Giorgos Papageorgiou

Giannoula Koulourou

The true story of Giannoula Koulourou (b. 1868 in Patras) is adapted for the stage in an original play written by Theodora Kapralou, commissioned by the talented actor and director Giorgos Papageorgiou.

Giannoula got her nickname – ‘Koulourou’ – from her trade: she was a koulouri (a Greek version of bagel) street vendor. Giannoula longed to get married. Her slight intellectual disability made her a laughing stock among the residents of Patras. The locals began pulling several pranks on Giannoula, going so far as to humiliate her in public, as more and more of them participated in various ‘happenings’ revolving around fake weddings of Giannoula with ‘suitors.’ An estimated ten thousand people were present at the final prank pulled at the expense of Giannoula. Following that incident, Giannoula collapsed. Ultimately, she died poor and alone during the Axis Occupation of Greece. Her sad story became the stuff of urban legend.

The performance will bring Giannoula’s true story to life through actors and live music on stage (with original music by Matoula Zamani), and will be infused with a carnivalesque spirit, as, even to this day, the story survives as a traditional custom attended during the Patras Carnival.

With Greek and English surtitles