The emblematic poem “The Free Besieged,” by Dionysios Solomos, comes to life through the voices of the residents of Elefsina, directed by Eleni Efthymiou and with an original score by Sofia Kamagianni, at the premises of the Parking lot.
On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture presents the project “The Free Besieged,” one of the top works by Dionysios Solomos, directed by Eleni Efthymiou, with an original score by Sofia Kamagianni and the participation of the city’s residents. The performance will run for two evenings, on Friday, June 25 and on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at the Parking lot of the Old Olive Mill in Elefsina. Admission is free with entry tickets and a telephone reservation is required.
The poetic composition is inspired by the siege of Messolonghi and the exodus, one of the events that decisively influenced the course of the Greek Revolution. The conversation between the past and the present, the reinterpretation of the historical events that marked the course of the modern Greek state, the relationship between those Besieged and their present counterparts in a modern city with a long history, are some of the themes explored through the site-specific performance directed by Eleni Efthymiou, in collaboration with the residents of Elefsina.
The demands of 1821 for freedom, and the incessant struggle of the people for resistance against any tyrannical imposition, as recorded by Solomos in his incomplete works, remain imperatives—with only slight differentiations—200 years later, within the performance’s interaction with Solomos’ text.
The action is part of the anniversary program of Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture, under the general title “Elefsina and the Revolution.”
Is there perhaps something that unites us all, under a common truth?
Can we ever get rid of the inherent component that divides us, and agree to a common vision and a common action?
What do we need to be deprived of, in order for the words “together” and “solidarity” to become synonymous with breathing?
Here in Elefsina, the city of Aeschylus, of history and the ancients, industry, culture and the barbaric environmental catastrophe; in this modern city, where people from all over Greece and the world share a common place…
A diverse crowd of people, each with their own references and their own experiences, composes the group of the modern Besieged. The words of Solomos’ text echo on their lips, in a narration concerning the recent past, but also the here and now; a relentless present and a future that hovers above us like an inverted question mark.
The Besieged are waiting, preparing and proceeding to a universal conflict against authority, against the besieger, and against everything that limits them and deprives them of life and dignity. And, somewhere in this conflict, they are united, through a common need, in a common fantasy, a common truth—that of the infinite desire for freedom—which is never silenced, even though, in order to find it, we may need to be deprived of our security and comfort, or even of our very lives.
Direction/Dramaturgy: Eleni Efthymiou
Assistant Dramaturg: Maria Vardaka
Stage/Lighting Design: Zoi Molibda Fameli
Original Music Composition/Music Teaching: Sofia Kamagianni
Film Direction: Dimitris Zachos
Costume Design: Danae Elefsinioti
Assistant Costume Designer: Matina Mavragani
Assistant Director: Giannis Varvaresos
Photographs: Karol Jarek
Construction: Komninos Kousieras
Production Manager: Giannis Vagenas
Production/Production Management: Evangelos Konstas – Constantly Productions
With the participation of
actors: Myrto Goni, Dimitris Drosos, Ioannis Mastrogiannis, Theodosia Savvaki, Giannis Varvaresos
the residents of Elefsina: Maria Antoniou, Maria Axypolitou, Grigoris Asimakopoulos, Thanos Verdis, Angeliki Vlachopanagou, Giannos Gavalas, Athins Gavriilaki, Nikos Galanos, Katerina Gkika, Vanessa Glava, Marina Daskalou, Christos Dedeilias, Anastasia Dracopoulou, Nikolaos Drakoulas, Evangelis Zorzou, Vangelis Kakoseos, Panagiota Kakoseou, Thalia Kallianta, Kyriakos Kabourars, Stavroula Kanaki, Froso Karakitsou, Maria Karelou, Vanassia Katsanebaki, Sotiris Katsanos, Kateirna Koliofoti, Giorgos Kordis, Theodoros Korras, Sophia Linardou, Maria Lioura, Stavros Lourdis, Giannis Marinakis, Natassa Meni, Giorgos Mouroufas, Konstantina Bargiota, Konstantinos Prokopas, Nota Plesti, Paraskevi Papadopoulou, Manolis Papoutsoglou, Natalia Routsolia, Marilena Sabani, Katerina Sarentziotou, Kostas Sidiropoulos, Sotiris Sidiropoulos, Zoi Seitani, Evangelis Totsika, Anastasia Tsoli, Maria Tsoukala, Areti Tsoumani, Pavlina Fourkioti, Maria Chavarioti, Stavros Chanas, Maria Charalambopoulou, Evi Chasioti, Maria Christopoulou, and others.
Clarinet: Giorgos Vlachos
Accordeon: Stavros Michalopoulos
Violin: Giannis Mastrogiannis
and the participation of the Philharmonic of the Municipality of Elefsina
Panos Thoidis: G.Cassα
Recording: Noisebox studio
Thanks to the following:
Dimitris Andronis, Theodoros Efstratiadis
“Evrinomi” Day Care Center for People with Mental Disabilities
Association of People with Special Needs of West Attica
Panelefsinian Athletic & Cultural Club
Minor Asia Association of Eleusis Choir
Thriassion Plain Volunteers Association
Polyphonic – Choir / Vocal Ensemble of Thriassion Plain Epirotes
Attica Rehabilitation Center
Direction and association of the 7th Primary School of Elefsina
Venue: Old Olive Mill, Parking lot, Elefsina
Date: Friday, June 25 & Saturday, June 26, 2021
Arrival time: 20.00 | Start time: 21.00
Duration: 70 ‘
Free Admission with entry passes. Telephone reservation required at 210 – 5560126 | Days and hours: Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday, from 11:00 – 13:00. There will be a simultaneous recording of participants’ full names and contact details, so that, in case of a COVID outbreak, the relevant contact tracing can take place.
During all Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture events, all the necessary measures are taken, in accordance with the relevant health protocols, for the safety of both the public and each event’s employees.