CULTURE

UK theater groups explore American pop culture in Athens

Three pioneering art groups have been invited to a performance and live art festival taking place from April 23-29 at Bios in downtown Athens under the title Americana – rather misleading given than all three participants come from the UK. But the theme they will be exploring is the perception of American pop culture as shaped and exported by the media, film, music and advertising in Britain and other parts of the world.

Action Hero, as duo Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse from Bristol are known, present an interactive performance about two American teens talking in the locker room ahead of a sports game that they know they are bound to lose. As they put it on their website, “Shifting and rearranging the trite conventions and narratives of American teen movies, we talk about what it means to be a winner (on the inside).”

A comment on reality television, “Hoke’s Bluff” was first staged in 2013 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the context of a British Council tribute to the best of British theater.

In “Gym Party,” three eccentric contestants pull out all the stops to get the audience on their side in a live television dance show, presented at Bios by the Made in China group. Determined to win at any cost, they pose questions to the audience related to their own desire to be crowned winners, asking them to be as judgmental as they want and meting out increasingly violent punishments to the losers.

A realistic solo performance based on the story of the American serial killer, rapist and necrophile Ted Bundy is the creation of Greg Wohead, a Texan writer and performer based in London, who was nominated for a Total Theater Award in 2014 for “Hurtling,” an outdoor performance for one. “The Ted Bundy Project” is based on the confessions of the man who committed at least 30 murders, using his natural good looks and charm to earn the trust of his victims.

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“Americana” is organized with the cooperation of the British Council in Athens and will be hosted from April 23-26 at Bios (84 Pireos Street, tel 210.342.5335). Tickets can be purchased online at www.viva.gr, at Public, Papasotiriou, Seven Sports, Ianos and Reload stores, as well as by telephone on 11876.