A world of humans and fairies

There can never be too much of Shakespeare’s «Midsummer Night’s Dream,» as long as each new production establishes trust. The stage director Yiannis Kakleas has rounded up a superb cast of younger-generation actors for this Shakespearean masterpiece which debuted in southwestern Greece late last month at the Kalamata Municipal Theater and is currently on a national tour that will reach Athens on July 23 at the Papagou Theater. «It was a dream of mine to stage this play, as is the case for all directors, I think,» said Kakleas, who recently returned to the Kalamata venue as its artistic director after a 10-year absence. «It’s just that the prospect usually fades bitterly, not because the play is not staged properly, but because it gives the impression that its various aspects don’t blend well together – King Theseus, the Amazon Hippolyta, the four young lovers, the team of workers, the fairies. But when I studied it in depth, I realized that the play is strongly coherent; the text is mystic, almost alchemistic, with its portrayal of love, marriage, and that ‘other’ dimension in a deep way,» he added. Elaborating on his «alchemistic» view, Kakleas noted that, on a preliminary level, the play refers to utopian love but carries «all the marks of desire for cosmogony, another perception of the world, where the realistic microcosm we live in is placed in another world, a macrocosm. That’s the meaning of the fairies in the play. What do these fairies depict? Others present them in an adorned fashion, others use dancers… I dealt with the play as if were a dream in which we are the fairies. They’re our nocturnal reflections: desire, passion, fear, memory, the world of the subconscious. If this production has anything to offer, it is this.» Kakleas considers the play’s human characters as fairies, too. Theseus and Hippolyta also represent the royal couple of the fairies, Oberon and Titania. «They metamorphose and take their wedding through pagan rituals, and, as such, unite the noble and humble, the spirit with flesh. Puck, with whom we open our performance, is a modern-day youngster living in his own world and whose mind gives birth to all the faces,» said Kakleas. Aris Servetalis has been cast in the title role, Anna Mascha is Hippolyta and Titania, Yiannis Stefopoulos is the tormented Bottom, and Leonidas Kakouris plays Theseus and Oberon. Iphigeneia Asteriadi, Angeliki Dimitrakopoulou, Nikos Orphanos and Constantinos Yiannakopoulos play the four youths.

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