Manos Lambrakis, Puerto Grande

Puerto Grande was revealed to me at a time when my “artistic” youth (if you will allow the use of this term just for today, dear friends) was at risk on the one hand, and on the other it had an extreme experience that was at once indomitable and necessary. I owe my physical youth to my family and to Crete, that had me grow up extreme and honest; my artistic youth I owe to the generosity of four women: Loula Anagnostaki, the first to read the manuscript and encourage me over the phone lines between Athens and Berlin about the play’s insolence; Margarita Karapanou, who made me an organic member of the magical world of Stratiotikou Syndesmou Street, where my adolescence came of age; Roula Pateraki, who not only embraced the text’s enthusiasm and suspended words—it’s her own gem of a child—but managed with love and money a team of 14 curious yet brilliant Greek actors; and, of course, Sissy Papathanassiou who honestly and lovingly took aboard Puerto Grande on the maiden voyage of her Analogio. My warm thanks to each and every member of the Critics’ Association, mostly because this nomination triggers me towards one more attempt at creating within me, freely and in a solitary Greek fashion, some order that’s unthinkable in human affairs. Thank you.

M. L.*

*From the playwright ‘s speech in the ceremony for the 2009 Karolos Koun Award for di rect ing a modern-Greek play

The showers in Detention Hospital W. A plastic bucket full of water. Sally enters and sits. God’s “I don’t Know Who” slide is illuminated. Outside, a soldier is singing Dylan’s “Blowing in the wind”. Sally doesn’t know what to say. She takes a letter by Bunker out of her pocket and reads it.

An empty heart
of darkness
it takes courage
to make
those who love to suffer but
what we find
in the other
between his clothes and his soul
is foreign to us
foreign to both of us
Two buckets of water
of some other
and only a little
a little
barely enough
to make
a nail
a nail
Do we die as we live?
(Great Silence.)
A haven Life is a haven
And the next round is the
this utter void (Silence.)
I am sick
I am not inside me
inside me
The stage for an everyday
death is erected behind me
I don’t know whose love I am
I don’t know whose victim I am
God’s “I don’t Know Who” slide is
switched off. The soldier
continues to sing. Sally is crying.

Directed and performed by Roula Pateraki

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