4 Festival productions at Athens theatres

The 2017 Athens & Epidaurus Festival boasted a rich and impressive programme of Greek productions, which met with overwhelmingly positive response. Four of these productions were repeated or will be repeated in Athens theatres during the current winter season: for all those theatre-goers who missed them or for all those who were looking forward to watching them again.


Greek Freak / All Star Game by Simos Kakalas

A provocative performance for mature audiences only, Greek Freak divided theatre-goers: some loved it, others hated it with a passion. Simos Kakalas will present a reworked version of the show at the Choros Theatre starting on November 3. Under the new name Greek Freak/Fire and Fury!, the variety show is expected to feature thousands of different guests every week.

Originally presented at the Olympia Theatre, this one-of-a-kind variety show by Simos Kakalas features a chorus made up of “habitual offenders of the theatre world.” Sentenced by Greece’s eminent Internet Society of Theatre Critics to perform onstage for life, these poor artists are forced to constantly produce new, solid works of art, keeping audiences and critics entertained! At the same time, the theatrical company comments on contemporary arts and society. 

I would strongly recommend this performance – if only I knew you would go watch it, unfettered by prejudice about popular theatre. Should you go, you will find out that Simos Kakalas is a force to be reckoned with… Giorgos Sarigiannis


Medea by Dimitris Karantzas

Warmly received by audience and critics alike, Medea opened this year’s programme at the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus. The production currently enjoys a successful second run at the Poreia Theatre, to end on 31 October.

Director Dimitris Karantzas provides a unique re-reading of Euripides’ Medea, borrowing freely from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Medea film script, Jean Anouilh’s Medea, and Heiner Müller’s Medeamaterial. Performers Giorgos Gallos, Christos Loulis, and Michalis Sarantos portray the characters, posing critical questions and focusing on the eternal tension between humanity and the divine.

This is what we are presently seeking in all contemporary productions of ancient Greek tragedy and comedy: A fresh take on ancient drama which goes beyond banalities; a strong connection between the past and the present. Olga Sella

An Athens Concert Hall and Athens & Epidaurus Festival co-production. After its smashing success at the Athens Festival, the musical / thriller Sweeney Todd, with music and lyrics by the living legend of American music theatre Stephen Sondheim will be repeated for three shows at the Athens Concert Hall, on 27 & 29 October and 2 November.
Director George Petrou and Armonia Atenea will present this impressive production at the Alexandra Trianti Hall, bringing Victorian London to life: the setting of this darkly funny story featuring a murderous barber. An impressive production starring Harris Adrianos and Nadia Kontogeorgi, along with 26 performers.

The Maidens by Giannis Skourletis

A sold-out performance by Giannis Skourletis, The Maidens was originally presented at the Small Stock Exchange of Athens between June 30 and July 3, featuring Lena Drosaki and Alkistis Poulopoulou as Nana and Noula respectively. Two young girls contemplate on their mother: their birth mother, but also Athens as their “mother-city.” Through a selection of poems singing the praises of Athens from Lord Byron’s time to the present, the two girls beautifully spin a tale of this ancient city. Christophoros Liontakis selected the poems. Glykeria Basdeki wrote the text. Musician Charoula Tsalpara performed live on stage.

A love song about Athens and a big hit of the 2017 Athens Festival, the performance was repeated at the Theatre Odou Kykladon for a limited run (12-22 October), again meeting with enthusiastic reviews.

A natural combination of poetry and humour, delivering instantly classic lines […]. Hopefully, this production will have an extended run beyond the eight already announced performances. A truly praiseworthy work, Giorgos Voudiklaris