Leandros Polenakis

Ali Pasha’s Price

Directed by Dimos Avdeliodis


Leandros Polenakis ingeniously and vividly mocks the ‘price’ and exploits of Ali Pasha, subtly castigating the financial hardships and political upheaval that many Greeks are experiencing today, all the while paying tribute to the memory of Andreas Andreadis, a Professor of Financial History at the University of Athens and to Giannis Mourelatos, the shadow puppet player of Karagiozis.


Ali: Now that everyone’s abandoning me, I want to at least salvage my treasures – and dedicate them to some greater purpose. That’s all that’s left for me to do, now that I feel I’m going to die soon. So, listen to me closely. You will take whatever I possess, cross the sea to Italy, and successfully invest this money that I have. Make sure interest is gained, and that profits multiply… and when in time the Greeks form their own government, as many predict they will: then you’ll come back to Greece and set up a National Bank with my treasures as capital. I’ll exact a terrible revenge on the Greeks who betrayed me. They will free themselves from the Turks –only to become slaves to the bankers.

Leandros Polenakis was born in Athens in 1945. He studied at the School of Law, University of Athens, and in Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris). He is Professor in the Department of Communication, Media and Culture at the Panteion University of Athens. Since 1978, he reviews theatre in a regular column for the newspaper Avgi. Polenakis has translated classic texts and modern writers from four languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian), as well as ancient Greek dramatists. His work has appeared in leading academic and literary journals. He has also published four books poetry and prose. In the past he has taught in the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Patras, and currently teaches in other drama schools.

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