Fresh reading of classic Aristophanes comedy

In a country ravaged by the horrors of war, a theater troupe decides to resist the blazing guns by staging «Lysistrata» in a bombed-out theater as an act of defiance. A fresh reading of one of Aristophanes’ most poetic and pacifist plays is being offered by stage director Yiannis Iordanidis with the National Theater of Northern Greece’s touring production of the ancient comedy, which premieres tomorrow at the Dassos Theater in Thessaloniki. Although the NTNG has already staged «Lysistrata» (in 1965 directed by Socrates Karantinos), this time around Iordanidis has focused his approach on «the fine line where theater becomes one with life, a play within a play,» he explained at a recent press conference. Based on the translation by Yiannis Varveris, the director approaches the present via the past in order to convey Aristophanes’ anti-war comment. The title character is performed by Renia Louizidou in what is the television star’s first starring role at the NTNG (even though she is a graduate of the company’s drama school), while Provoulos is played by comic Dimitris Piatas. This year’s production will not be touring the Balkans due to the size of the cast and crew (65 people are participating), but will instead limit itself to a number of Greek towns and cities, and Cyprus. One of the highlights of the tour is a stop at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus on the weekend of July 27-28. The cast comprises 29 actors, including Mina Adamaki (Cleonice), Daphne Lambroyianni (Myrrhine), Theodora Siarkou (Lampito) and Antonis Loudaros (Cinesias). The music is by Giorgos Christianakis, the sets are by Giorgos Gavalas and the costumes are by Yiannis Metzikoff.

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