding role of Christopher. His speech often comes across as frenzied and incomprehensible, revealing the workings of a special mind, while his physical movements are nervous and timid, reflecting his fear of physical contact. The play stays well clear of hyperbole and caricature, instead using humour, emotion and an unshakeable belief in what it has to say to transport the audience into Christopher’s world. An exemplary interpretation from a young actor with great promise.

Giorgos Christopoulos, Onlytheater
 
Credits
Translation: Margarita Dalamagka-Kalogirou, Direction: Eleana Tsichli, Set-costumes: Tina Tzoka, Music: Manos Mylonakis, Movement: Sophia Papanikandrou, Lighting: Stella Kaltsou, Video: Anastasia Flokatoula, Giorgos Soumelidis, Director’s Assistant: Maria Bagana, 2nd Director’s Assistant: Christina Koutsi, Set-Costume Designer΄s Assistant: Danai Pana, Production photography: Tasos Thomoglou, Production Coordinator: Dimosthenis Panos
 

With: Marianna Avramaki (No. 37, Passer-by, Information, Punk, Voice 5), Melina Garbi (Judy Boone), Maria Bagana (Mrs Alexander, Lady on street, Voice 6), Vasilis Darmas (Christopher Boone), Orestis Paliadelis (Ed Boone), Gogo Papaioannou (Siobhan), Thodoris Polyzonis (Rev. Peters, Uncle Terry, Station security, Voice 4), Alkiviadis Spyropoulos (Mr Roger Sears, Neighbour, Chief Inspector, Clerk, Drunk, Passer-by, Voice 2), Giannis Tsatsaris (Policeman, Mr Thompson, London policeman, Man in socks, Drunk, Voice 3), Chrysa Toumanidou (Mrs Eileen Shears, Headmistress, Passenger on train, Shop owner, Voice 1)
 
Days and times of performances
Performances for schools: Tuesday to Friday at 10:30
Performances for the public: Every Saturday at 17:00
 

FAIRYTALEHEART” by Philip Ridley
Translation: Xenia Kalogeropoulou
Direction: Alexandros Raptis
Premiere: 1/25/2020
UNITED KINGDOM

A few words about the play
Two young people, Sandra and Kevin, meet in an abandoned building for the first time. It is a secret place which they both use to paint. They have the only keys and their visits coincided for the first time that night. After the initial shock, they start to paint and talk.
As they talk to each other about their lives, they realize they are both from one-parent families (Kevin grew up without a father, who ran out on them, and Sandra lost her mother five years before to cancer). It was Sandra’s father’s birthday that day and he was going to get engaged to his new partner. Sandra didn’t like the way things were going and ran away from home: she didn’t want to be there when her father made the announcement. Kevin understands how hard it is for her to get over the death of her mother and suggests they try to solve her problem through theatre. He tells her he wants to write a play and asks her to tell him her story in full, as it will help him write it. As they begin to work through her story and to perform it, they become closer in the zone between theatre and life and fall in love.

The author
Philip Ridley was born in December 1964 in East London. His work is unique in the way it combines magic with a threatening atmosphere in everyday settings. He studied painting at St Martins and has exhibited his work throughout Europe and in Japan. He began his career as a performance artist. Ridley has written three novels for adults—“Crocodilia”, “In the eyes of Mr Fury” and “Flamingoes in Orbit”. However, his fame rests on his plays (“The Pitchfork Disney”, “The Fastest Clock in the Universe”), his novels for children and his award-winning screenplays (“The Reflecting Skin” and “The Passion of Darkly Noon”).

For the first time at the NTNG 
 
Credits
Translation: Xenia Kalogeropoulou, Direction: Alexandros Raptis
 
Days and times of performances
Performances for schools: Daily at 10:30
Performances for the public: Every Saturday at 17:00
 
INFANT STAGE


VASSILIKO THEATRE
 
“OUT UP IN DOWN”
For children aged 8 months to 4 years
Concept-Direction: Katerina Karadima
Opening: 19/10/2019
2nd Season
GREECE
 
The extremely successful performance from the NTNG’s Infant Theatre “Out Up In Down”, which is for children aged 8 months to 4 years, will be continuing this winter. A refreshing theatrical promenade full of smiles, children’s voices, bubbles and confetti which has been making children smile since its very first performance last season. Now we are ready to embark on a new cycle based on an idea by Katerina Karadima, who will be directing, with music by Foivos Delivorias.
 

