The Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey and the director of American Beauty Sam Mendes will meet on the stage of the ancient Epidaurus Theatre in July. The two Hollywood celebrities will present the Shakespeare’s play Richard III within the Athens Festival, held annually in Athens and on the stage of Epidaurus.
The play will be presented on the 29th and the 30th of July, but a third performance could be planned for the 31st of July. The work is part of The Bridge Project, which started in 2009 as a three-year bridge for cooperation between the Old Vic Theatre in London, Brooklyn Academy of Music in the USA and the production company Neal Street Productions.
The festival program was presented yesterday by the manager George Loukos and the Minister of Culture Pavlos Geroulanos. Despite the budget cuts this year - 3.2 million euros compared to 4 million last year, the organisers hope the festival will continue to be well attended and the number of spectators will increase. The last year they were 170,000 and for the first time since 2006 the festival registered a profit of 411,000 euros.
There will be performances and concerts throughout Athens, which adds a new perspective to the concept of the big event.
A series of monologues will be presented in Peiraios 260 and the Deus ex mahina theater, Thomas Moschopoulos will present a play based on improvisation, Medusa: Plans and improvisations for rafts and shipwrecks (June 13-17, Peiraios 260). Rafts are involved in Ariane Mnouchkine’s The Castaways of the Fol Espoir (June 10-12 and 15-19).
Stavros Tsakiris and the choreographer Konstantinos Rigos will revive on the stage of Herodeion moments from the life of the legendary dancer Vaclav Nizinsi (June 18), and within the Urban Planning cycle we will enjoy five shows played in the internal yards and on the balconies of Athenian buildings. The director Giannis Kakleas guides Vassilis Haralambopoulos in the play The Servant of Two Masters (Herodeion, June 29-30).
The Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski will present (A)pollonia, developing the theme using three female characters: Ifigeniya, Alkistis and the Polish Apollonia Mahzinska, who was murdered in an attempt to save 25 Polish Jews during the World War II (June 28-July 1 in the House of letters and culture on Syngrou Blvd).
The festival will present a dance theatre, and the performances will include those of Sylvie Guillem (July 19-20, Herodeion) and Forsythe Company in "Yes we can't" (July 3-5, Peiraios 260). The musical performances will be dedicated to Yannis Xenakis (June 3, 6 and 8), Franz Liszt (June 12, Herodeion) and Odysseas Elytis (24 June). Musicians from Tunisia and Egypt come in Greece in Technopolis on June 17. Lamia Bedioui from Tunisia, who has taken part in the revolution of jasmine, will participate as well as the members of the Egyptian group El-Tanbura, who were among the demonstrators on Tahrir Square in Cairo. Gustav Mahler’s works will be also presented (June 26 and July 15, Herodeion), and The Daughter of the Storm by Theophrastos Sakellaridis will be presented for the first time since 1923 (June 13-14, Peiraios 260).
This year, fewer performances will be played in Epidaurus, including Hercules directed by Maichail Marmarinos, Medea by Antonis Andipas, Small Dionysus of the National Theatre of Greece and Irini directed by Petros Filipidis.