CULTURE

Revue on Olympics and politics

“And this Yianna always remains frozen/ like two wrinkles that never found refuge/ Strangers came to see her/ and left baffled/ how Tutanchamon can live here is a mystery.» This song, based on Stamatis Kraounakis’s «Afti i Nyhta Meni» (A Night to Remember) is included in a new revue, «…Ki Aeras Sta Pania Mas!» (… And Wind in Our Sails!), or a revue-revival, according to its creator Lakis Lazopoulos, that is on at the Vretania Theater. The satire is centered on the Olympic Games, politicians and the dispute in the Church of Greece. The action takes place on a roof-top terrace (the stage has been transformed by Damianos Zarifis), where the leading characters take refuge in order to avoid the 2004 volunteer scheme. On this terrace, the hunted young people find a voice through the radio station they set up, Radio Taratsa (Radio Terrace). «Nowadays, satire is no longer blossoming and mouths remain shut. This is a period that is undergoing changes,» commented Lazopoulos recently. Lazopoulos explained that he describes the show as a revival because it consists of old and new texts. Acts like the «Overcoat» which has now become «Gucci» and characters such as the classic repressed clerk can all be found in the revue, though they are somewhat renewed. The only act that has remained unchanged is that of the Mother. All the rest has been adapted to suit today’s needs. Besides, a lot has happened over the past 20 years, the period of time that Lazopoulos, who also plays the leading part, is interested in. Theater has become the theater of receptions, public relations and magazine covers and politics have become theater. «Modernization has marginalized the working classes and made the higher social strata adhere to leftist ideas. That’s why the northern suburb of Ekali is now producing PASOK members.» The revue also deals with the Left. «The generation of the Athens Polytechnic uprising discussed the Left in tavernas. Now they discuss it by swimming pools. «Lately, members of the Left are like people who have a driver’s license but no car. The car is the party. We think the Right is fine now and the word fine means a lot.» The show, also starring Jenny Botsi and another 10 young actors, contains comments on history, politics, politicians and everything that has affected and changed Greece. Lazopoulos spoke about the terrorism of exclusion, controlled spaces and intellectuals who cannot express themselves. «They have not been bought off with money, but with the threat of exclusion.» Television is apparent everywhere. «In the old days, they used to burn books. Now they burn people’s brains,» he said, referring to the all-powerful TV box. «Succumbing to the system proves the omnipotence of exclusion. That is why people choose not to talk.» Lazopoulos has come up with another device to surprise his audience: since a revue signifies caustic and merciless satire, he has decided to comment upon different newspaper headlines each night. «A revue should keep up with the pace of the media and be able to compete with it.» Another character, who looks like Einstein, has been added to the pre-existent ones. He is confined to his house and cannot get to work because of all the construction taking place everywhere. «After all, is there anyone who does not encounter this problem on a daily basis?»