Western society bared on stage

Peter Shaffer’s play «The Gift of Gorgon,» which had never been staged in Greece before, recently opened at the National Theater’s Kappa Stage. The plot evolves around three leading characters: a well-known, deceased writer (played by Petros Fyssoun), his wife (Annita Santorinaiou) and a person who emerges from their past, played by Spyros Spantidas. The characters re-evaluate their life and their choices in a dark atmosphere that includes many secrets and revelations. Translated by Stratis Paschalis and directed by Giorgos Theodosiadis, the production’s sets and costumes are by Giorgos Patsas, the music by Stavros Xarhakos, movement by Antigone Gyra and lighting by Andreas Bellis. The play also features the actors Maria Kadife, Tassos Alatzas, Stelios Goutis, Dinos Doulgerakis, Constantis Mizaras, Manos Triantafyllakis, Eleni Michailidou, Panayiota Papageorgiou and Efi Revmata. «What fascinated me in this play was the powerful poetic transfer of the Greek myths of antiquity and Byzantine times to our times,» said poet Stratis Paschalis, who translated the play. «I was also struck by the clarity of thought and the strength of the characters, but also by the ideological background, which is so subversive and brave. Shaffer is interested in the decline of the Western world and the disappearance of the mythical relationship with our being. A rationalistic and moral code has imposed itself, as the result of European Christianity; it shrinks life and renders man poorer… We are all living through a postmodern, conservative era and we fail to realize the oppression, the stupidity and the emptiness, which are the result of a civilization that has lost its foothold… However Shaffer, also the author of ‘Equus,’ is not a pessimist, his view of the tragic and tragedy includes catharsis. The fact that ‘The Gift of Gorgon’ was written as a contemporary play, and is staged as such today, is consolation in itself. At a time when everything seems to have ended, a British playwright dares to resist neutrality and oblivion and to suggest, once more, Greece as it was before being affected by American globalization.» The play is staged at the National Theater’s Kappa Stage, 2 Kypselis, tel 210.883.1068. On show Thursday to Saturday at 9 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 6 p.m., with an additional show Saturday at 6 p.m.