A few words about the play
A baby boy discovers that an image changes depending which side of it you look at. What’s happening at the top and what’s going on at the bottom? And what changes in the middle and what happens on the outside? A box that invites babies to climb onto it on a mission of discovery, then to explore the bottom. A magical friend who invites the baby to come up with a plan inside it. And a mum and a dad who let their baby play outside. And what if it’s scary outside? And what if the upside is really up? Yes, but outside and the upside are more fun, and you learn more... What do you learn? To not be scared, to summon your courage and change things until it’s time to go out into the big wide world... When the house starts to feel small and there’s not enough space anymore!
 
 
Director’s Note
Sometimes when I’m watching a baby, I wonder what its world is like and how the baby places it. I understand that from the moment the baby discovers somewhere and decides to explore and inhabit it, it automatically becomes their world. When the baby’s made that place his own, he sets off in search of more interesting places to explore—which is how his world keeps growing and growing. So, the idea for “Out Up In Out” came from a toy box in which everything—and I mean everything—is in there. A toy box which shows the baby what outside, on top, inside and below mean. Which also allows the baby to discover qualities like the warmth of inside, the excitement of outside and the truth of top and bottom—whatever that may mean for their emotional development. How many times do we see babies, toddlers, searching for a nest—a “house” they call it, in a box in where they want to put everything they think they need. And as soon as they realize that this cycle’s at an end, they start looking outside the house, so they can move on to something new! I’m always moved by the ease with which they proceed on to the next step , so effortlessly and naturally—I’m pretty sure there’s a lesson in there for us adults!
   

Credits
Concept-Direction: Katerina Karadima, Sets-Costumes: Lili Kyrili, Music: Foivos Delivorias, Production Photography: Tasos Thomoglou, Production Coordinator: Eva Koumandraki

With: Giannis Mastrogiannis
 
Days and times of performances
Every Saturday at 12:00
 
Duration: 35 min
 
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES


“FOR FREEDOM”
A new educational programme for primary school children in the Thessaloniki area
Direction: Alexandros Raptis
 
In the—perhaps not so distant—year of 1825, a pack of dogs in Messolonghi begins to realize that something strange is afoot. The food is running out, people are unhappy, the sky is grey. No one can enter or leave the city. It’s up to the dogs to make their decisions and follow their own route to freedom.
 
Using the techniques of Educational Drama, the Siege of Messolonghi and the heroic exodus of its inhabitants is approached from a different than usual perspective: that of the town’s animal residents. Guided by actor-animators, the children take on roles, are invited to make decisions and actively participate in driving the action and exploring difficult issues through a fantastic dramatic context which lends both security and distance.
 

This Educational Drama seeks to immerse the participants in concepts relating to solidarity, the formation of individuality within the collective, peace and freedom.
 
The Educational programme has travelled to the Greek provinces (Serres, Thessaloniki, Drama, Ioannina, Evros, Volos, Pella, Imathia and Kilkis) both as part of the programme bearing the general title “The NTNG in education” and as part of the “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning” Operational Programme . 
 
New educational programme
For secondary school students
Information to be announced soon.
 

“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST” (3rd Season)
In Paediatric Clinics, Charitable Organizations, Nursery Schools and Childcare Centres
Direction: Anni Tsolakidou
 
An initiative aimed at children up to 12 years old which seeks to further the aims of the NTNG’s education and social policy. The action started in the winter of 2018 when it was presented in short- and long-stay paediatric clinics in hospitals in and around Thessaloniki; then, during the rest of the 2018-2019 season, it was presented at children’s camps, institutions, kindergartens and nursery schools.
 
The short theatrical version of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”, which includes mime and puppets, became an eagerly anticipated activity at children’s summer camps and school activities, helping the NTNG achieve its goal of getting into every possible “corner” of the city.
 
Credits
Direction: Anni Tsolakidou, Costumes: Christos Broufas
With: Eleni Giannousi, Christos Ntaraktsis, Lefteris Angelakis
 


Continuing the Theatrical Workshops:
For pre-school, nursery school and primary school children, as well as teenagersFor the fifth consecutive year, the NTNG will be running theatre workshops for children and teenagers. The workshops will take place every Saturday and Sunday at the Society for Macedonian Studies and at Lazaristes Monastery.
 
