TONY AWARD (BEST PLAY – 1998)
LAWRENCE OLIVIER AWARD (BEST COMEDY – 1997)
Serge has bought an expensive and very modern painting. It is white with a white background. Marc cannot imagine what has possessed Serge for him to do such a ludicrous thing. The intense disagreement that breaks out between them dismays their neurotic friend Yvan, who desperately attempts to maintain some kind of order. The discussion between the three friends becomes more and more heated until it goes beyond the question of art to focus on nothing less than their own friendship.
Ministry of Education and Culture – Cultural Services
Emergo Cyprus Ltd
Mr. Maurice Sehnaoui (Chairman of Société Générale Cyprus Ltd).
British Airways (Official carrier)
Time Out Cyprus
Performances and Bookings
Theatro Ena, Nicosia, Tel: 2234 8203
10 performances, 11-21 September 2003 (except 15th), 8.30pm
Additional Matinee Performance:
Sun, 21 September, 3pm
Pattichio Municipal Theatre, Limassol, Tel: 2534 3341
1 performance, Wednesday, 24 September 2003, 8.30pm
Written by Yasmina Reza (France)
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Director Penny Loizou
Marc – Andreas Araouzos
Serge – Paul Stewart
Yvan – Demetri Alexander
Set & Costume Design – Melita Couta
Lighting Design – Andreas Christodoulides
Stage Manager – Jen Johnston
THE SUNDAY MAIL
Nothing beautiful was ever created through rational argument
In an ambitious effort to create something fractionally as beautiful as Yasmina Reza’s Art, I will leave out any rational debate in the following text. Simply put, you must see it…
The result is laugh out loud clap hard, and for most who can relate to the intricate workings of a long term friendship, an uncomfortable shifting in your seat…
Alpha square’s production of Art succeeds in bringing these issues to the foreground through headed debate and snide commentary without losing any of the humour or the audience…
“It began with deconstruction”, says Marc in a soliloquy on the rapid deterioration of his long standing friendship with Segre. With the purchase of the minimalist white on white canvas interspersed with fine white diagonal lines, Serge is making a break from his traditional protégé role. Marc’s insecurity of losing his long-term mentor status ensures the deconstruction of their relationship is well underway as the play opens…
And when both appeal to Yvan, their mutual acquaintance, the sparks begin to fly. Yvan is a well-meaning husband-to-be suffering from years of loneliness and psychiatric evaluation. Described ‘as the great reconciler of humanity’, he is alternately belittled and ignored by the others…
But his well-meant interventions and hysterical monologues, especially the ‘stepmother’ one (you’ll know that I mean when you see it), ensure that the dialogue leaps from crisis to crisis, taking in three very opposing points of view, rancour and wit.
The director Penny Loizou, describes Art as a platform for the dynamics of friendship, painting becoming just a point of reference. A well-established actor and director herself, she praises the energy and talent of the cast and crew, including the expertise of set designer Melita Couta: “She visualised my conception of how it should be.” The resulting set consists of stark lines and colours with a minimalist white background, making for a perfect backdrop to the complex issues of modern art.
Penny’s wealth of experience leads Andreas (the delightfully cynical Marc) to confess: “It was a relief to be under her direction.” Paul’s neurotic depiction of Serge’s new love, the “Antrios”, is very believable. The canvas is not seen as just a work of art but a way of life typified by the way Serge meticulously prepares to display the picture… Demetri’s portrayal of Yvan is delivered with eccentricity and understanding…
A talented member of Cyprus’ theatrical set, Andreas is responsible for the self-confessed “ambitious endeavour” which began with the inception of ‘alpha square’. He began the venture with the aim of further enriching English language theatre in Cyprus, bringing together amateur and professional, local and foreign talent. “I think there is an audience for English language theatre here. Theatre needs to be well marketed in Cyprus” he says.
Art is Alpha Square’s first production and the venture appears to be off to an auspicious start. Staged in the intimate surroundings of Theatro Ena, a packed house burst at the seams on the opening night. The group have had three successful nights so far and are planning another seven in Nicosia and one night in Limassol.
By Stefanos Evripidou
The Sunday Mail
14-20 September 2003