Adapted and Directed by Yannis Houvardas
With his two explosive texts, Earth Spirit and Pandora‘s Box (subsequently famous under the common title Lulu), German playwright Frank Wedekind revolutionized the theatre of his age and liberated the dark instincts of the bourgeoisie, which had been trapped for centuries in the vastness of human subconscious. Wedekind was a risky tightrope walker, standing alone and far higher than any of his predecessors or contemporaries. To the hypocrisy of the ruling class he would devote one obituary after the other. His plays, branded as obscene and pornographic, could see the light of the stage only heavily censored. In an era where women were covered from head to toe, his female roles would strip naked and involve themselves in vibrantly erotic scenes, even with characters from the same sex. He showed unmasked violence, prostitution and drug use. He wrote in a new, candid language, with short scenes and sharp dialogues, in which each word crashed into the next one, sounding like a verbal exchange of heavy gunfire.
Lulu herself enthralls audiences with her genuine vitality, her unbridled eroticism, her natural intelligence and her unsolvable mystery. She is the epitome of wild nature in all its beauty and horror. No one can own, control or subdue her, not even the cruelest of animal tamers. Her enigma lies in her ability to embody perfectly and with the uttermost innocence all images projected on her: child, virgin, wife, mistress, femme fatale, mother, lover, whore; the list is endless. She does not identify with the roles she is given by her male or female persecutors, but plays them and with them. She can be Nelli, Eva, Mignon, Katya, or any other fantastic or mythical creature, however, under all these masks she always remains Lulu. But who is Lulu, what is Lulu? She is Heaven and Hell, Eros and Thanatos, a force of nature, a figment of the imagination, all women and all notions of womanhood. But how can one even begin to conceive, let alone know, such a creature? All around her, a spectacular array of male and female figures, named by Wedekind himself “monsters”, perform all kinds of circus-, burlesque-, and melodramatic numbers, in their desperate attempt to solve the big riddle. Dante’s Purgatory is a fairy tale compared to this dangerous plunge into the unfathomable depths of sexuality, this chilling tragicomedy of human psychopathology, that reflects with dazzling accuracy and razor-sharp humor the darker side of human existence.
The production, which opens at the Michalis Cacoyannis Foundation on November 6th 2019, boasts a formidable cast (mentioned in alphabetical order): Konstantinos Avarikiotis, Karyofyllia Karabeti, Andreas Konstantinou, Giorgos Biniaris, Alkistis Poulopoulou, Akis Sakellariou, Haris Frangoulis, and Nikos Hatzopoulos.
Adapted and directed by the internationally acclaimed director Yannis Houvardas, sets by Eva Manidaki, costumes by Ioanna Tsami, music by Thodoris Economou, and lighting by Lefteris Pavlopoulos. Greek translation by Yorgos Depastas. Assistant to the Director Irini Fanarioti.