Broken Memory - La mémoire trouée. Mataroa

  •  Published on: 07/01/2015

The journey of Mataroa, described by Cornelius Castoriadis as “a historical event of a dark period in the modern Greek history, waiting to be written”, will come alive on stage under the direction of Hélène Cinque in November at Theatre du Soleil. It is the first time that Theatre du Soleil opens its doors to a Greek team, granting them its stage, the materials and technical equipment necessary as well as the proceeds from the tickets.

The performance– the initiative of a group of young, Greek artists – is inspired by the testimonies of the passengers of ship Mataroa and, following the performances in France, will fulfill a symbolic journey and return back to Greece in the summer of 2015, revisiting the stops of that first journey, 70 years after the ship’s departure.

In December 1945, following a succession of several diplomatic adventures and delays, French philhellene Octave Merlier, director of the French Institute of Greece managed to charter a New Zealand ship named Mataroa in order to help Greek students, artists and scientists, who had all received scholarships from the French state, to escape the grim Greek scenery before the outbreak of the Greek Civil War, a group of people who would dynamically shape European thought and art. The passengers were mostly poor people with progressive beliefs, who opposed the political situation in Greece and were supporters of the left. For them, studying abroad signified their salvation. Among the passengers were Cornelius Castoriadis, Mimika Kranaki, Dico Byzantios, Manos Zaharias, Kostas Papaioannou, Kostas Axelos, Nikos Svoronos, Nelly Andrikopoulou, Aristomenis Provelegios, Takis Zenetos, Elli Alexiou, Matsi Chatzilazarou, Emmanuel Kriaras, Dimitris Chorafas and many more.


Idea, Research, Organization: Elita Kounadi

Dramaturgic composition, director: Hélène Cinque

Translations: Dimitris Alexakis, Cybele Castoriadis

Research group: Pantelis Dentakis, Ioanna Kanellopoulou, Cybele Castoriadis, Elita Kounadi, Dimitris Daskas

Music: Nikos Kypourgos

Sets: Eva Manidaki

Costumes: George Vafias

Video: Stylianos Pangalos

Lighting design: Vincent Lefèvre 

Actors: Polydoros Vogiatzis, Malamatenia Gotsi, Pantelis Dentakis, Ioanna Kanellopoulou, Cybele Castoriadis, Elita Kounadi, Dimitris Daskas, Tatiana- Anna Pitta, Harold Savary, George Stamos