I IS ANOTHER by Michael Azar
Life is worth living if you have something worth dying for...
I IS ANOTHER is the title of the play by Swedish academic and playwright Mikael Azar inspired by the life and work of french poet, Arthur Rimbaud. Rimbaud may have given up writing by the age of 21 but he managed to be considered one of the most important representatives of Sympolism and to have greatly influenced modern poetry. His work and life philosophy continued to influence artits like Jim Morrison, Patty Smith, Jack Kerouac, John Lennon, and the Beat Generation in general.
Mikael Azar hands us over a play filled with the strengh of the spirit of Rimbaud, a man who wanted to live free from fear but also free from society’s bounds. The play is not autobiographical but is given breath with the love and admiration of a playwright for the phenomenon Rimbaud had been. The play runs through Ribmaud’s life, from childhood to the last years of his life, in Harar, Ethiopia.
Translation by Aliki Danezi-Knutsen
Director: Aliki Danezi-Knutsen
Sets: Nicos Anagnostopoulos
Costume: Sotiris Georgiou
Light Design: Yiannis Drakoularakos
Movement Supervisor: Nicos Dragonas
Music: Carl Michael Von Hauswolff
Assistant Director: Katerina Latta
Production Manager: Katerina Berdeka
A Syn Epi (+,X) collaboration
In Co-Production with Angereds Theater (Götenbοrg, Sweden)
PREMIERE: October 21th, 2013
In Winter 2014, I IS ANOTHER toured for 4 mounths and was presented in more than 25 cities in Greece and Cyprus.
Review/ To SpirtoTo Spirto
Review “To Spirto” by Elena Galanopoulou
Of the many monologues that we meet every season, this newly launched one, written by Michael Azar, inspired by the emblematic figure of Rimbaud and performed by Yiannis Stankoglou which just premiered at the theater “Ex Machina” seems to stands out.
On one hand, the well-written play of this award-winning writer (who is being presented for the first time in our country), is imbued ideas and attitude of this cool being that Rimbaud was for the thought of the last century. This is not a pure biography. Azar utilizes certain historical elements, while enriching with others of his own, fiction ones, and creates a vibrant, pulsating text which seems to come to life in an ideal way on the stage of ” ExMachina Theatre “, thanks to the cinematically approached inventive and fast paced staging by Aliki Danezi-Knutsen (last year she has directed “The Lives of Others” at Thyseum.)
On the other hand, is the excellent way in which Yiannis Stankoglou breathes life into this personality, proving his interpretive range. In the sisty minutes of the show, and staying all throughout on the stage, he succeeds in giving all the shades of this demanding character. He goes through the young frightened boy, to the curious teenager who experiments in his room in order to find a way to control and confine death (the child naivety is drawn on the actor’s face, not in a scematic but in an underlying powerful way), to the rebellious teenager who strives with all his might to put into practice ideas such as freedom. Then it arrives to the aware writer who fully understands his mission, but at the same time to the disappointed, by the unwillingness of others for substantial change, revolutionary and finally to the withdrawn hermit – thinker .
What if the set looks at first sight very simple and predictable ?(From the ceiling hang some items, key to the development of the story, like a wooden cross, a suitcase, a suit, a glass vase, a picture frame, some books, a pot). But the way in which the action has been staged among them, makes even this simple space scenery look perfect.
The hero’s attempt to exorcise the death that haunts him from very early on and to achieve the ultimate sense of freedom – not only for himself but also for the others – runs the entire play . That’s why in the end the ” New Dizziness ” which is heard by music group “Trypes” seems to give the redemption that the audience and the bare stripped stage need.