Meeting with acclaim from audience and critics, Thomas Moschopoulos’ hugely successful performance Fahrenheit 451, an Athens Festival and Porta Theatre co-production, first presented at Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2018 where it was sold out, returns this fall, starting on November 9, at Porta Theatre.
The riveting performance is based on Ray Bradbury’s classic, eponymous novel. In a future, totalitarian regime where books are routinely destroyed, the main character pursues the dissidents only to eventually come around when he comes in contact with the secret world of books. How can he break through the nightmarish face of totalitarianism? Is it possible that by claiming the right to ‘personal reading’ he can create cracks in the system?
In 1953, a few years into the McCarthy era, one of the most remarkable dystopian novels of the 20th century is published: Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The title refers to the temperature at which paper begins to burn. The practice of ‘book burning’ has long been associated, historically and symbolically, with the persecution of free thought and free speech.
The premise is simple: In a future society, “firemen” serve as a national security force, locating and burning any surviving books, usually stashed by dissidents who refuse to adhere to the belief that books are pointless and even harmful. The main character is a distinguished officer of this force. However, after coming in contact with the ‘secret world of books,’ he grows fascinated with it. Gradually, he realizes that, beneath this façade of virtual reality, in which his fellow citizens lead seemingly numb lives, a clandestine network of dissidents exists. His curiosity is stirred up and it is just a matter of time before he becomes a dissident himself.
In 1979, Bradbury reworked the novel into a play, making significant revisions and giving birth to an exciting, brand-new play; a polyphonic story, it remains unnervingly modern and relevant to our times.
Translation – Direction: Thomas Moschopoulos
Set design: Evangelia Therianou
Costume design: Claire Bracewell
Music: Kornilios Selamsis
Lighting design: Sofia Alexiadou
Movement: Sofia Paschou
Assistant director: Romanos Maroudis
Assistant to the lighting designer: Tracey Gibbs
Assistant to the set designer: Georgia Tsipoura
Video projections: Chrysoula Korovesi, Manos Gampierakis
Costume construction: Olga Evseeva
Hairstyles: Talkin’ heads
Photos: Patroklos Skafidas
Cast: Alexandros Logothetis, Anna Mascha, Eudokia Roumelioti, Kitty Paitazoglou, Charis Tsitsakis, Manos Galanis, Thanos Lekkas, Xenia Kalogeropoulou
Co-production: Athens Festival – Porta Theatre