Six actors are on stage.
They dance, as if they were participating in an absurd competition.
They do playback singing, drink or sit in the chairs talking about their wishes and their secret dreams.
From time to time, they talk on the microphone, trying to remember their journey through Europe, a lost love, the days of a European war that is still going on.
Late Night takes place in a ruined dance hall, where everything is falling apart.
… At the tower of Notre Dame. There, where you gave me your love. There, where you made me love you. That’s where I’m still waiting for you. But time… time, time… that destroys everything, took you away from me, my lost love. And now I am alone and in love there, where you gave me your love. At the tower of Notre Dame. From here, I can see the whole city. At the tower of Notre Dame. It is from here that I will jump. For you…
The day the zoo was bombed, all the animals escaped into the city. We were chasing them. We were chasing giraffes which knocked their heads against the traffic lights. It was a game for us. That is what I remember from those days ~ In those days, you could read on the walls of the centre of Amsterdam:
THE PREVIOUS LIFE IS OVER, IDIOTS!
Maria is watching the couples dancing. She is thinking of the snow. She thinks how nice it would be if it would snow in the room. If, suddenly, the snow would fall on Christos’ shoulders, on Fidel… On Angeliki and Sophia’s hair. Maria is thinking that she would turn into a sitting snowman.
If it would snow now, a strange silence would fill the room. Breaths would freeze. The air would be purified. It would be a supernatural phenomenon for our lives. All of a sudden, everyone would be more optimistic.
Yiorgos is watching the couples dancing. He is thinking that, sometimes, time stops… And sometimes, time is without end. He will go on thinking about that for the next 5 minutes.
In 5 minutes, Sophia will remember something that she would rather forget ~ There’s no way out! There never has been! ~ Now, Sophia is thinking what socialism is. A manual for a life we cannot live ~ Sophia is thinking that the conflict with history is inevitable. Now, democratic hope is over ~ We cannot revive old habits, restore the old policies. That is what Sophia is thinking about ~ In 5 minutes, she will be crying ~ Yiorgos is thinking that capitalism has some very positive elements, such as the hectic pace of life ~ Rapid growth, the free market…
Now, they are all thinking of the houses that disappeared under the sea. Now, they all think that they are sick of our lives. And the lives of those coming after them. Now, they are all thinking what the use of memory is.
To liberate one from the past.
And from the future.
Now, they all know that, for as long as the music lasts, they have nothing to worry about.
We feared nothing ~ We believed that suicide was morally unacceptable and that is why we never put a gun to our heads. We believed that when the war would end, we would have children and live the rest of our lives in the countryside ~ We blew up the Microsoft building and our school. We claimed responsibility.
I do not know whether I’ve lost you because everything collapsed or whether, everything collapsed because I’ve lost you ~ You talk about economy, about the way the past lives on in the present, about ships when they hit icebergs and about how men and women really die ~ We were going to the places where our friends had been killed…
We loved this world more than it deserved. For this, we have been afflicted with eternal melancholy. We promised ourselves to no longer fall in love because we found it disgusting. We kept our promise. We realised that only terror could save humanity. One morning, we looked in the mirror and realised that we were completely wrong. We were right.
The only thing we loved was destruction. Little by little we became what we despised ~ And then, it was January. The barricades began to fall one by one. We didn’t care about the war anymore. We didn’t care about anything
We have never learned…
Text from Late Night, by Blitz.
Photography by Vassilis Makris, 2012 performance at Onassis Cultural Centre (co-producer).
Music is integral to Late Night; listen on Blitz website. Then read again.
*Blitz theatre group was formed in 2004 in Athens by three young, talented actors: Aggeliki Papoulia, Christos Passalis and Giorgos Valais on the lookout for new different patterns of expression, driven by their need to establish a groundbreaking motif of collaboration whereby all members are equal throughout the production process. Their work seeks to voice their concern about the economic and social meltdown Greece, Europe and the whole western world is currently experiencing and, as such, very relevant.
A rare pleasure to watch a solid, stimulating Greek performance in Brussels.
Bozar, 07 February 2014. In the context of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union.