Attis Theatre: Nora - photo: Johanna Weber
Attis Theatre: Nora - photo: Johanna Weber

Nora: Present continuous hell

Get inside a woman’s head and, by understanding her, unravel the mystery of how the world works. Theodoros Terzopoulos, whose play Nora (Attis Theatre) opened the MITEM festival as part of this year’s Theatre Olympics in Hungary and which has resonated around the world, proved once again to be a master of this art. 


This is not Ibsen’s Nora, but Nora by Theodoros Terzopoulos. The Norwegian playwright’s groundbreaking play is here stripped down to an “unlove triangle” composed of Nora (Sophia Hill), her husband Helmer (Antonis Myriagkos) and her creditor Krogstad (Tasos Dimas). 


Most productions heroized Nora or painted an image of the victim, while claiming to put the heroine – a collective image of women – first. Theodoros Terzopoulos did not argue or argue with a string of previous versions of this play. This director-author, who has subordinated the huge antique drama to his directorial gift, has not needed to prove anything to anyone for a long time.


The play unfolds in a space of black and white revolving door-windows (setting installation: Theodoros Terzopoulos). We observe life behind closed doors, revealing the imaginary nature of everything that is put out in public. Imaginary family happiness, opinions, declared thoughts, morals, religion etc etc. Behind the bright side, however, there is always a dark side, behind the good intention – hell. Infernum continuum sounds from the stage. It means in Latin. Continuous hell. I would like to add – Present continuous hell. Sophia Hill, who brilliantly performed Jocasta by Jannis Kontraphouris directed by Terzopoulos, reaches lofty heights of acting and magnetism in Nora. She performs the female solo not just with her voice but with her whole body, every gesture and facial expression. Here even an actress’ hair becomes a means of artistic expression. There is nothing casual or improvisational here. Everything is subject to the strict actor’s corporeality, which is at the heart of the Theodoros Terzopoulos directorial method and school. At the same time, the actors are certainly not crammed into the seemingly compressed and bottomless, if you think and feel about it this way, space of the director’s idea…

Written by Emiliia Dementsova

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