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PLUTUS by Aristophanes

NATIONAL THEATRE OF NORTHERN GREECE
  • Friday, July 26
    Curium Ancient Theatre
  • Saturday, July 27
    Curium Ancient Theatre
  • Performances start at:
    21:00
    Please arrive at the theatre before 20:00

Aristophanes’ comedy, Plutus, is presented by the National Theatre of Northern Greece (NTNG), directed by Giannis Kakleas. The NTNG’s production, featuring an excellent cast of actors and theatre professionals, presents in an imaginative way the comic poet’s satire on the human dream for wealth.

The main character, Chremylus, is a bankrupt farmer who is at a loss to understand why, despite being an honest and pious citizen, he ended up losing all his possessions. Chremylus and his servant, Carion, nurse Plutus to health. Blinded by Zeus, Plutus cannot distinguish the just from the unjust, the honest from the vile. Thanks to the hospitality of Chremylus, Plutus finally regains his sight and justice is accordingly restored. Aristophanes’ comedy is a wink to the audience, indicating what he would consider fair in the ideal polity: every citizen should be rewarded as they deserve.

Almost 2,500 years later, the Aristophanic question on wealth distribution remains relevant with clear references to the present day. Giannis Kakleas, who, in addition to directing, also signs the translation in the new production of the NTNG, notes: “Our poet, in his own uniquely satirical manner, shows us a way of managing material goods, but always with the interests of the Polis in mind – a Polis with just, honest, and virtuous citizens. Utopian thinking? Perhaps. But Aristophanes reserves the right to dream!”.

  • WITH ENGLISH AND GREEK SURTITLES
  • SUITABLE FOR AGES 12+
  • DURATION: 100 MINUTES
CREATION TEAM

Translation-Adaptation / Direction:
Giannis Kakleas

Set design:
Manolis Pantelidakis

Costume design:
Ilenia Douladiri
Original music composition:
Vaios Prapas

Original lyrics:
Last Guest
Choreography:
Stefania Sotiropoulou

Lighting design:
Stella Kaltsou

Assistant to the director:
Aris Kakleas

Associate set/costume designer:
Danae Pana

Assistants to the costume designer:
Manolis Psomatakis, Despina Papadimitriou
Assistant to the lighting designer:
Iphigenia Gianniou

Production Coordination:
Athanasia Androni

CAST

Chremylus: Manos Vakousis
Plutus: Alexandros Zouridakis
Karion: Giannis Syrios
Penia: Polixeni Spyropoulou, Chrysi Bachtsevani, Anna Efthymiou, Kleio Danae Othonaiou
Company of Karion: Anastasia Kelesi, Fabricio Mucho, Christina Bakastathi, Stefania Sotiropoulou, Giannis Tomazos, Christos Tsavos
Cleonymus: Dimitris Diakosavvas
Archidamia: Fay Kokkinopoulou
Artemidoros: Giannis Tseberlidis
Elpenor: Dimitris Morfakidis
Elpiniki: Alexandra Palaeologou
Lefkothea: Foteini Timotheou
Thrasymachus: Giannis Harisis
Callisthenes: Thanos Feretzelis
Aeropi: Mary Andreou
Lysimachi: Eleni Mishopoulou

DANCERS ON STAGE

Anastasia Kelesi,
Stefania Sotiropoulou,
Marios Hatziantonis,
Nikolas Hatzivasileiadis

MUSICIANS ON STAGE

Vaios Prapas, Last Guest

Neighbours/Mystes/Choreography of Chremylus and Penia/Members of the party: The Troupe

Maria Efthymiou, Professor of History at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, appears in the Parabasis of the performance.


Photos by © Mike Rafail (That Long Black Cloud)

DIRECTOR’S NOTE

The honest Chremylus, a poor Athenian peasant, Aristophanes’ alter ego, is experiencing the new reality in a traumatic way: social values, ideas, and morals have fallen away.

The lack of resources and social justice, as well as the fear of impoverishment, terrify this romantic utopian, especially for his child’s future.

He resorts to the Oracle of Delphi posing the agonising question “What can I do to ensure a secure future for my child?”. Apollo’s ambiguous response is to take care of the first helpless person he meets on his way and persuade him to come home with him.

This is none other than the god Plutus, who generously gives away gold, money, and all material goods Chremylus and the whole society has dreamt of! They are all rich now! Their dream has come true. Happiness is here!

But deep down this dream provided by the god Apollo turns out to be a test revealing the poverty of values, the absence of social cohesion and solidarity, elements of self-awareness and social conscience, without which there is no rational management of wealth aimed at the common good of the Polis. Everyone is simply driven to greed, personal enrichment, foolish accumulation of material goods, unnecessary overconsumption and tasteless demonstration of opulence.

Our poet, in his own, uniquely satirical manner, shows us a way of managing material goods, but always with the interests of the Polis in mind – a Polis with just, honest, and virtuous citizens.

Is this utopian? Possibly. Aristophanes however reserves the right to dream!

– Giannis Kakleas

NATIONAL THEATRE OF NORTHERN GREECE

The National Theatre of Northern Greece (NTNG) is one of the country’s largest theatre institutions. With its five indoor and two outdoor stages, plus the appearances it makes on tour and at festivals both in Greece and internationally, it has been a driving force on the cultural scene since 1961.

The NTNG is a private legal non-profit entity and is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors along with the Artistic Director. It is supervised and funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport.

As a public theatre which repays citizens for the funding it receives through the art, education and entertainment it provides, and which seeks to remain open and accessible to society at large, the National Theatre of Northern Greece has forged a strategy which revolves around the following axes:
• a wide-ranging repertory
• high-quality productions for children and young people
• a focus on theatre education and educational activities
• strong ties and partnerships with cultural institutions, municipal authorities, bodies and social institutions
• an emphasis on social policy
• social activities which raise public awareness
• low ticket prices with a wide range of concessions
• a powerful international presence.

The NTNG’s annual programme brings together its own in-house theatre productions with co-productions with other theatre organizations, stagings of productions from Greece and abroad, and a wide range of cultural events. The Theatre also stages long summer tours around Greece and winter tours of Northern Greece and organizes the annual Forest Festival, a major cultural event for Thessaloniki which includes concerts, theatre and dance.

The NTNG Drama School provides complete theatre education free of charge and has been a nursery for young actors since 1973.

In addition, taking its social role seriously and doing all it can to make theatre accessible to people of all ages, including those without easy access to live theatre, the NTNG engages in activities provided free of charge to special social groups.

It is a member of the Union of the Theatres of Europe and the International Theatre Institute.

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