CULTURE

Trojan War over a name

The National Theater of Greece’s latest production, a comedy about love and beauty cast in the form of a fairy tale, opened yesterday at the Kotopouli Stage, after five months of intense rehearsals. «What Helen?» was written by Thanassis Papathanassiou and Michalis Reppas and features 40 actors and over 300 costumes. A feeling of euphoria prevailed during rehearsals and was still apparent at the recent press conference, which took place in a congratulatory atmosphere. «The play, which is based on another story, that of the Trojan War, resembles a fairy tale.» Reppas, the only one of the two playwrights to speak, explained that the story begins with the dispute among the three goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite over who is the fairest. «Paris hands the apple over to Aphrodite and she promises to reward him with Helen. Hera, upset that Paris chose Aphrodite over her, takes revenge by abducting Helen from his ship and substituting her ugly cousin, Pefkida. When good-natured Pefkida realizes the trap set by the gods, she hides in the hold, refusing to appear in front of Paris, and appeals to Aphrodite for help. The goddess advises her to show her face as it is and just claim that she is Helen; everyone will believe her. So the Trojan War starts, not for the sake of a woman but for the sake of a name…» The show’s music and songs were written by Aphrodite Manou, while the performance was directed by the two playwrights. The sets are by Antonis Daglidis and Sotiris Stelios, the costumes by Evelyn Sioupi and the choreography by Fokas Evangelinos. The cast is led by Jessy Papoutsi, Tania Trypi and Tzini Papadopoulou.