Ajax by Sophocles
Translation: Robert Cannon
Directing: Elli Papakonstantinou
Performers: Lucy Christofi – Christy, Clive Bennet, Charles Abomeli, Yuka Yamanaka (You – Ri), Christopher Greco, Jason Housecroft, Camden McDonald, Matteo Zanotti, Nikos Siskos
Radio voice: Zacharias Hadjishakkalis
Set + Costume design: Sofia Pantouvaki
Musical composition: Antonis Theodoropoulos
Choreography: Thomas Gkountis
Lighting designer: Phil Spencer – Hunter
Assistant Set Designer + Stage Manager: Penelope Mitsakaki
Assistant Stage Manager: Melody Wood
Set Assistance: Alexandros Babanicolos
Production Manager: Ioannis Galeadis
Public Relations: Kevin Wilson, KWPR
Programme editor & co-ordinator: Sofia Pantouvaki
Text selection: Sofia Marathaki
Sound + Music recorded at Sugar Studios
UNITED KINGDOM / London / West End, Jermyn Street Theater / May-June
Ajax bu Sophocles examines the working of the heroic code “Harm your enemies, help your friends”, which was accepted as a definition of justice in his and our times.
The play show that man cannot know for sure who his enemies are or who his friends are; human relationships are unstable and shifting…
“Time changes everything… time is everything”.
The show is set in the Gulf where the British and their allies expediated against the Iraqis, as in Sophocles’ play, the Trojans were the enemy.
Yet the enemy, a man “puffed up by his own achievements”, Ajax, is within their own forces. Sophocles manages to displace the threat by turning Ajax, a Greek hero, here a British General, into the enemy.
Highly recommented. If you are new to Greek tragedy then this is great place to start. It has plenty of pace and the director, Elli Papakonstantinou, Has varied the chorus presentationin lots of imaginative ways. I have to say that I enjoyed it much more that other award winning productions.
Theatreworld Internet Magazine, Lizzie Loverridge
The Greek Play Project
Elli Papakonstantinou – ODC Ensemble, “The Cave”, Athens Concert Hall, 10/2018
[…] Elli Papakonstantinou’s and Tilemachos Mousas’ cyber-punk opera found its right place to be seen and heard in the Athens Concert Hall […]It is a complete work that comes as a calumniation to her past experimental performances, redefining the meaning of modern musical theater with a social discourse, far from any realistic reference and trivial protest. It’s an essential aesthetic event.
The Cph Opera Festival goes avantgarde.
[…] The Greek ODC Ensemble is just exploring every step of the CAVE, and Elli Papakonstantinou’s disruptive interpretation of Platon’s allegory, with punk, video art and shadow theater, is avant-garde at it’s darkest.[…]
[…]It’s a solid, courageous and multifaceted ensemble, and right now they even have a guest star in the show, the legendary Blaine Leslie Reininger from Tuxedomoon – cool to see the old silver dots keep the style and straighten the tie.
THE CAVE is a mix of opera, video, sound effects, shadow theater and soundtrack from Trump’s press conference, and if you think you’re true to reality, think again. Or should you? […]
[…] Elli Papakonstantinou does not juxtapose the ideal of the Platonic truth with the fake news era (as it is so easily made by the “valid” information providers). As she has done in the past, she brings into dialogue, Plato’s ideas with the present that poses new questions. And she benefits from this very dialogue to reflect critically on the present. Using visuals and performing techniques, the ODC Ensemble team represents the platonic cave in a digital way. But with two essential differences: on one hand, the shadows that dominate the cave wall are of the people themselves and not of the objects of the natural world. And, on the other hand, the subjects coexist with their shadows, their action with their depiction, their speech with its transformations. Physical presence coexists with its representation, creating a new reality. It is in this context that the problem of truth is raised anew. It’s not a problem that can be solved easily. But Papakonstantinou seems to imply that the solution is linked to the search for a third dimension, which will reintroduce the sense of perspective into a universe where the subject of knowledge itself is dissolved into light. […]
Elli Papakonstantinou: The persistent representative of the Greek avant-garde
[…] Bold, controversial, often sarcastic, Elli Papakonstantinou always manages to surprise us. But this is not her purpose.
