CULTURE

Athens troupe takes Ayckbourn comedy north

The Athens Contemporary Theater group is at Thessaloniki’s Egnatia Theater for a run of performances of Alan Ayckbourn’s celebrated comedy «Bedroom Farce,» until April 4. Directed by and starring Giorgos Kimoulis, the play’s cast also features Mina Adamaki, Giorgos Ziovas, Matina Carra, Katerina Lechou, Chryssa Ropa, Yiannis Stefanopoulos and Alekos Syssovitis. London-born Ayckbourn, one of England’s most popular and prolific modern playwrights, wrote «Bedroom Farce» in 1975, during one of the most active periods of his life. Comic and incisive, the play gives the audience a behind-closed-doors look at what takes place in the bedrooms of three couples, who though appearing harmonious and happy, are jolted by the arrival of a troubled fourth couple who seek solace in the company of friends. Artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theater in Scarborough, Ayckbourn has written some 60-plus plays, most of which received their first performance at that theater, before moving on to the West End, at the Royal National Theater or the Royal Shakespeare Company. His major successes include «Absurd Person Singular,» «The Norman Conquests,» «Just Between Ourselves,» «A Chorus of Disapproval,» «Woman in Mind,» «A Small Family Business» and «Things We Do for Love.» His plays have won numerous awards, have been translated into 35 languages and are performed throughout the world. Ayckbourn’s plays have been seen on Broadway and have received two Tony nominations, while he is also an established director, not only of his own work but other people’s as well. In 1986, at Sir Peter Hall’s invitation, he directed his own company of actors in four plays at the Royal National Theater, winning a Plays & Players Director of The Year award. In the US, he has worked, among other places, at the Kennedy Center, where he directed his and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical «By Jeeves,» which was voted one of the 10 Best Productions of 1996 by Time Magazine. Ayckbourn has also written, and continues to write, numerous stories and plays for children. Kimoulis has said that Ayckbourn’s intention in «Bedroom Farce» is to «reveal the silliness of people who talk among themselves and think they are communicating, when in reality no one is really talking, and certainly no one is communicating.» «Bedroom Farce» at the Egnatia Theater in Thessaloniki: Tuesdays 8 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays 9.30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 6.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. For reservations, tel 2310.225.172.