In the Kingdom of Cyprus. A theatrical satire of 300 years of Frankish ruling, 1985

10 minimum

Giorgos (Cyprus) Neofytou

A peculiar – as far as the theatrical form is concerned – play, that reclaims the revue model (but doesn’t have the genre’s short-term, ephemeral character). Two characters act as narrators; the (western) Troubadour who describes the political events as recorded in the official historical writings, and the Cypriot folk-poet who tells the story from the people’s perspective. The play attempts to ridicule the games of power and economic exploitation played in the name of supposedly high purposes, such as the Crusades.

The mood is satirical. The text – at times in verse and rhyming and others in prose – is interspersed by lyrics written over music taken from the Cypriot folk tradition. The narrative and dialogue’s fifteen-syllable meter alternates with lyrics whose meter follows the familiar melody, upon which the insertion song is based. Humorous or bitter allusions to contemporary historical reality permeate the play.

 

There are approximately 50 characters in the play: kings, queens, merchants, religious leaders etc. The playwright suggests a plan for casting so that the play can be staged with ten to eleven actors, in such a way that the same actor plays all the corresponding roles (for example, all the kings) “so that, by not changing the actor, it becomes obvious that all the various conquerors are essentially the same,” as he notes in the introductory stage directions.

ESSAYS

GIORGOS NEOPHYTOU'S THEATRE

[Translation: Elena Delliou]

 

Giorgos Neophytou is an evidently a political playwright. The ...