A Chekhovian tale of angst

Anton Chekhov’s third and final draft of «Ivanov,» the Russian playwright’s first attempt at a full-length play, is also an inaugural effort by director Nikos Mastorakis and the National Theater of Northern Greece at Thessaloniki’s Vassiliko Theater. The play examines social, existential and ethical issues – themes that are very much current today – and it is being staged through a modern point of view. The director is not interested in staging a period drama. «Doing so would take the edge off the characters and would not put across the particularities of each hero,» he argues. Instead, Mastorakis tries to make the audience address the same questions that were dogging the playwright in 1887, when he wrote the play. The play, according to Mastorakis, is essentially a chronicle of failure, maybe even a chronicle of the failure of Russia. The main characters, people of the provinces with flaws and weaknesses, who are simultaneously comic and tragic, compose the story with which Chekhov describes the emptiness, the apathy, the emotional slump and finally the death that the end of one’s first youth brings about. The play is being staged for the fourth time in Greece, though it is a first for the National Theater of Northern Greece. The translation and the music are by Mastorakis, the sets are designed by Eva Manidaki and costumes by Yiannis Metsikoff. The main roles are performed by Manos Zacharakos, Ioanna Payiataki, Dimitris Kamberidis, Dimitris Kolovos, Nini Vosniakou and Angeliki Papathemeli. Vassiliko Theater, White Tower Square, Thessaloniki, tel 2310.251.182.