“Helen” by Giannis Ritsos

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by Giannis Ritsos

Directed by Vasilis Papavasileiou


2001…2009…2017: ‘Helen’ by Giannis Ritsos, embodied on stage by Vasilis Papavasileiou, is reborn every eight years and is returning this year, paying – as always – tribute to the power of poetry, theatre and life.

Already counting 150 performances in Greece and abroad, ‘Helen’ reembarks on its journey and travels to the Open-Air Theatre of Chora, Andros.

The design of ‘Helen’ has its roots in the theatrical event that was held in summer 1999 in Pnika, in the framework of the Athens Festival, entitled ‘Mr Giannis Ritsos’.

Vasilis Papavasileiou writes about the text:

The ‘female monologues’ of the ‘Fourth Dimension’ which are related to the ancient times. They are performed by actresses who usually produce spectacular results (personally, I have been lucky to admire some of these results) but they inevitably remind us of the closed world of ‘psychological theatre’. In my opinion, the identification of the performer’s sex with the sex of the theatrical ‘persona’ is responsible for this misleading deduction. Why is it misleading? Because Giannis Ritsos is much closer to his ancient colleague than to Tennessee Williams. We could say that Williams constitutes the beginning in order for Ritsos to cross the river of the theatre and meet Euripides. Ritsos’ theatre is a theatre of language and ideas. The human passion, whether it concerns the female or the male soul, is lit affectionately and cruelly at the same time, as a prey to a higher combination of powers which bear the nice names Passion, Glory, Beauty and form the web of our Fate.

In Ritsos’ monologues, passion is not presented as an immediate experience but as a retrospection. Language is the vehicle of this retrospection. Even more so, language and its game are the sole identity of Ritsos’ characters. The conventional names Aias, Orestis, Eleni etc. do not represent human beings but knots of the Myth or, in other words, of the indestroyable power of the Impersonal which weaves, which knits our short life. What else did the ancient tragedy do?


Performance Details:

Direction: Vasilis Papavasileiou

Scenography: Marie-Noëlle Semet

Lighting: Eleftheria Deko

Artistic collaborator- Production: Nikoleta Filosoglou


Actors: Vasilis Papavasileiou, Nikos Sakalidis


General admission 12 euros

Start time
Open Theatre of Andros