For adultsThe theatre workshops for adults, which are now in their third year address two separate age groups; the participants attend once a week at a time decided on by the participants. The first age group includes people aged 18 to 35, the second people aged 36 and up.
 
For young men and women with disabilitiesFor the third year, the NTNG is running a theatre workshop for young men and women with disabilities aged 12-30, promoting an inclusive theatre that embraces all young people. The workshop will guide participants on a new journey to expression, creativity and an exploration of their self and others using theatre as its vehicle.
 
For the 2019–2020 season, the NTNG will also be running:
A seminar on “theatre / early childhood education” for kindergarten teachersTraining kindergarten teachers and students on preschool education courses
Participants will discover the dynamics of expression and communication by building them into the core principles of a theatrical game. They will become familiar with useful drama techniques and learn to use theatre as a “tool” in the teaching process.
 
“Theatre / pedagogical training” seminar for primary-school teachersTraining primary school educators and students on teaching courses 
Participants will be introduced to theatre games (roles/actions) as a way of livening up the class, as well as to the steps they need to follow when “staging” a performance.
 
Lighting seminarA seminar for those who want to discover the magical world created by the lighting design of a theatrical performance. Theory and practice are combined to illuminate a path to expression through the process of exploration.
 
People with Special Needs theatre workshop for parentsIn its efforts to stand ever more closely at the side of young people with disabilities, and seeking ways to draw closer to parents whose children are already participating free of charge in the programme, we will offer the parents the opportunity to attend free of charge a psychodrama programme coordinated by a psychologist.
 
Workshops lead: Konstantina Matziri
 
READINGS


“Readings” are a different way of presenting a series of important plays or literary texts. The readings are by stage actors and curated by a director/actor. The texts are read accompanied by audio-visual material; open to the public, they provide an alternative way for theatre-goers to acquaint themselves with new repertoire.
 
BIG DAYS—TRIBUTES


Every year, the NTNG stages day-long tributes to the writers who created the plays it performs. The tributes allows the public to learn more about the playwrights, the historical context in which the works were written, the subject-matter addressed by the plays and the directorial choices made by different productions. They also give the public an opportunity to attend presentations by city groups, workshops for adults and children, screenings relating to the main theme of the tribute and lectures/talks by theatre professionals and academics. All these activities are free to the public.
 
This year’s BIG DAYS will include 4 tributes:
Nikos Bakolas (20th anniversary of his death)
Minos Volanakis (20th anniversary of his death)
Anton Chekhov
Henrik Ibsen 
 
INVITED PRODUCTIONS


THEATRE OF THE SOCIETY FOR MACEDONIAN STUDIES

“THE TRAGEDY OF KING RICHARD III” by William Shakespeare
The Little Things Orchestra
Direction-Dramaturgy: Christos Theodoridis
Thursday 3 and Friday 4 October 2019
 
In August 2012, the persistent of a team of archaeologists paid off when the skeleton of England’s most misunderstood king, Richard III, was unearthed, compressed into just a few centimetres beneath a parking lot in Leicester. The last king of England to die in battle can now finally be buried with the proper honours, 527 years after his death. The manner of his “burial” is a perfect reflection of how he was perceived when he was alive: as immoral, greedy, dishonest, in love with power, a blight on his era, his outer appearance a perfect for the ugliness of his soul. Deformed, hunchbacked, foul, unkempt. All of this is based on historical evidence.
 
Following on from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in 2014–2015 and Christopher Marlowe’s “Massacre at Paris”, which won over Festival audiences in 2016 and was staged once again in 2017, the Little Things Orchestra, one of Greece’s most noteworthy theatre companies, set out to complete their Elizabethan trilogy with Isabela Konstantinidou’s new Greek translation of “Richard III”. The primary focus of the Little Things Orchestra is on creating a dialogue between speech, movement and music. The direction seeks the poetry of Shakespeare in a conversation with the bare event, the inadequacy of language opposed to the inescapability of action.

