Greek satire from 19th century

The National Theater’s new production, Michalis Hourmouzis’s «Clerk,» will travel as far as Beijing to represent Greece at the International Theater Festival in May. The play will open at the National Theater’s Kappa Stage tonight, adapted and directed by Costas Tsianos, who is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his career in theater this year. «This performance brings together all of my progress, experiences and goals and includes all my theatrical adventures and my 20-year contact with the audience, especially the Greek audience outside the capital. I am interested in theatergoers who may just accidentally step into the theater to get acquainted with its magical world and all those who serve it. Hourmouzis’s ‘Clerk’ was a conscientious choice. No other play could convey the message I wanted,» said Tsianos at a recent press conference. «Clerk,» Hourmouzis’s third play, was first published in 1836. With a deeply rooted political conscience, Hourmouzis commented on everything that happened around him: the foreign powers which took over the throne after the Greek revolution, the exclusion of all the revolution fighters from the public administration and the seizure of such posts by idle clerks, the massive spending of public money and a desire to become European. «While watching the final rehearsals, I realized how up-to-date the play is. Hourmouzis didn’t mince his words. I only wish all of the Greek Parliament would come and watch the performance,» said Tsianos. «We tried to imagine what the loft, the painted sets and the curtain would look like if the show was staged in 1836. The music accompanying it would be played by an amateur band. The way we present it, it resembles a kind of folk theater,» said the director, commenting on the way he worked. The sets and costumes were designed by Rena Georgiadou, the choreography is by Fokas Evangelinos and the music by Yuri Stupel. Dimitris Piatas plays the leading part of Olympiadis, in what he described as a happy moment in his career. «The main thing for me was to touch a leading character and a play that has suffered much, since it is not fashionable to stage Greek plays,» said Piatas. The remaining cast features actors Nikos Bousdoukos, Periklis Karaconstantoglou, Yiannis Degaitis and others. Kappa Stage, 2 Kypselis, tel 210.883.1068.

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