The ancient theatre of Milos, restored in 2015, which faces the bay and mountains; the Thiorikia sulphur mines, now abandoned; the Aggeria sulphur mines, one of the largest mines in the world, still in operation: from 11th May to 9th June these three locations in the heart of the Cyclades archipelago, blending civilisation and industry, will host the five European companies who are participating in the first edition of the International Theatre Festival of Milos. Three of the five pieces presented were created for the festival: they are the result of 99 days spent since December 2018 working in residence with non-professional actors from the Adamatas Theatre.
An interactive theatre
At the head of the festival is Solal Forte, a young actor trained at the Simon School, the Florent School and the Paris National Conservatory, from which he graduated in 2017. This 26-year-old actor already has a rich film and theatre career to his name, notably under the direction of Florian Pautasso, Zabou Breitman and François Cervantes.
The festival, of which he is the artistic director, is centred around a reflection on "movement": “As an artist, I want to interrogate the issue of Movement and the relationship with the other: who comes, who leaves and who stays.” The idea is to come together within a friendly and interactive theatre which is oriented towards the audience, to create, on and around the venue, an open space for sharing and exchange, and to renew social ties which have been weakened by the struggles of our era. Solal Forte thus seeks to restore the theatre to its role in the community and to revive this individual and collective power to make change in the world.
Collective and movement
This desire for the collective will be brought to life as soon as the festival opens, on 11th and 12th May, with Rûya, created by French artist Tolgay Pekin and produced in collaboration with eight amateur actors from the island who are immersed in a surreal universe where masks and sculptural shapes play out the theme of movement.
On 18th May this movement will become geographic, in Clean City by Anestis Azas and Podronos Tsinikoris. This first guest show describes the turbulent existences of five migrant women who come to Athens seeking a better future and find themselves living as housewives despite their prior educations, careers and talents.
These different relationships of distance and proximity will be explored in Don’t you see anything coming? (“Ne vois-tu rien venir?”), scheduled for 24th and 25th May and created by Solal Forte, produced from a compilation of texts inspired by the distance between the intimate and the external.
On 1st and 2nd June Transit Cabaret, by the Belgian company Six Faux Nez, will combine, theatre, music and dance to reveal, without using words, the strangeness of the human condition when we forget the necessity of living alongside others.
Finally, The Memory of Myths (“La Mémoire des mythes”), directed by Roman Jean-Elie and inspired by two Greek works, The Murderessby Alexandre Papadiamantis and Lethe by Dimitri Dimitriadis, will complete this exploration of movement on June 8th and 9th by interrogating the place the dead occupy among us. The the festival's third and final work, this show is based on physical research and voice work.
Throughout the festival, the audience will be accompanied along its journey to the ancient theatre by a walkabout performance: I am the concept / pieces falling down (“Je suis le concept / des morceaux tombants”), by the Performance Project company from the Milos Centre for Dance and Theatre.
Support for a new creative scene
Solal Forte and his team – Federico Rinaldi, coordinator, Roman Jean-Elie, director and Nikolitsa Angelakopoulo, assistant director and translator – are not just looking to create a recurring festival. They are also interested in the long-term development of creative residencies, aiming ultimately to develop a broader European network. The European Centre for Young Theatrical Creation was created with this objective in mind: to build a network of European residencies to promote an increasing number of creations, collaborations and co-productions, and to become an international touchstone for young creators.
The decision to place the cornerstone of this theatre that seeks to interrogate the world in Greece is no accident: the team doubtless seeks to go back to the social and political roots of ancient theatre and make the stage a place not only for entertainment but also for discussion and inquiry.
The Milos International Festival receives support from the Institut français.
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