Epidaurus (Ploutos)

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In the car on our way to see my first every open-air ancient theatre performance!

George surprised me the other day and bought tickets for us to see a performance at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus (Epidavros).

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Our tickets and the programme souvenir book of the Comedy

 

Epidaurus is the ancient site where the Ancient Theatre is situated, and where I recently went to see my first open-air theatre performance. Ploutos (Plutus) is a comedy play by Aristophanes. It’s a political satire, and, well, not to give too much of the plot away, but it features the personified god of wealth Ploutos who is befriended by a poor man Chremylos and his slave companion Carion and their attempts (successful!) at making wealth redistribution more fair and just – to those who are deserving, and its subsequent consequence. This production that I saw was directed by the great Greek songmaster Dionysis Savvopoulos (He wrote the songs and foresaw the translation too). I saw it in Greek, and it was extraordinary! It was very contemporary – the jibes that he made were very scathing to some people – specifically the ‘meson-heavy, politically-connected dhmosios ypallylos (public/civil servants of Greece)‘. It is very well-suited to these modern times! How prophetic was this Ancient Greek playwright or maybe the world and its inhabitants do go through a cycle that will constantly repeat itself?

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About 30 minutes before performance was about to start

The actors were extremely talented, and the character of the slave Carion was played tremendously well by Christos Loulis. It was full of energy and zest and he spoke clearly and eloquently (I mean, even I can understand what he was saying, and my grasp of this difficult language is still quite strenuous at best.) He was the highlight of the show (other than the Grandmaster himself of course), I believe he has a great career in front of him.

This production has had a earlier run in normal theatre (not because Epidaurus is abnormal but, well, Epidaurus is a class of its own). I have been told that they will have a tour around Greece. I hope so too, and if you are able to catch it, please do! You’d be much better for it.

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The sun was setting breathtakingly over the mountains
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We were the first few to arrive – although it was filling up fast!

I was very very glad that I managed to catch this performance. I would like to see more of such high-calibre performances in the future! I didn’t take any pictures of the actual performance because, well, they did say at the start of the performance that ‘All recording and photography is forbidden’ but that didn’t stop a lot of people from doing it. So, only before and 1 after picture (of a cat that was unfazed by the thousands of people around it.) Look at the tiny cat-shape mass that is sitting on those ancient stones looking to the left.

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Unfazed cat in Epidavros

Favourite moments: When the gria doesn’t understand why the sweets she had delivered to her much younger lover was rejected and returned unopened – “But they were from Parliaros!”.

All photos here were taken on my iPhone, except for the cat, which was taken by George on his iPhone.

 

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