Walking - Review
… Seven Against Thebes:
A hopeful message from the Corfu Regional Repertory Theatre
By MILTOS P. VASSILIOU
The news (approximately 2 months ago) that the Corfu Regional Repertory Company was preparing to produce the Aeschylean tragedy "Seven Against Thebes" raised doubts and questions. Can the organization, the artistic director and the board of directors, handle such a production? Does this bold venture exceed the organizational and artistic possibilities? It’s a difficult text to “perform”, with predominant internal action and dialectics of contradictions of human existence in continuous development. A timeless play, in its deepest and most substantial levels, is in danger if the collaborators fall short – director, actors, choreography, set, music – to be a boring, superficial and wordy performance.
So, on August 9th at the open air theatre of Mon Repos, we waited with interest for the answer. And we were delighted with the answer, audience included.
The reputation of the director, Nikos Dionysios, was festively confirmed. Without any technics of self-assertion (modernity or conservativeness) but with deep knowledge and mastery in using the rhythm, he accomplished to elevate the innerness to the spotlight and to keep the interest of the audience thriving from the beginning to the end of the performance.
Eteocles, Kostas Laos, was consistant in his role as the unconscious and conscious perpetrator of his family’s tragedy. The “hoarseness”, that of course fatigued him, turned out to be an advantage to the delivery of his speech. The messenger, Spyros Kotsopoulos, had the opportunity to show his rich talent and he did it completely. The herald, Ektoras Kaloudis, was suggestive to the announcement of human will, which is both divine imperative. Antigone, Katerina Polychronopoulou, despite the small contribution that was reserved for her role, managed to open another sensational chapter of a new tragedy that generates the conflict between law and duty.
So the performance closed as a perfect introduction to another which is expected ... What about the Chorus ... Motion (choreography) and speech in incredible harmony won a well-deserved recognition.
Sets, lighting and music with unique manner filled the magic of the evening.
This performance was a message of hope for the Corfu Regional Repertory Theatre for a better (hopefully) uninterrupted continuation. It won a hard bet, especially after a troubled period under the threat of dissolution. It coped with a performance that in our opinion deserves to be presented out of town and off the island. The creators deserve this ... It is a message of hope also because, thanks to the work of the theater, we once again saw the much afflicted “Phoenix Theatre” reopen. Really, maybe the right time has come for its radical restoration and enhancement as part of the cultural infrastructure of the city.