On a miniature stage, the bloody myth of Procne and Philomela unfolds like a fantastic tale. Like chess players, two actors dictate the movements of five characters under the influence. But under whose influence? Of fate, of course. Pantelis Dentakis turns The Little Girl in the Deep Forest, a story adapted by Philippe Minyana from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, into an interdisciplinary show made up of theatre, micro-sculptures, video installations, and a terrifying musical accompaniment. The story unfolds over several levels of metaphorical and visual meaning, from the infinitely small to the infinitely large, between inanimate objects and the living, between lived experiences and projections. With its aesthetics borrowed from horror films, the work of the Greek director explores the relationship between the human and its own finiteness, as well as the stratagems we use to try to master the uncontrollable. And not without humour, he quotes a Greek proverb which argues for the greatest humility in our arrogant and manipulative society: “When mortals make plans, the gods laugh.”
Born in Besançon in 1946, Philippe Minyana has written about forty plays, among which Chambres (Chambers), La Maison des morts (The House of the Dead), La Petite dans la forêt profonde (The Little Girl in the Deep Forest), as well as opera librettos and radio plays broadcast on France Culture and France Inter. He has also worked as an actor and director, and was associate author with the Théâtre Dijon-Bourgogne from 2001 to 2006.
Summary of Ovid's myth In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Procne is married to Tereus, the king of Thrace. After the birth of her son Itys, she wants to see her sister Philomela. Gone to Athens to fetch her, Tereus, captivated by her beauty, rapes her, cuts her tongue out, and locks her up in a sheep pen, before telling his wife that her sister died during the journey. Philomela decides to warn her sister by weaving a tapestry that tells of her ordeal. To avenge her, Procne has her sister brought to the palace, where they kill Itys, dismember him, and have him cooked and served to Tereus. When Tereus calls for his son, Procne tells him “Your son is with you,” upon which Philomela appears and throws Itys’s head onto the table. Blinded with rage, Tereus tries to pursue the fleeing sisters, but they turn into birds.
With Katerina Louvari-Fasoi,Polydoros Vogiatzis
Text Philippe Minyana Translation Dimitra Kondylaki Direction Pantelis Dentakis Assistant direction Yorgos Kritharas Sculpture Kleio Gizeli Video and lights Apostolis Koutsianikoulis Stage design Nikos Dentakis Costumes Kiki Grammatikopoulou Music Stavros Gasparatos in collaboration with Yorgos Mizithras Photography Domniki Mitropoulou
Surtitles powered SuperTitles.gr English translation Ioanna Papakonstantinou Technical management Panagiotis Fourtounis Communication Yeorgia Zoumpa
Production Les Visiteurs du Soir, Black Forest, Polychoros KET, Neos Kosmos Theatre With the support of the Institut français de Grèce