Aristophanic parody in ‘Thesmophoriazusae’

Two reasons led Costas Tsianos to once more direct Aristophanes’ «Thesmophoriazusae» eight years after his previous attempt: the gaps left in his mind following the last production and actor Petros Philippidis, with whom he is collaborating for the third time in this hilarious comedy. This mega-production, with which Theatro Diadromi began its summer tour in Larissa last night, will go to Thessaloniki this week, before heading to Epidaurus. «Of the five plays by Aristophanes that I have directed so far, this is the most important one,» said Tsianos at a recent press conference. A challenging play, according to the director and the only genuine comedy made of entire episodes composed by Aristophanes, Tsianos thought extensively about how to present the parody, which finally determined the production’s character. To decide how to present it, Tsianos went back to a number of playwrights of Athenian review shows, primarily inspired, as he noted, by Bost, aka Mendis Bostantzoglou. «At first glance, the play’s parody seems literary. It is not, however, and if one sees it as a popular play they will fail,» he said. «This is perhaps the only play by Aristophanes that does not satirize, except for very few moments, political and social aspects of the era, but the poets, especially Euripides and Agathon. Essentially, it satirizes the fall of the songwriters’ art and the tricks they had to resort to in order to write tragedies.» The production’s impressive costumes were designed by Yiannis Metzikoff, with set design by Antonis Halkias, music by Michalis Christodoulidis, choreography by Fokas Evangelinos and musical direction by Nana Thrasivoulidou. Besides Philippidis, who takes the role of Mnesilochus, the cast includes Yiannis Vouros and Yiannis Samsiaris in the roles of Euripides and Agathon respectively, as well as Giorgos Galitis, Costas Flokatoulas, Giorgos Melisaris and Kyriakos Velisaris. Aristophanes’s «Thesmophoriazusae» at the Gis Theater tomorrow to Friday. Gis Theater, Damari Triandrias, tel 2310.206.730.

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