Lunching on solitude at Dipylon

A man and a woman face each other in front of the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The port of an unknown English town in midwinter becomes the background of their random meeting. The man, who is around 35, is dynamic and looks like someone who has been around; he is a salesman, working in advertising. The woman, slightly older, seems to have an orderly life, maybe even a husband. She does not seem to question her way of life, and her words reveal a rather naive outlook. The pair are the leading characters in British playwright, director and actor Steven Berkoff’s one-act play «Lunch,» which opens tonight at the Dipylon Theater, produced by the Persona art company and directed by Avra Sidiropoulou. An adapted form of the play had been staged in the early ’90s along with another one-act play, although this is the first time it has been staged in full in Athens. «It is the story of two people who represent two different worlds,» said director Avra Sidiropoulou. The two worlds come into conflict through the harsh and extreme language the man uses. «The man brings cynicism and pompous words that have no true meaning for this meeting,» explained the director. «The woman, on the other hand, starts off from a naive point of view. After the first ‘test’ and their initial conflict, we watch how both of them gradually shift. The man abandons his deep cynicism and adopts a different approach, where he watches and listens; his language becomes simpler and more direct. The woman questions her ideas, becomes more open and is ready to claim more from life.» For Sidiropoulou, the very title of the play, «Lunch,» is symbolic: «The two leading characters are suffering from emotional hunger.» They are only satisfied when they dare open up to each other. Sidiropoulou addresses the audience with the same hope: «Loneliness is our greatest problem and I hope the play will mean something to those who see it. They may stop being so afraid of approaching people, or getting close to a more experimental kind of theater.» The parts are interpreted by Anna-Maria Verchagen and Nikos Georgakis. The sets and costumes are by Mayou Trikerioti. Dipylon Theater, Kalogirou Samouil & Dipylou, Psyrri, tel 210.322.9771. On stage Wednesdays to Sundays at 9 p.m.

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