Ay, Carmela! | Surreal Theater


Theater – Performances in Thessaloniki: The performance “Ay, Carmela!” at the Surreal Theatre

A manifesto against brutality, full of sensitivity and humor. He returns to Thessaloniki for a 2nd series of performances.

After the warm response of audiences and critics in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Rhodes, Ioannina and Kozani, the show Ay, Carmela! returns for a second series of performances in Thessaloniki, at Surreal Theaterfor three performances only.

What can happen when you find yourself on the wrong side of history? And how much are you willing to sacrifice at the altar of (your) freedom? This is the starting point of “Ay, Carmela!”, the multi-award-winning tragicomedy by José Sánchez Sinisterra presented this theatrical season by THEATERES Theater Company of Constantinos Kyriakou and Katerina Bilalis.

It’s about an anti-fascist, strongly allegorical text, whose story takes place during the period of the Spanish Civil War. Protagonists, two actors who, through their adventure, illuminate the collective tragedy of a people plagued by civil strife, the complexity of the human condition faced with pain, collective mutual respect, the dignity of the artist, human sensitivity, as well as the need not to lose historical memory.

Interview Katerina Bilali: “Whoever forgets his past is doomed to relive it”

The danger of historical amnesia has ramifications in other countries that were or are being plagued by a Civil War, including Greece.

All of this is treated with a lot of humor, dark humor, drama and poetry, as in a world still full of conflict, the heartbreaking depiction of love and loss is a poignant testimony to the inhumanity of war.

The intention of the show is to remind that the tripartite Democracy-Freedom-Justice is not a political stance, but a right for everyone.

A manifesto against brutality, full of humor.

Carmela and Paulino are two traveling actors who, in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, entertain the republican troops with their skits. Due to a mistake, they cross into the area controlled by Franco’s nationalists and are captured. They order them to put on, in exchange for their freedom, a show for their troops and include an anti-Republican skit to mock the captured members of the International Brigades who are to be executed the next day.

Carmela, outraged, attempts to overturn this travesty despite the desperate efforts of the faint-hearted Paulino. In the end, will Paulino be able to restrain Carmela, or will Carmela complete her plan and end up being executed?

Director’s note

“This winter season, we decided with Katerina Bilalis, as THEARTES, to present for the second year the play “Ay, Carmela!” by the Spanish playwright Jose Sanchez Sinisterra. An anti-war work, a work against fratricidal civil wars, but above all an anti-fascist work that refers to issues of democratic struggles, solidarity, love, freedom, equality, justice, morality, dignity, courage, respect, but above all it touches on the importance of that the collective historical memory does not pass into the realm of oblivion. A work calling for memory, which uniquely combines the bitter tone of the civil war with a sharp, black humor.

As THEARTES we have as a motto: the Theater is the intersection between reality and desire, it is a post-theatrical area where fiction becomes reality, where everything is possible to happen, because everything can happen in a theatre, precisely because it is a Theatre”.
Konstantinos Kyriakou

They wrote about the show “Ay, Carmela!”

“Two physically and mentally trained actors (K. Kyriakou, K. Bilalis) render the twin, androgynous creatures of Harlequin and Columbine in an excellent and homeopathic way.” (Leandros Polenakis, The Dawn and avgi.gr)

“Beautiful, talented and educated artists, they gave their all in a performance full of energy.”(Kyriaki Petrakou, Emeritus Professor EKPA, Department of Theater Studies)

“The two actors, Konstantinos Kyriakou and Katerina Bilali […] they danced, moved, swept the stage, moved the audience and were rightly applauded. We thank them for their cooperation.” (Anthoula Daniel, periou.gr)

“Every time I see a performance by Konstantinos Kyriakos, I admire the “folk” way in which he transforms in a fraction of a second.”(Dr. Konstantinos Bouras, grafei.wordpress.com)

“The quick direction and the performances of the actors – Katerina Bilalis and Konstantinos Kyriakou -, who acrobat between emotion and laughter, are the trump cards of this show.” (Stavros Xintaras, kontranews.gr)

“A poetic manifesto. You will laugh. You will be moved. You will be troubled. […] Highly recommended.” (Kostas Koulis, keysmash.gr)

“The excellent work of Sinisterra is a powerful opportunity for Katerina Bilalis to unfold the full range of her acting potential. […] I couldn’t imagine a prettier and more erotic Carmela.” (Lena Savva, theater.gr)

“The two actors, Katerina Bilali and Konstantinos Kyriakou, through the intensity of their roles and the ups and downs of their moods, serve in the best way the author’s commentary on the responsibility of art and the artist in troubled times.” (Thanasis Antoniou, zeitgeist.gr)

“She’s worth seeing.” (NK, rizospastis.gr)

“A pair of actors with chemistry and a proven commitment to theater and the professional art of it, presented us with a play of universal meanings and themes.” (Antonis E. Charistos, katiousa.gr)

“In the simple austere setting, the protagonists give another breath to the play, their performances are excellent and intense.” (Chrysoula Zafirakis, Open Mind)

“This is a sensational performance that literally had us hooked.”
(Konstantinos Ioakeimidis, methismenesistories.blogspot.com)

Performance ID

Ay, Carmela!
by Jose Sanchez Sinisterra

Translation – Directed by: Konstantinos Kyriakou
Dramaturgy – Cinematography: Katerina Bilali
Sets – Costumes: Katerina Tsakota
Lighting Supervisor: Konstantinos Kyriakou
Original music: Artemis Matafia
Music Performance – Orchestration – Guitars: Giorgos Patsiotis
Song: Artemis Matafia
Associate director: Lefteris Papakostas
Assistant director: Katerina Parissinou
Make-Up Artist: Oxana Peliuch (Data Type – Atelier de Beauté)
Hair Stylist: Organic Hair Spa by Athanasios
Military Uniforms: Khaki Depot
Promo photos – Trailer: Maria Khourdari
Performance photos: Fani Toumboulidou
Performance video: Nikitas Haskas
Poster Design: [βιβλιοτεχνία]
Promotion and Communication: Nikos Kyriakou
Production: “THEARTES” A.M.K.E.

Katerina Bilali
Konstantinos Kyriakou


► Info

Surreal Theater
Christopoulou 12
(between Iasonidos & Philippos)
Show days and times:
Friday 24 November 2023 at 21:00
Saturday 25 November 2023 at 21:00
Sunday 26 November 2023 at 21:00
Tickets: €15 (general admission), €10 (student, unemployed)
Duration: 90′ (without intermission)
Ticket sales: Sureal Theatre
Information: 6973560432

 The performance is presented under the auspices of the Cervantes Institute in Athens – Instituto Cervantes de Atenas.

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The article is in Greek

Tags: Carmela Surreal Theater


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