For many people unaffected by it, the debt crisis in Greece is a distant, vaguely distressing situation, failing to provoke public outcry due to a misapprehension that it is somehow very uniquely Greek, and surely entirely the fault of the Greeks. Multi-skilled performers Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas challenge that view with their show
The stylish, contemporary way in which that argument is presented will lead you to a better understanding of Greece’s plight.
Co-produced by Fellswoop Theatre, Eurohouse dissolves the complexities of an economic and political crisis into an arresting performance. Distorting the distinctions between actor and character, the pair examine the imbalance of power that existed (and still exists) within the European Union, through a mirroring of that imbalance between two friends. As this parable continues, real events are also symbolised in various humorous, angry, and ultimately quite disturbing ways.
The cornerstone upon which this show is built is tone and atmosphere. The performers chat with us ‘before’ the piece as if we’re old friends, welcoming us into the performance. By establishing their French and Greek identities while also establishing the absence of a fourth wall, humour is brought to the blend. For the first 15 minutes we laugh consistently. This makes the transition to examining the problems of the European Union even more stark. Later, the piece becomes rather dark. The same events occur, but suddenly we aren't laughing anymore. It is no coincidence that Lesca talks to us constantly, while Voutsas is largely silent. The ultimate impact of having a likable Lesca representing the irresponsible central European banks and governments is that we see the selfishness of their approach. They want to create a wonderful union for European nations, but cannot abandon their primacy and dominance. Meanwhile Greece stands by, failing to resist until the last second, until it's almost too late.
If all this is fascinating, then perhaps it's a shame that the direct link to reality is made so late, at the end of the show. The danger of this mirroring parable approach is that it doesn't take into account the true complexity of the situation. That's partly the point, but no separation is made between the banking sector and the general nations of central Europe. Equally, Greece is admonished only for not resisting, while banks are blamed entirely for lending the state the amounts they borrowed. The piece does best in exploring the hypocrisy of central European nations within the EU, and how Greece’s pride and dignity has been assaulted by this. The stylish, contemporary way in which that argument is presented will lead you to a better understanding of Greece’s plight.