Concept + Adaptation + Directing: Elli Papakonstantinou
Performers: Meletis Ilias, Aglaia Pappa, Valia Papachristou, Adrian Frieling
Translation: Kostas Karthaios
Musical composition + Sound design: Tilemachos Moussas
Set + Costume design: Aristotelis Karananos, Alexandra Siafkou
Lighting design: Elli Papakonstantinou
Produced by ODC Ensemble
GREECE / Athens / Vyrsodepseio / February – May 2014
The spectator floats into visual installations inspired by the world of Francis Bacon and panoramas of a city in tear-gas. What do spectators reserve for their own Richard? Will they lynch the politician? Will they suggest a way out?
The crown makes the tyrant
[…]A strikingly political yet also genuinely Shakespearean performance. Interestingly enough, when Richard II is over, one has the impression of having watched not one but five performances; a sensation which attests to the sheer magnitude of theatricality we’ve gorged on, the number of ideas, the variation of styles, the successive climaxes and anti-climaxes. […]
The choice of the play (rarely presented in Greece) and its staging at Vyrsodepseio give weight to a critique of power, touching upon timely and familiar elements of the contemporary political scene […]. Richard II is a political performance, at the same time remaining faithful to Shakespeare’s work, notwithstanding the fact that this play of over thirty characters is performed by four actors; an endless tapestry of metamorphosis and overlap. Everything is employed at the service of a specific goal, the goal here being the allure of the stage. Subsequently, everything is tossed on the fire, incinerated, not unlike a savage and cathartic experience we will always cherish.
Theater Critic: Richard II and the New Middle Ages
This laudable company of actors consists of only four performers skilfully portraying the play’s thirty characters. Thanks to meticulous textual editing, […] the characters are deconstructed, shedding their schematic qualities, their discourse and gender. The characters themselves observe and remark on these qualities in self-sarcastic fashion, while also serving as a mirror to the audience. […] In its philosophic and meditative spirit, this production reminds us that today’s world is a new version of the Dark Ages.
Let’s go to the theater: 24 theatrical pivotal moments of the season
[…] A life-time experience. I’ll never see theatre the same way. […]
[…] Overwhelming imagery full of historical references[…]
Gulture tonight: Richard II
The leading part rightfully granted to Aglaia Pappa.
She IS Richard II. The character, as much as his crown – an actual cage covered with feathers, that blocks face and believes- locks perfectly on her […] She is amazing into her safe arrogance of power, as much as uncontrollably desperate and revolutionarily intact during her fall and humiliation. At the same time, Meletis Ilias shows a different, not comfortable side of Bolingbroke. With his unique talent as a circus ringleader or a manipulative politician, he handles and shifts the audience’s perception to an extend that we confuse the “good” and the “bad” of the play. History is not necessarily what the winners write, but what the audience falls for.
Three suggestions for entertainment in a very real sense
“Richard, rock and baroque”. There is almost everything in this political and poetic performance directed by Elli Papakonstatinou: burlesque, circus, songs, tableaux-vivants; but also interaction, as the spectator is urged to lynch the king.
In the big scene of the industrial “Vyrsodepseio” light with fires and surprising tableaux vivants are created with the characters taken from Renaissance paintings and Illusionism, such as “The Assassination of Marat”, “The Last Supper”, while on stage torches light up…
City Guide / Lifo team
Let’s go to the theater: “Richard II” in Vyrsodepseio / We saw the show!
[…] Richard ΙΙ meets Elli Papakonstantinou” in an adaptation which, sticks to the original Shakespearean text, while following metaphorically the route of power and the “blind game” and straggle to get it. These take place at “Vyrsodepseio”, Elli Papakonstantinou’s artistic house, since 2011. Here, […] the director creates impressing images that the actors interrupt with a sharp sense of political satire, strong instructiveness with the other actors and the audience, humor and speculations that stick to one’s mind forever. Personally, I feel that I have never been exposed to such a theatrical experience in my life. And that made me understand something: in the end, there are no boundaries whatsoever, as to what you can do in theater, as long as you‘re open towards the play, yourself and the audience. […]
Eleftherotypia, printed edition
The nowdays’ face of Richard II
[…] Don’t miss it! A performance that makes us believe that 500 years ago Shakespeare was actually writing for Greece in crisis. […]
Shakespeare and the absurd neo-Greece
[…] One of best Greek performances of the last years. Theatre at its best!
[…] You’re left with the sense that you have just experienced a unique two-hour journey; here, we talk about baroque theater, rich with ideas, … and imagery that refers to paintings but also to Peter Greenaway’s cinema, with an overwhelming atmosphere, ritualistically Medieval, obscure, but with the right tone of self-sarcasm. […]