Epitheorisi is a uniquely Greek theatrical genre, a kind of music hall or variety revue that has been especially popular with Greek audiences throughout the twentieth century. It comprises of a series of comic sketches that pungently satirize contemporary political and social life, accompanied by song and dance. Its strength does not lie in the intricacy of the plot (after all, the genre does not feature a central plot as such) or the complexity of the characters, rather than in the spectacle and the comic effect.
This too will pass,is a flashback to the course of epitheorisi on the Greek stage in the twentieth century, covering its route from the establishment of the military junta in 1967 to the turn of the century. Inevitably, it is a flashback to the political and social circumstances in the country as well, since epitheorisi is the reflection of the society in which it was born. Pyriochos’ script, the result of extensive research, is amusing. He avoids the nasty jokes and the offensive language or gestures for which epitheorisiwas occasionally becoming notorious in the past. He doesn’t, however, always avoid the clichés – especially towards the end of the play.
The main asset of the show is definitely the actor Antonis Loudaros in the leading role of Mrs. Epitheorisi. In a demanding -acting-wise- theatrical genre, which requires velocity, sharpness, interaction with the audience, quick reflexes, a lot of improvisation and a good sense of humour, Loudaros seems to be born to do exactly that; his acting is exhilarating from beginning to end. The show also features memorable performances by Mirka Papakonstantinou and Tania Trypi, as well as some wonderful voices onstage (including singer Philippos Nikolaou) and a live orchestra, directed by monumental Greek musician and songwriter Yorgos Katsaros.
Overall, This too will pass is exactly what it promises to be: a spectacular variety show full of comic cues, dance, music and song, impressive set and glamorous costumes – ideal for a relaxing evening out. It is not repertory theatre and it shouldn’t obviously be judged as such. I only have one objection, though. Over the years there have been several epitheoriseisthat present the course of this special genre in the twentieth century. I think that instead of returning over and again to its past, it is high time thatepitheorisi went a step forward, using updated language and a more contemporary aesthetic – suitable for twentieth first century audiences.
- Βy Aggelos Pyriochos
- Directed and Choreographed by Fokas Evaggelinos
- Cast includes: Antonis Loudaros, Mirka Papakonstantinou, Tania Trypi, Memos Begnis, Michalis Marinos, Prodromos Tosounidis
- Badminton Theate, Athens
- Until 20th December 2014
- Review by Katerina Gotsi
- 7 December 2014