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Byron in Greece



Byron in Greece


28 March 2021
4 April 2021
11 April 2021
5 June 2021–31 December 2021

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"Approaching the Greek adventures of Lord Byron by means of the tradition of the Greek folk shadow theatre known as Karagiozis is not an arbitrary choice, as might be imagined, given that the multifarious lord is known to have been among the spectators of a performance of the early, Turkish version of the play in an Epirus coffee shop in 1809. In this new commission of the GNO Alternative Stage, the important shadow puppeteer Athos Danellis uses his cardboard figures to tell the story of Byron’s two visits to Greece (first as part of his youthful grand tour and then in the service of the Greek War of Independence) within the telescoped, dreamlike space-time of the “berdes” (the traditional backlit cloth that acts as screen-stage for the shadow play). The gradual conversion of Lord Byron from a “superstar” Romantic tourist-poet to a conscious philhellene, a critic of Greek factionalism and benefactor of the revolution, eventually gaining the status of a national hero in the Greek popular imaginary, is highlighted through his imaginative absorption by the archetypal world of Karagiozis and enriched by deft references to historical figures such as John Cam Hobhouse, Ali Pasha and Tereza Makri – better known as the “Maid of Athens” from Byron’s poem of the same title that paid tribute to the 12-year-old girl with whom the poet fell passionately in love while lodging in her mother’s house in 1810. "

(Edited description from organiser’s website:

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