Dimitris Karantzas presents a performance-parable about violence, addiction to images and the abolition of illusions or, in other words, about a reality that, no matter how much you try to avoid it, will catch up to you sooner or later.
Run time 60 minutes
Surtitles Dutch and English
Age category 18+
Dutch premiere Mon 5 Feb
After talk Tue 6 Feb in the Nieuwe Foyer
‘The tiles always looked ready to burst, as if behind the walls were the hands and lips and feet of those who lived there previously, but they never did so; they remained there as a diary of which year we did what we did and the lives of those people.’
Our house. Our little corner of the world. Our definitive retreat. Where we are safe. Or perhaps not? A new, original work—elliptical and revolving mainly around action in silence—comprises the textual material of the parable forged by Dimitris Karantzas and his team, featuring scarce dialogue, relentless tension, and two actors - Alexia Kaltsiki and Fidel Talampoukas - carrying out the daily housekeeping ritual at their home until the world’s violence breaks in and uproots all.
In The House, two figures, a woman and a man (Siblings? Flatmates? Partners?) spend a typical day in their home, which may be in Athens, Tokyo, London, Madrid, Amsterdam, or New York. In any metropolis where people live in cell-houses, bereft of identity and where everything looks alike. The two figures perform their chores, arrange the shopping, pay the bills, fold the clothes, and tidy up the space and their structure.
The art of doing nothing substantial is elevated to a poetic parable, with the daily routine seizing the hinges of the heroes’ thoughts and conquering the stage. Both of them entrench themselves to avoid confronting reality and soothe the nooses that the outside world has in store for them.
Yet, a window feeds and is fed by them. A window of the house faces a quiet street in which, from time to time, passers-by stroll. As their day moves on, the window transforms into a funnel, a hellish kaleidoscope, in which various manifestations of our era’s violence and extreme instances of contemporary 21st-century history parade. The two figures, passive recipients of the images’ violence, try to follow up the maintenance of their space and microcosm until the moment violence invades their retreat and displaces them. All that remains is the hum of catastrophe.
About Dimitris Karantzas
Dimitris Karantzas was born in Athens in 1987. He studied at Embros Higher Drama School and at the Department of Communication and Media Studies of the University of Athens. Ten years ago, in 2013, Dimitris Karantzas made his debut at Onassis Stegi with The Circle of the Square, by Dimitris Dimitriadis, a work dealing with the merciless equations of erotic relationships. A year later, in the summer of 2014, the play was presented at the Festival d’Avignon, with Libération newspaper championing it as 'one of the best productions of the festival'.
He has worked with the National Theatre, Onassis Stegi, the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, the Greek National Opera, Theatro tou Notou at the Amore Theater, the Karolos Koun Greek Art Theater, Odos Kykladon Theater, etc. Besides, he has directed works from both the Greek and international repertoires. Besides, he participated in the KunstenFestivalDesArts in Brussels, as a guest artist for its Residence & Reflections project. Additionally, he has been serving as Artistic Director of the theatre Proskinio in Athens since 2020. He was nominated for the European Theatre Prize (XVI edition) in the New Theatrical Realities category.
text and direction Dimitris Karantzas
concept Dimitris Karantzas, Geli Kalampaka, Tassos Karachalios
video Geli Kalampaka
scenography Clio Boboti
costume design Ioanna Tsami
movement Tasos Karachalios
music George Ramantanis
photography Andreas Simopoulos, Geli Kalampaka
light Dimitris Kasimatis
assistant director Kelly Papadopoulou
assistant scenography Angeliki Vasilopoulou Kampitsi
line production Rena Andreadaki, Zoe Mouschi
translation surtitles Memi Katsoni
with Alexia Kaltsiki, Fidel Talampoukas
All of the above have contributed to the play’s dramaturgy.
Commissioned and produced by Onassis STEGI.
Brandhaarden is co-produced by Onassis STEGI’s Outward Turn Program.
Since 1978, the Onassis Foundation has steadily invested in the fields of Culture, Education, and Health, always with a human-centric approach to its endeavors. The Onassis Stegi in Athens, serving as the hub of the Foundation’s cultural activities, encourages the talent and energy of local and international artists to thrive and starts conversations that aim to shake and shape society. Onassis Stegi is a center of global contemporary culture that, through a series of initiatives and works, promotes dialogue about democracy, social and environmental justice, racial and gender equality, and LGBTQIA+ rights.
Brandhaarden is an international theatre festival that brings performances by remarkable theatre makers from abroad to Amsterdam. The festival offers a unique overview of one creator, house, writer, region or theme. Previous editions have spotlighted directors such as Katie Mitchell, Milo Rau and the Rimini Protokoll collective, writer Édouard Louis, the Southern European region (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece) and city theatres such as Münchner Kammerspiele, Volksbühne Berlin and Peter Brooks Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord.
Fringe programme: Modern Myths
The fringe programme of Brandhaarden 2024 is all about Modern Myths. The word 'myth' has two meanings today. On the one hand, it denotes stories that contain a certain wisdom, and we speak with wonder about what we then call 'mythological'. On the other hand, we use the word to talk about lies and misconceptions. We invite the audience to reflect on the power of shared stories, but together will also look at how this can turn into widespread ideas that are not necessarily true and can thus further marginalise vulnerable communities.