Ibsen’s sinister world to haunt Scholeion venue

Theater director Ektoras Lygizos may only be 32, but he has already proven his talent. Very recently he directed Verdi’s opera «Il Trovatore,» staged by the Beggars’ Operas at Bios this May, which was very successful. Apart from composer Haralambos Gogios’s interesting orchestration, Lygizos’s direction was substantial and inspired, greatly contributing to the success. Now Lygizos is presenting Henrik Ibsen’s «Ghosts,» at the Scholeion venue as part of the Athens Festival, until Thursday. A classic contemporary play, this is the second Ibsen work to be staged at this year’s Athens Festival and comes straight after Lee Breuer and Maude Mitchell’s take on «A Doll’s House.» It stars Aneza Papadopoulou, Thanos Samaras, Nikos Georgakis, Giorgos Ziovas and Polyxeni Aklidi. «Ghosts» caused a stir when first staged, as was the case with other Ibsen plays. At a time when a simple reference to syphilis was considered a scandal, «Ghosts» presented an environment full of cannibalistic inter-family relations, sinister syndromes and references to sexually transmitted diseases. The great Norwegian playwright brought out into the open the dirty laundry of an entire era and society and commented on it in an aggressive way that shocked his contemporaries. In 1898, more than 10 years after the play’s premiere, when Ibsen was invited for dinner by Sweden an Norway’s King Oscar II, the monarch told him that «Ghosts» was a bad play. After a pause, Ibsen angrily replied that he should write a play like «Ghosts.» In 1891, the play was staged for a single private performance at a London club whose members included the Hardys and Henry James. Today it is considered one of Ibsen’s most representative plays. Its combination of a caustic social commentary and existentialist angst makes it ideal for various different treatments. To Scholeion, 52 Pireos, Moschato. For information: tel 210.327.2000.