Inspired by two stories of Roberto Bolaño
Konstantinos Rigos, the newly appointed director of the Greek National Opera Ballet, made his debut as the founder of OKTANA Dance Theatre (1990) and has since choreographed and directed numerous performances, many of which have toured around the world. The year 1999 marked his first collaboration with playwright Elena Penga. Already noted for her postdramatic plays in the ‘90s, Penga is also an acclaimed writer of short stories (recipient of the Ourani Foundation Award, Academy of Athens, 2012). Rigos and Penga first collaborated on Penga’s play The Emperor’s New Clothes, famously staged at the catwalk of a nightclub and later presented at Roes Theatre (2009). The two artists now join forces to bring Penga’s new play to the stage. Inspired by two short stories by writer Roberto Bolaño, Pornstaris set in contemporary Greece. With its rich, literary language, the play unveils the secret stories of pornstars, the stars of an artificial world full of clichés, a reflection of our loneliness. Refraining from stereotypes and without passing judgment, Penga goes beneath the façade of a faceless industry to shed light to these people’s stories, revealing their quest for an authentic identity, a quest that is at once mysterious and moving.
Lalo, a young man from Peristeri, a rundown suburb of Athens and son of a 1980s Greek porn actress decides to track down Jack Rio, his mother’s partner in adult films when she was pregnant to Lalo. His quest takes him from the kitchen of a German director to a clinic in Italy where he visits a patient under a false name, before ultimately travelling to USA. Inside a bungalow, he finally confronts the man behind the legend, whom Lalo thinks is his father. The characters pursue their individual, troubled destiny. Lalo struggles to cross his personal abyss, seeking answers to existential questions and trying to settle accounts with the past.
I am familiar with the writing of Roberto Bolaño, the Chilean author who came to an untimely end (1953-2003). I am familiar with the eroticism, the mystery and the loneliness pervading his characters. Their way of talking is at once everyday and poetic. Many of them are wanderers, looking for a missing person. I conceived this play after reading two of Bolaño's stories dealing with pornstars; one is about a man, the other is about a woman.
Part of Athens - UNESCO World Book Capital 2018. Supported by Athens Culture Net, founding donor: Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Suitable for audiences 15 and over
With Greek and English surtitles
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