Ithakis Theatre Group Rehearsals 'Lisistrati' An Ancient Greek Play by Aristofanis

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Rehearsals were well under way by the time I got to the Cinema at around 8.30pm, where the Forkis Theatre group were rehearsing. Big theatre voices echoed out into the drenched and quiet back street of Vathy. It was cold and wet, and to be honest, I had to drag myself away from the fire, but I'm so happy I did. Not being familiar with Ancient Greek plays, I expected a somber and melodramatic evening ahead, but what I discovered instead was that X rating didn't start with videos in the sealed off section of the video store, but started here in Greece. Lisistrati, the name of the play, is a woman, a strong, willful woman, played by Tomi Dendrinou. The play has love, war of the sexes, intended sex with various sexes and a lesson to be learned at the end. All the things Blockbuster movies are made of. The play is witty and intelligent and the rehearsal was so much fun that the Group could charged an entrance fee.

Director of Lisistrati, Stelios Sofos, lead the group with passion and humour to get the most out of their performances. Rehearsals are still in the basic read through stages, but it was very easy to see, from the enthused attitude of the Players, that this play was going to have the audience roaring with laughter in their seats. In the photo left, Stelios was directing Tomi in the most effective way to use the word 'penis' in her monologue. It was at this point I started to concentrate on the theme of the play as well as photographing the rehearsals. The Players cracked up continuously and I got real pleasure from their interactions with eachother. The group really knows how to enjoy the experience of rehearsal and because of this made me enjoy the it also.

Ithaca may be one of the smallest islands in Greece, but has a big talent base and a huge enthusiasm for entertainment.

The boys in the stalls waited for their time to rehearse with a nice bottle of whiskey tucked neatly away in a plastic bag. No wonder Stelios Sofos has to put up with pranks from the Stalls. The Group, although they take their theatre very seriously, are not at all pompous or superficial. They love fun, make fun and bring fun with their attitudes and their performances.

Stelios Sofos, is an actor from Patras and has directed the Forkis Theatre Group in previous plays on Ithaki. His expertise is quickly recognized in the performances he extracts from the local actors and actresses, some who have years of experience in theatre and others, new to the Theatre.
The Group participated via great enthusiasm in everyones scenes which made for an entertaining evening with these talented locals.
While the rest of Ithaki was most likely sitting infront of the television, snuggled up comfortably in a warm room, the Theatre Group gathered in the cold Cinema with the silver screen set to off for their pre-dress rehearsal stage. The Cultural Center right next door, will be the stage for the Lisistrati performance and once the lights get turned on will also be the location for the following rehearsals.

There's more to see so click on page 2 below.

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