Stage performances of the play Here Sky, a National Theatre of Northern Greece production, directed by Simos Kakalas, came to an abrupt halt in March, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only three performances were given in the full-house Theatre of the Society for Macedonian Studies’ Foyer, before all NTNG activities were put on hold, in conformity with the measures taken against the coronavirus spread. Simos Kakalas can’t help but express his disappointment over the premature suspension of stage performances, especially given the fact that the play had got off to a flying start. Both himself and NTNG’s administration are puzzled over how and when performances could be resumed. In the meantime, Simos Kakalas’ plans for the upcoming season include a collaboration with the Greek Art Theatre in Athens, provided that a green light is given by the authorities.
Aglaja Veteranyi’s autobiographical novel Why the Child Is Still Cooking in the Polenta unfolds the misadventures of an anonymous little girl, who travels from Romania to Western Europe alongside an ambulant circus, where her parents work. The original text explores the inextricable link between language and identity, while portraying, in a blend of realism and fantasy, spiced up with pints of black humor, the unimaginable hardships endured by people deprived of their homeland and constantly faced with animosity, in every step of their endless wandering. The title Here Sky, selected by Simos Kakalas, points to the words of the little girl, who falls asleep picturing the sky, as its infinity offers her a transitory relief from the earthly ordeal.
Simos Kakalas, delivering once again a masterclass of innovative inspiration, while displaying audacity in his directing, assigns the role of the key narrator to a human-like doll, given a breath of life and the gift of motion by five different actors, who mold a complex and tangible character, endowed with feelings and soul. Through the inspiration artifact of the humanized doll and the use of mask, drawing from the arsenal of physical theater tradition and conferring a co-narrative status on the musical accompaniment, Kakalas shatters all stereotyped conventions and crafts a world of joyful mourning and sweet sorrow. A world that merges the most attractive contradictions, transforming every inch of space and every fraction of time into a pulsating experience of methexis.