Kypria an architecture of modern drama for optimism highlighted by Spyros Evangelatos

Posted on 2010/09/01 by

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Oedipus Rex by Spyros EvangelatosThe international festival KYPRIA 2010 to be celebrated in Cyprus finds in ancient Greek tragedy a source of modern meaning. Presenting in its programme the Greek tragedy of Oedipus by Sophocles, we find in this drama performance a source of inspiration of how modern man grapples with the unceasing quest to decipher eternal questions of a metaphysical nature. Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex (also known as Oedipus the King), considered by many the par excellence Greek tragedy, is listed on the programmed activities of KYPRIA, the international festival marked by the commemoration of the 50 years of the founding of the republic of Cyprus. Led by Spyros Envagelatos the drama performance has been scheduled to be presented on a 40-stop tour which started with Thessaloniki and comes to Cyprus in September .

“[Oedipus Rex] is one of the greatest achievements of human intellect. It is a text I’ve always wanted to ‘serve under’,” Amphi-theatre founder Spyros Evangelatos mentions in a recent interview; It combines man’s agonised struggle against superior forces that are not always just with a detective plot: a man is after a murderer who turns out to be no other than himself. Nothing is forbidden in art. It is the end result that is the ultimate judge. I have no interest in a performance which pulls the original plot into shreds in the name of modernism. On the other hand, a rather minimal production based on a classical text can turn out to be a masterpiece – but this is rather unusual”

Evangelatos directs leading actors Konstantinos Markoulakis as Oedipus and Karyofilia Karabeti as Jocasta in a production which follows a new interpretation while remaining firmly connected to Sophocles’ text. The director’s modern approach to Sophocles’ text is reflected in his original way of handling Jocasta’s relationship with her son and eventual husband. The sets and costumes, by Yiorgos Patsas, have an abstract feel to them which connects them to surrealism. There is also an element of surprise in Yannis Anastasopoulos’ original score, combining tonal with atonal music. In the course of the play, the set is “gradually diminished” as the cast is “enveloped in the miasma” of the plot’s circumstances. This ominous atmosphere is punctuated by the intervention of the Sophoclean chorus, “one of the most masterful of ancient theatre”, according to Evangelatos, that comments on the action occasionally but mostly sings.

The work’s timelessness can be put down to its dramatic search for how the forces of the unknown influence human lives. “There is a feel of sanctity to this theatre where he sees theatre as a refuge of sorts in times of crisis – be it financial or cultural – as long as it follows certain quality standards. “You can find quality even in a farce, as long as it is done well,” said Evangelatos, who has directed in the past diverse performances – from opera and ancient tragedy to neoclassical plays. “The ensuing feeling is that of relief, happiness and optimism.” The play will be represented both in Nicosia and Larnaka on the 8th and 9th of September respectively.

More about the Events programmed for Kypria 2010: The agenda of Kypria 2010
To read more about interview in full to Spyros Evangelatos Evangelatos tackles Sophocles

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