X-TOKIO

(2012-2013) – Apo Michanis Theatre

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Text: Stelios Lykouresis Director – Concept: Michalis Konstantatos Actors: Yota Argyropoulou, Thanasis Dovris, Giorgos Frintzilas. Stage – Costume Design: Giorgos Karagiorgos Music: Giorgis Sakellariou Lights: Yannis Fotou Photos: Tasos Vrettos Casting: Athens Casting Period: December 2012- February 2013 Duration: 55 minutes Description of the project

An unspecified service. An interrogation room in which we can see a table and two chairs. There is a large window of glass-mirror on the wall facing the audience through which we are watching the action. In the room there is a woman in her mid- thirties (L) dressed in a tight suit and a guy in his late 30s (E.) unshaven and slightly crummy. Outside the room, on the other side of the glass/mirror there is a man sitting among the spectators. He is also in his mid-thirties (G.) and is dressed in a dark blue suit. In front of him there is small bench with a microphone. L. is standing inside the interrogation room E. is seated on one side of the table while L. is bombarding him with questions trying to extract information about the death of a woman (which turns out to be his mother), about his life, his contacts and his involvement in a still unspecified incident. E. has been locked in this basement office for a long time and he cannot figure out the reason why. It is a strange situation. He had assumed that his visit there would have been something of a formality. Moreover, he is not the one to be blamed for the death. He just found her there, lying dead… An earthquake comes to shake momentarily the waters but the interrogation procedure continues. The atmosphere is inexplicably cryptic but L. quickly reassures E. that everything is under control… E. does not seem to be in good terms with his past, but since it is requested he is open to tell them everything, at least the things he Is aware of. But why is L. pushing him so hard? They had made a deal the two of them, it was all planned… He really thought that the whole process would be simpler. But E. actually lies. What for, really? Is there someone out there? G. records the interrogation process and directs it whenever necessary. E. is not sufficiently precise and tends to lose her temper every now and then, so things get more and more confused. L. suddenly finds herself in a difficult position; she suddenly starts apologizing for her life and the terms of the power game get reversed. What is it that this specific service is looking for? What kind of service is it exactly? Is E. indeed responsible for something? Has he got actually an alibi for that day that he found his mother dead? Is there really an earthquake taking place? Where will this enquiry ultimately lead to? The three characters of the play get trapped in the matrix of the Q & A that is constantly referring to the contemporary social, political and economic conditions which are strongly experienced in Greece today as well as the quality of human relationships they form.

A few words about the show The atmosphere of the play builds up in an environment which initially looks familiar and real but in reality is located in an unspecified service at an unidentifiable time. This enigmatic interrogation originally seems to be taking place at a police station; things though are not so simple and clear since the jurisdiction of this service is constantly distended. The three heroes of the play are feeling suppressed under the heavy shadow of this “service”, which appears to control their lives and their behavior in various ways. In the face of economic and social crisis that defies the “man” and his values, they have all entered into a fierce struggle for survival. Unable to defend their truth, they keep their secrets and their distances fearing for their social and economic position. This ‘service’ determines the economic survival of people and gradually transcends from the sphere of economic transaction to penetrate into their personal realm. Their claims have far exceeded their authority. Today’s ‘service’ is asking from those who need its help to explain themselves and apologize for their emotional and personal actions in order to be considered as credible. Only at the very end is revealed what really is going on.

«X-Tokio» is based on a modern greek text written specifically for this show, as was also the case for our previous work «Parklife». «X-Tokio» addresses issues that concern directly the current conditions we live in and the way they influence our daily lives at an enormous personal and emotional cost. Through the metaphor of theatrical representation we take the opportunity to speak about today reality and show how the present generation understands and absorbs what is happening in our country today.

Press – Critics Reviews published for the show «x-Tokio»…

«The blindspot theatre group is established in its few years of existence as one of the most important new theater groups in Greece. Their work is impressive and exciting both for their experimentation but also for their political sensitivity».
Theatre an der Ruhr, Germany

“One of the most interesting new theater groups ‘blindspot’ shows in a consistent and extremely interesting way their own ‘writing sample’ in theatre starting with “The Fall” by Camus … and continuing with the original«Parklife» last year from the basement garage of Cacoyannis Foundation …going on to the next step, the new work written by Stelios Lykouresis”. Elena Galanopoulou, http://www.tospirto.net, 13/10/2012

“Three excellent actors, among the most talented of their generation, support and successfully ‘teach’ this difficult theatrical genre – the genre of absolute immediacy. The image of the play works as a long monoplane, the sound, the silence and the enigmatic gazes captivate the viewer in an uncomfortable game expressed through the filmic speed of the scenes created artfully by filmmaker Michael Konstantatos. Solid interpretations, agonising claustrophobic atmosphere, absolute absence of any theatrical ‘tricks’, immediacy, creative aesthetics and impulses inspired from reality make one literally dive into this project. The interest of the audience remains undiminished until the last second and beyond. An artistic work marked by its simplicity which remains effective and very clear. A theatre of immediacy and truth”. Irene Aivaliotou, http://www.catisart.gr, 17/2/2013

“The blindspot theatre group is always engaged to a different kind of theatrical experience. From the almost trapped couple in the car of« Parklife », their previous work, we move now to a future dystopia, in a cabin where a mysterious interrogation process occurs. There we experience a claustrophobic atmosphere, an unexpected reversal, a subcutaneous humour but also the performance of three good actors. The content of the show “x-Tokio” is of course political- as everything that refers today to the relation of economy and society… but let’s not reveal anything more.” George Nastos, Vimagazino, 3/2/2013

Do you enjoy life at work? “The ‘Orwellian’ scenario-like text of Stelios Lykouresis makes a fast forward to the future by adopting the aesthetics of science fiction (the type of Blade Runner) flirting heavily with reality …. The staccato dialogue, the fast pace and the short duration of 60 minutes as a characteristic of this show reminding of a film due naturally to the director Michael Konstantatos, who comes from the world of cinema … “X-Tokio” of Blind Spot [among other projects …] creates a new kind of dramaturgy inspired by what we live right now at present. It has an ‘economic’ duration and a well concentrated scenario. We like it a lot – a reason which explains I believe its sold out performances on a daily basis with their success created by the same viewers who circulate their positive impressions all around the city”. Dimitra Triantafyllou, Athens Voice, 30/1/2013

“The performance -directed with exemplary pace and the recognizable filmic gaze of Michael Konstantatos- captures the attention and triggers reflections on the pernicious effects of the globalized, impersonal and callous status quo in the most intimate human relations. And it goes at the very heart of the anonymous citizens – whether inside or outside the system. Tricks, lights, music and the likes are not used at all in this one-hour long show. And that’s a very good choice. All the tricks, all the ‘jarring’ music and lighting, all emerge effortlessly from the text itself, the powerful direction and the most natural and focused performance of the actors. And what you are left with is the grey, depressing and utterly commodity-like times that we live in…” Tatiana Kapodistria, http://www.tospirto.net, 6/2/2013

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