National Theatre of Northern Greece (Greece)
Kostas Vostantzoglou: THE ELEPHANT
Photo: Tasos Thomoglou, Lefteris Tsinaris

Friday, November 22, Studio


Friday, November 22, Studio

A tragic contemporary Greek comedy
1h 30' without intermission
Gogo: Sofia Kalemkeridou
Mitsos: Nikolas Maragkopoulos
Tasos: Panagiotis Papaioannou
Voula: Marianna Pouregka


Set and costume design: Alexandra Bousoulenga, Rania Yfantidou
Music & Video Supervisor: Yannis Leontaris
Lighting: Nikos Vlasopoulos
Director's assistant: Marilena Katranidou
Production Coordinator: Dimosthenis Panos, Marily Ventouri
Second Assistant Director: Sofia Bletsou

The Elephant
is a comedy that reveals the dark side of the Greek province. A seemingly prosaic premise expands into hilarious dialogues that reveal all the stereotypes on which Greek society is structured: phallicism, misogyny, racism,and national superiority. Kostas Vostantzoglou manages to elicit laughter and,at the same time, our indignation, by aptly ‘abusing' the Greek language and displaying all those features that are rooted (either buried or hidden) in the consciences of a large portion of our people.

"There are people – not us! – who say: ‘You are not going to tell me what to do! I'll do whatever I want to!' And indeed they do so. There are people – not us! – who say: ‘You don't know me at all. I haven't said my last word yet!' And indeed they do so. There are people who say: ‘There is a moment when you break all the glassware into a million pieces and don't give a damn about it... about anything!' And indeed they do so. These people are not like us. They do what they say and think of nothing when they act. How far can one bear humiliation with dignity? A dish of lentil soup. The poison is secreted inside the heroes' organism since their adulthood. Or even before? These people are not like us until finally proven wrong. You never know.
The Elephant by Kostas Vostantzoglou is a really special sample of theatrical writing of the Modern Greek theatre, since it combines the brutal barbarity of human relations in the remote countryside with comedic elements under an extremely bold proposal regarding Greek language. The local idiom – which may come from Thessaly, Roumeli, or Epirus – gives its place to a barbaric abuse of the Greek language. The quality of the Greek language spoken by the characters of the play is mainly formed by ignorance, lifestyle, an exaggerated admiration for ancestor worship, and the fascistic perception as an everyday family experience.
The ‘Greek tradition' is a kind of mosaic combining greatness with tawdriness,submission with rebellion, crime with catharsis, cruelty with sobbing. The Elephant is a bucolic musical, a comic symposium of death. A blind elephant is wandering around Pindus Mountains looking for someone who could play music for him."

Yannis Leontaris

Photo: Tasos Thomoglou, Lefteris Tsinaris