The Emigrants

  The Emigrants An intellectual searching for freedom of conscience and a worker seeking economic prosperity: both want to escape the totalitarian regime they face at home and in their struggle to make a living they end up sharing a cellar in a Western city. “Though they share the same things,” says the play’s director Laertis Vasileiou, “they don’t have the same outlook. They come face to face with a freedom they don’t know what to do with and end up in conflict, not just with one another, but also with themselves.”

Polish playwright Slavomir Mrozek’s play, “The Emigrants”, has a political message, but its Albanian cast and crew (only the producer and director are Greek) break new grounds for Athenian theatre. “Our priority”, states Vasileiou, “is not just to attract the Greek public, but more importantly, Albanians – that’s why the production is in two languages. The 600,000 Albanians that have lived permanently in Greece for the last ten years have now moved beyond the status of economic migrants: together with their children, they now have a Greek conscience – what remains, is for them to find their identity; a “third identity” that contains both Greek and Albanian.” The Emigrants As a comment on the experience of migration, its political message is not lost on Nikolaos Lambrou who plays the worker: though he stared in over sixty theatrical works in Albania, he has worked as a builder since his arrival in Greece in 1991. Karafil Sena who plays the intellectual, worked regularly for the Tirana National Theatre until economic circumstances and artistic isolation forced him to move to Greece in 1993. The music was written and performed by Migen Selmani, a violinist who played in “Anima”, a quartet that opened the European Union summit in Athens last summer. The show is playing at the Neo Kosmos Theatre until the 11th January. Thursdays and Fridays in Greek and the weekends in Albanian. Leonidas Liambey

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