Credits
Translation-Dramaturgy: Isabela Konstantinidou, Direction-Dramaturgy: Christos Theodoridis, Choreography: Xenia Themeli, Sets-Costumes: Tina Tzoka, Music: Vasilis Dokakis, Textual analysis-Ηistorical research: Pavlos Soulis, Lighting: Tasos Palaioroutas, Director’s Assistant: Chara Tzoka, Choreographer’s Assistant: Nikoleta Koutitsa, Graphic Designer: Nontas Papoutsis, Photographer: Anastasia Giannaki, Production Coordinator: Anna Tiagkounidou
With: Tzortzina Daliani (Cecily Neville, Duchess of York), Xenia Themeli (Lady Anne Neville / Lord Grey) Giorgos Kissandrakis (Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham / Palace / Sir James Blunt), Nikos Lekakis (King Edward IV / Sir Richard Ratcliffe / John Morton / Bishop of Ely), Leonidas Argyropoulos (Lord William Hastings / Second Assassin / Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby), Alkis Bakogiannis (Sir Robert Brackenbury / Anthony Woodville / Earl Rivers / First Assassin / Mayor of London / Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond / King Henry VII), Katerina Patsiani (Margaret of Anjou), Tatiana-Anna Pitta (Queen Elizabeth Grey-Woodville), Vasilis Safos (George, Duke of Clarence / Sir William Catesby), Giorgos Christodoulou (Richard, Duke of Gloucester, subsequently King Richard III), Loukas Kyriazis (Edward, Prince of Wales), Giannis Simos (Richard, Duke of York)
 

LAZARISTES MONASTERY—STUDIO THEATRE

“FROM WHERE YOU SPRANG”
Municipal and Regional Theatre of Agrinio & the Agrinio Little Theatre
Direction-Musical oversight: Katerina Karadima
From Thursday 3 to Sunday 6 October 2019
 
The production is based on the personal testimonies of women who, mothers themselves, speak about their own mothers. Bitter-sweet truths are combined with poetry, religion, realism, surrealism, today and yesterday and the oppression of a society that knows all too well how to attune itself to the harshest tones. The responsibility of raising someone doesn’t seem all that personal an affair, when everyone bears the burden of other generations, other times, other mothers, other social structures, other frameworks, other obsessions. The show seeks to release from deep inside our thoughts and feelings about what we did and felt for our mothers, along with the memories and smells we’ve held onto from family days out and celebrations, fights and quarrels, drives in the old family car, parties, the times we slept under the same blanket. The first milk, the first joys, the first sorrows, the anxieties, the fear of not being like our mother, her absence. How harshness, oppression, despair and grief can take root in so much love... How the flower becomes a thorn and what’s left at the end.
 
 
Director’s Note
I heard someone say that, to stop the wind blowing his tomatoes away and leaving them broken, he drives in a stake and ties them up. But he doesn’t tie them with wire. No, he ties them with cloth from an old shirt... gently ... so as not to hurt them.
And, somehow, that showed me another way to stage the production!
For we take root in the womb, just as tomatoes do in the garden soil. This story never ends... I don’t know… We’ll see.

Credits
Direction-Musical oversight: Katerina Karadima, Sets: Giorgos Kretsis, Costumes: Lili Kyrili, Lighting: Dimitris Papadakis, Video-Poster-Trailer: Antonis Mikrovas, Director’s Assistant: Spyridoula Koubouri, Photos: Spyros Gioldasis
With: Aimilios Alexandris, Christina Dalamagka, Christos Dionysopoulos, Eirini Kopsali, Valentina Fylaktou
 
Duration: 90 min (without an intermission)
 
The show is suitable for children aged 13 up.
 
INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY


 
The NTNG continues to strive to maintain a regular presence abroad, to enter into international collaborations, to bring important productions to Thessaloniki and to stage workshops and masterclasses led by renowned artists.
 
In the context of its activities within the Union of European theatres, the NTNG was chosen to participate in the International “Interferences” Festival organized by the Hungarian theatre of Cluj on the Romanian-Hungarian border. Its production of Kostas Vostatzoglou’s “The Elephant”, directed by Yannis Leontaris, will represent Greece at the Festival, which will be held on November 20-30.
 
At the same time, the Theatre has done everything it can to ensure that the International Forest Festival continues after the ESPA funding for the event ended in 2018. We have explored new sources of funding from European programmes and from the Public Investment Programme, which will link the Festival with the infrastructure of both the Forest and the Earth theatres.
 
Finally, our efforts to develop relations with the key area of the Balkans and, more broadly, with South-East Europe, have been assisted by the continuation for a third year of the important “Ancient Drama and Politics”, Encounter for Young Artists from South-East Europe (9–19 September 2019). The event aims to become a focal point at which theatre artists from Southeast Europe can meet and exchange experiences in the form of a residency—a protected environment in which the participants can receive stimuli and create freely in collaboration with their fellow artists.

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