Angelos Antonopoulos. (Text in greek).

“Eventually there is not a more revolutionary act than telling the truth”

An interview that the famous actor Angelos Antonopoulos gave us in ILISIA Theater on the
occasion of the theatrical monologue “Marx in Soho”.

Q: Mr. Antonopoulos, first of all I would like to thank you for participating in our online channel. Note that we are at the ILISIA Theater where a very specific theatrical play is being performed for the fifth continuous year, for which wewill talk about, but before that I would like you to tell us a few words about your great artistic career to date.

AA: At first of course I have to thank you too for hosting me. What can I say now? I reach this characteristic point of my life, the important thing in my life, after half a century of work in theater, film and television. You realize how emotion-charged I am and mainly because at this characteristic and decisive moment of my life I play this important work, the “Marx in Soho”. It is a great piece of work, itis very communicative and I feel that every night for so many years that I communicate with all these people who come to watch it. But mostly I feel emotional because I communicate with young people. It’s enough to say that this show has been performed many times in university auditoriums and while I was a guest. And there the show was highlighted. Because you do realize that I felt the vibration of this generation. But I still haven’t answered your question. You realize that from a major theater of a big “magician”- teacher, Karolos Koun, and after I have served all kinds of theatrical speech. Classical theater and boulevard and neoclassical, that filled my soul every time and certainly I felt a boundless fullness serving theater in such a way. And certainly now we have to talk about cinema that has offered me great memories and great moments. As for example with Takis Kanellopoulos, with Vassilis Georgiadis, with Dinos Dimopoulos, with Dalianidis, with Andrew, etc. Great servants of this cinematic narration. Until television came which I need to say that it really impacted my life. Starting with the “Unknown War”, after we had the “Pantheon”, the “Rainbow”, the “Bridal Rehearsal”, the “Great anger”, etc. Major projects of a really broad appeal. But unfortunately sometimes we are forced to do works that do not withstand criticism. Perhaps because these moments of our lives aresomewhat difficult and we are forced to give in.

Q: Let's talk about the “Marx in Soho”.
ΑΑ: I am very happy about what I do now, for “Marx in Soho” and I must tell you that the ticket costs 12 Euros just because of my ideology. So we can open the doors to the world.

Q: Even cheaper than a student discount.
ΑΑ (smiling): Yes exactly.

Q: Tell us a little about the project themes.
ΑΑ: Howard Zinn, this great writer essentially seeks with this project his first theatrograph. Of course through a “left-consciousness” and this is an added stimulus that one left winged American thought to bring Marx among us, namely
to make Marx ask for an hour free from the other world to make complaints. And his complaints are that “what is applied and what happens is not what I wrote. My ideas were distorted and the socialist regimes eventually recommended unions of fascism and far from the socialist ideology”. So this “passes” to people and particularly to the troubled youth. It is important that Marx speaks this timeto the world without making propaganda. He speaks to a very broad audience regardless of political parties. I find it very touching that people of various political beliefs come to my dressing room to express their emotions. Howard Zinn is very resourceful with this project. This work is not an essay. It is a play. With an absolute emotional function and sometimes heartbreaking. This anguish though is more often overturned by an absolute catalytic humor. Of course there is an ideological state for which it was mainly written. But I must say that apart from my effort and the effort of Howard Zinn for this show, I have to emphasize and focus on the contribution of Athanasia Karagiannopoulou who directed the play. A woman artist with great imagination, with a load of ideas and well educated.

Q: I want to ask this. This work is a monologue that lasts about half an hour. I have been said by several actors but I've also read that especially a monologue should be small, essentially both to avoid tiring the viewer and for the actor himself. However I have heard that here in this theater when the people from the audience leave after the show, they have not realized how the time passed. What is this “magic” that makes this monologue “behave” like that?

ΑΑ: AA: The theatrical speech is masterfully written. That’s it. This is exactly the energetic power both for me that I'm on stage and for the audience. It is a continuous renewal of interest and finally the play ends without realizing it and without tiring the viewer at all. And they often tell me: What a pity, we could watch some more. Monologue, yes. But not boring. And above all not boring for me. And since it is not boring for me it is certain that it will not be boring for the viewer either.

Q: Has it ever happened before in your career to play such a monologue?
ΑΑ: No, never. No, it was my first time and I feel blessed. And even when I read it, I was thrilled and I gave it to the director to read it and tell me her opinion. She told me: “Okay, let's put it up for a dozen performances.” So imagine that today we are talking about the 5th year of performances. We couldn’t even think about it. This success and popularity. I performed at the auditorium of the school of philosophy with Howard Zinn in the first seat. You understand my emotion and his. So I told him that we thank him for this redemption that he gave us, for this signal of optimism that he sent us every night at every showfrom the other side of the world.

Q: Nevertheless how does an actor feel in this “loneliness” of the monologue? When he is alone on stage. With no support from anywhere. It is probably the hardest theatrical experience for an actor.
ΑΑ: Exactly as you say. It's really hard. You must defeat this “beast” you have before you. And the “beast” is the audience that you have to keep its attention. Because even if you relax just for a moment, even if you give just for a moment up of your presence and your power, then you lose the audience. There must be “vibration” during the show. And this indeed is not easy.

Q: Mr. Antonopoulos, you previously talked about the audience. We are currently on the stage of the theater and in front of us we have the empty seats that will soon be filled with the audience that loves you and will come to honor you once again. So what are your feelings about all of this happening every time you give a performance?

ΑΑ: I must tell you that what creates the glory of the show is the communion. And in this performance the audience’s communion absolutely exists. So that, when you “commune” it every night and when the viewer also “communes” it every night, for me this is the vindication of my decision to put this play up.

Q: Thank you very much and we are always at your disposal for anything new in the future.