[…] Like many European artists, she believes that theater is an art of survival within regimes, systems, and destructive habits; Papakonstantinou goes into a deeper process aiming at performances that cause deep and psychic vibrations. […]
Elli’s tree strong points:
Interactivity with the audience
Already since her work at Vyrsodepseio, the hot spot of the postmodern Athenian theater, she manages to transform stage action into live experiences, allowing her audience to take long promenades in industrial spaces, as was the case in “After” (2011) and “Louisette: the backstage of a revolution”(2017).
For Elli, music leads to a time space beyond the ordinary; she constructs narratives alongside with musician Tilemachos Moussas on stage. “Cave’s” music is based on a vast range of influences: traditional music, loops, etc.
Many of her performances, such as the much-talked and successful “REVOLT ATHENΣ” and now “The Cave”, evolve through international residencies and collaborations over time, while playing in theaters and festivals abroad. After the performances at the Technis Theater, “Cave” will be performed at the BE Festival, in the U.K.”
Facts have been replaced by points of view
[…] Elli Papakonstantinou brings into dialogue, Plato’s ideas with a present that poses new questions. And she benefits from this very dialogue to reflect critically on the present […]
“The Cave” by Elli Papakonstantinou at the Greek Art Theater Karolos Koun’s Underground
[…] “Ultimately, the philosophical question posed by the Platonic “Cave of Ideas” […] in my opinion, is one and simple: Does the old being, imprisoned in obsessive ideas, prejudices, in superstition of scientific axioms and divine laws, desire this New Knowledge, at the time of digital Information, when this Knowledge extends to the area of ”metaphysical”, of UNATTERABLE, of unspeakable, largely inaccessible from COMMON LOGIC
[…] Are we again at the same time-space crossroads when man came out of the Middle Ages and before enjoying the luminous Renaissance was unable to think and admit the simple ancient truth that the earth is NOT flat?
[…] Lest that the Platonic parable of the first great victim of Athenian democracy is more relevant than ever, when the fascism of “scientific truth” and experimentally demonstrable knowledge hangs like a sword of Damocles over the heads of visionaries, poets and prophets of the Future?
[…] I regret whenever an expert, unilaterally trained to a minimum, to a slice of specialized knowledge, offends me by urging me – sometimes kindly and sometimes lubberly – to “restrict myself to my cognitive subject” !!! My good man, good people, gentlemen (when you are human), have you not heard the term “Renaissance man”? Would you cast in your modern medieval fires enlightened spirits like Da Vinci, Galileo, Giordano Bruno? Because there are of course their analogues today, but they act in secret to avoid monolithic aphorisms and your brain calculus!!!
[…] So, under the weight of these thoughts, I double and triple enjoyed this youthful, postmodern, deconstructive, unpredictable and groundbreaking effort to tell an old story in a new way and to pour the wine into new bottles.
[…] I can only greet every attempt to modernize and revive the Truth that is always one, no matter how it changes clothes and shoes, armor and shades from one time to another.
[…] Do not miss it. Bravo to Marianna Kalbari, who – as a capable artistic director – opened the historical Technis Theater to contemporary innovation, while remaining faithful to the spirit of its founder, Karolos Koun. […]
[..] In a shattered time loop, in a semidetached dimension, future / past, perhaps in a time curve, Plato can stand next to Netflix, darkness leads to a less dark virtual reality, shadows can be the reality, and – like a trampoline – that can send you out – or again inside the cave.
No worries. Do not panic. Here comes the good news:
The good news is: The Cave by Elli Papakonstantinou – active and dynamic – at the Technis Theater – I saw it and definitely recommend it.
Combining new media with new opera, this is an overwhelming show of visuals and music taking us through the philosophical perspective of a suffocating, dark era.
From Plato’s allegorical cave to facebook’s fake life.
The music of Tilemachos Mousas shines at the heart of the project – four voices, santour, piano and live electronics – continuous movement and alternation.
All the elements of the performance, the music of Tilemachos Μousas, the speech, the visuals (Pantelis Makkas), the acting (Stavros Jagoulis, Anastasia Katsinavaki, Vivi Petzi, Marilena Chrysochoidis), the shadow puppetry (Tasos Konstas), the intense and dynamic style of Elli’s company ODC Ensemble are so complete and ready to fly in theaters / theatrical scenes abroad. [..]