CULTURE

Celebrated play by Pavlos Matesis back on stage in Athens

“This play was the starting point of my precise, upward evolution to another galaxy,» said playwright Pavlos Matesis as he described «The Ghost of Mr Ramon Novarro» at a press conference recently. The play – which was performed for the first time 30 years ago – opened again last Friday at the National Theater’s Kappa stage, directed by Diagoras Chronopoulos. «This is a realistic comedy,» noted Chronopoulos. «It is a play that you get to love as you work on it.» The director is returning to the National Theater and especially the Kappa Theater, a stage he worked on for more than a decade. «Half of the direction is about the actors. That is where we should start,» he said. The main character, Antonakis, is a frightened man who has settled for a low-key existence. On the occasion of his mother-in-law’s memorial service, he meets a friend and attempts a review of his life. In this way, he comes across characters from his past, who remind him of both his long-forgotten dreams and the mistakes he made in his early years, but also all those who make his life miserable in the present, and who have erased every element of his personality. «This is a wonderful part; possibly the most important of my career,» said Tassos Pezirkianidis, who interprets Antonakis, at the press conference. Co-star Betty Valasi – whose husband and fellow-actor Titos Vandis died recently – has the role of Theoni. «In this play, underneath the laughter lies tears,» she said. «Everyone will remember something from their own lives and will feel compassion for the characters.» At the Kappa Theater, Chronopoulos is assisted by Costis Kapelonis. Stage design is by Simos Karafyllis with costumes by Christina Papoulia-Barlow. The play also stars Nikos Bousdoukos, Maria Anastasiou, Evangelia Samiotaki, Panos Panopoulos and Lambrini Kanagiou. Kappa Theater, 2 Kypselis, tel 210.883.1068.