Theodórosz Terzopulosz - fotó: Eöri Szabó Zsolt
Theodórosz Terzopulosz - fotó: Eöri Szabó Zsolt

Theodoros Terzopoulos: ‘We have to make the theatre more revolutionary’

The Guardian had an interview with the world-famous director and Theatre Olympics-founder Theodoros Terzopoulos, who talked about the program series of the 10th Theatre Olympics currently taking place in Budapest, too.

In the interview ‘Europe is in a dangerous place: Theatre Olympics staged against a backdrop of war’ Greek theatre director Theodoros Terzopoulos recalls the piercing sense of hope that led to the staging of the first Theatre Olympics in 1995. The idea was forged somewhat befittingly, in the ancient, sacred grounds of Delphi, where he had invited luminaries of world theatre to a festival of Greek drama.

‘It was the end of the cold war and there was hope that the world would step into a peaceful period,” says Terzopoulos, one of the founders of the Theatre Olympics and chair of its international committee. But at exactly that moment, the Balkan wars erupted. “It made me think about the ancient Greek idea for peace on which the Olympic Games are based. I thought it would be a way to meet each other in the spirit of dialogue, openness and curiosity.’

Almost three decades on from Terzopoulos’s dream of cross-industry communion, the 10th gathering is under way in Budapest, where 400 theatre companies from 58 countries are performing their work until 1 July. It is an international gathering on a mammoth scale: 750 shows across 100 venues, with presences from as far afield as India, Mexico and Japan, as well as eminent UK companies Complicité and Cheek by Jowl in attendance.

Attila Vidnyánszky, the artistic director of the 10th Theater Olympics, is also quoted in the interview:

‘In this situation, I find it exponentially more important to hold on to each other and not let go; we, the people of culture, try somehow to rebuild what is being destroyed and we should not sever all points of connection.’

The interview also mentions how the war appears in the Olimpics: this month, Juliette Binoche starred in a staged reading of The Matter of Light, a French-Hungarian co-production about four young Hungarians in search of meaning in the midst of the Holocaust. And earlier on in the programme, during a performance of Tolstoy’s War and Peace by National Theatre Belgrade, actors stepped out of the bounds of the Napoleonic-era drama to address the audience directly about the possibility of a world without war.

The full interview can be read here.

További cikkek
A Színházi Olimpia hivatalos megnyitója - fotó: 4K Media Studio
Hungary's stages hosted the world's top theatre artists during the 10th Theatre Olympics from April 2023. The genre-rich programme attracted 200 000 viewers and put the country on the world theatre map.
Kutszegi Csaba
The diverse programme of the 10th Theatre Olympics included dance, a special genre of theatre. Among more than 40 performances were classical ballet, contemporary dance, movement art, and folk dance. We asked critic Csaba Kutszegi for his views on the performances.
The founder of the Theatre Olympics, Teodoros Terzopulos, is currently in Budapest rehearsing with the company of the National Theatre of Hungary for the production of Mother Courage and Her Children. We talked about the 10th Theatre Olympics hosted by Hungary, his relationship with tradition and audiences, and also the upcoming play.