The scene will be set at the sea caves of Peyia, beside the sunken Edro III, on August 15-18 for the on-site performance of Uniting the Mediterranean Sea. Six actors from six different backgrounds will meet at this stunning location to present us with a breath-taking theatrical world that bridges the Mediterranean and its people.
This theatrical journey, which is under the umbrella of the European Capital of Culture – Pafos 2017 events, began as a project where six actors from six Mediterranean cities were to exchange their unique stories over the course of two years.
The project was conceived and is directed by actor Marios Ioannou, who began travelling to five Mediterranean port cities in 2015. Once there, he met and interviewed locals, collected country-specific material on-site and auditioned, selected and rehearsed with each performer. At the centre of this experience was each actor’s and each country’s particular relationship to the Mediterranean.
In August last year, the performers travelled to Cyprus where they rehearsed and developed their individual material into a common theme. Through improvisation, the actors dealt with themes such as religion, ethnic identity and personal memories. On the basis of these experiences, and of the material that was produced during the rehearsals, Ioannou and his creative team, including artistic director Achim Wieland, came up with the script for the play.
Now, actors from Alexandria, Barcelona, Izmir, Marseilles, Paphos and Tangier will find themselves tied to each other on a stage at the bay of Peyia where they will be shipwrecked. Over the course of days and nights of being thrown together, the six individuals will come face-to-face with a number of questions.
The answers don’t come easily to the young Moroccan dreamer, who fantasises about travelling the world, to the man from Izmir of Albanian origin, who believes in the powers of the sun, to the French bohemian who proclaims he does not believe in love, to the Egyptian from Alexandria who embraces the Koran and his love of One Thousand and One Nights, to the man from Barcelona battling to keep a connection with his fading past, to the Cypriot man struggling to balance his disillusioned ego with his religious beliefs.
With nowhere to run and time ticking on, the castaways will wonder about how each one of them perceives life and death, how their national identity influences their personal narratives, their dreams and their hopes. They will speak to us of their findings and, as a collective front, they will explore the meanings of their common sea and the common homeland.
Ioannou, together with Reda Amrani, Eslam Eissa, Şafak Ersozlu, Raul Moreno Supervia and Nicolas Rochette, will use the shores of Peyia to give us food for thought for four performances.
Uniting the Mediterranean Sea
Theatrical performance directed by Marios Ioannou. August 15-18. Peyia Sea Caves, Pegeia, Paphos. 8pm. €10. Tel: 26-955-166