Awarded theatre/film director/actor Dimos Avdeliotis is staging a number of live performances (in their third year running) starring acclaimed theatre actress Ioanna Spanou, based on ancient Greek playwright Thucidides as translated into modern Greek by the charismatic Early 20th C Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos.
The theme of the performances is based on the timeless need to uphold democracy in our society, as spoken about by Pericles at the Kermakos Cemetary in his Funerary Oration for those who perished in the Peloponnesian War.
Plutarch wrote about the poignant oratory text that this speech “has the beauty of antiquity but will always maintain the novelty and relevance of a new and contemporary work. With such works,” he wrote, “a youthful form that cannot be touched by time can flourish, as if the words have within them an endless breath and an ageless soul”.
The translation by Eleftherios Venizelos, an eminent figure in the Greek national liberation movement, makes the text even more relevant to its viewers, as the ancient past is bridged with recent Greek history. Venizelos wrote it in Paris in a painful period when the Asia Minor Catastrophe had recently occurred.
*Watch the interview with Ioanna Spanou here-
The work addresses its listeners as empowered participants in the ideal of Democracy, as people living an egalitarian existence, each with an individual potential to create change regardless of talents, capabilities, knowledge or social class. It addresses the issue of free will in human beings as a higher divine right to choose for themselves with complete consciousness the extent to which they will dwell on and create beauty, ugliness, discretion, selfishness, freedom, oppression, pleasure, torture, humaneness and light, barbarism or compassion.
Actress Ioanna Spanou, who was selected as a modern figure (being a woman) as the orator, will be performing the text and songs that have been selected from ancient plays to tie in with the theme of death and rebirth in both Greek and English at the Katakouzenos House Museum during February (Saturdays 9th, 16th & 23rd) and March (14th) at 21:15. Entry tickets are 10euros.
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