Exile and psychosis at Lazariston

Thessaloniki’s Lazariston Monastery is hosting two very special plays: Mikhail Bulgakov’s «Flight» at the Socrates Karytinos Stage, and Sarah Kane’s swan song, «4:48 Psychosis,» at the Little Theater. Set in the midst of the Russian civil war in the 1920s, «Flight» analyzes the spirit of defeat through dreams that take the audience from the frozen landscape of Crimea to Istanbul and on to the glamorous nightlife of Paris. The story is centered on eight characters who relate their experience of exile. Bulgakov, often called an «un-Soviet» writer, was known from the 1920s to his death in 1940 for his controversial plays and for his contribution to the Russian dramatic arts. But his career was haunted by the duality of his relationship with the Soviet establishment. On the one hand, Stalin – who admired his work at the Moscow Arts Theater and at the Bolshoi Theater – protected him from arrests and execution, but did not – because of the critical nature of Bulgakov’s work – protect him from harsh censorship. Indeed, «Flight» was banned before its premiere in 1928 and very few of the writer’s works were published before the 1980s, when his opus came under critical review once more. Bulgakov has also written «The Heart of the Dog,» «Zoya’s Apartment,» «The Days of the Turbins,» «The Master and Margarita» and «Black Snow,» among others. The Thessaloniki presentation of «Flight» is a production by the State Theater of Northern Greece, translated by Maria Tsantsanoglou and directed by Nikita Milivojevic. Roula Pateraki repeats her successful performance of Kane’s «4:48 Psychosis» (seen in Athens last year) at the Little Theater. The translation is by Pateraki and Antonis Galeos, sets are designed by Valentino Marengo, and costumes and makeup are by Angelos Mendis. «Flight» and «4:48 Psychosis» are on at the Lazariston Monastery, 21 Kolokotroni, Stavroupolis, Thessaloniki, tel 0310.589.102, 0310.652.020.

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