Luigi Pirandello's 'Tonight we improvise', Greek National Theater , 2018 - 2019.
"The eerie loneliness of a sculpture... as it stands still, beyond time. But the playwright is fooling himself if he thinks he can achieve such a conclusive form for his creation. The theatrical play can only come to life through us, the actors and the crew. We liberate the text from it's stillness therefore we melt it's content into a mold that has the shape of our souls."
Luigi Pirandello, 'Tonight we improvise', 1929.
The contrast of a fixed-form sculpture against the fluidity of the theatrical text, as shaped by the actors on stage, was the departure point for this set. From a first visit to the National Theater depository warehouse, we discovered a sculpture by Tina Parali, which was created for a Romeo and Juliet production, directed by Dimitris Mavrikios thirty years ago, on this same stage, with actress Lydia Fotopoulou in the leading role. This 'archaeological' discovery led us, in turn, to a decision that shaped the artistic face of the show. As the performers are challenged to improvise upon their role, using the material they carry within their soul, so we decided to improvise -in terms of scenography- with found material that existed within the actual 'body' of the National Theater. Assisted by it's staff and with great affection towards the institution's great history, we drew up a series of "archeological" finds: sculptures that have starred in previous productions, the old velvet curtain of the Central Stage (unused since 1999), Dionysis' Fotopoulos' timber gates (1976), deposed headlights, numerous clothes from the cloakroom and mannequins that had been made for a costumes' exhibition which was presented at the National Gallery of Greece in 2003.
Photographs 1-4, 11, 14, 17 by Patroklos Skafidas and 7-10, 12, 13, 15, 18 by Marina Koniou.
The cast: Konstantinos Arnokouros, Giannis Artemisiadis, Michalis Artemisiadis,Giorgos, Benos, Lili Dalanika, Rania Ekonomidou, Nektarios Farmakis, Lydia Fotopoulou, Dimitris Kakavoulas, Dimitris Mavrikios, Eva Oikonomou-Vamvaka, Stefanos Papatrechas, Gioulika Skafida, Maria Vardaka, Alexandros Varthis, Giannis Voyiatzis. Appearing in filmed scenes: Nikos Karathanos.
The creative team: Translation, adaptation, direction: Dimitris Mavrikios / Original music score: Manos Hadjidakis / Set design, Assistance in adaptation: Dimitris Polychroniadis / Costume design: Niki Psychogiou / Musical arrangement, adaptation & orchestration: Nikos Kypourgos / Sound design & orchestration: Stathis Skouropoulos / Lighting design: Lefteris Pavlopoulos / Movement, choreography: Valia Papachristou / Associate director: Manolis Dounias / Assistant director, Assistance in adaptation: Maria Vardaka / Hair design, Wigs: Chronis Tzimos / Make-up design and application: Roula Lianou / Music coach: Melina Peonidou / Second assistant director: Eva Oikonomou-Vamvaka / Assistant set designer: Marina Koniou / Assistant costume designer: Marios Panagiotou / Director of filmed scenes: Dimitris Mavrikios / Co-director, director of photography, special effects of filmed scenes: Angelos Papadopoulos / Editor of filmed scenes: Ioanna Spiliopoulou.