Readings PIIGS 2014


In the play Στεγη (‘Roof‘) by Maria Tranou the humour is extremely black, and the situation and language flee realism to take refuge in Beckett. The reader does not know exactly what is going on in the house of this Greek family. The story is dislocated, just like the characters, who are also dislocated by food and vital deficiencies they are suffering. The thoughts “jump” of the characters correspond to the lack of logic narrative in use. Even so, violence and degradation are relentless making their way.

AuthorMaria Tranou

Maria Tranou studied Writing for the Stage and Broadcast Media at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. Her plays include Cows, (Theatro tou Neou Kosmou, Athens, 2007), Rebirth (Heraclion City Walls, Crete, 2009) New Dad (Battersea Arts Centre, London, 2010), Îœammal, love, (staged reading by the Factory Theatre, 2010) and scripts for Dimitris Fotiouâs online works Dystypia and This is Your Home Now. In 2006 she was awarded the Greek Ministry of Culture 1st prize for writing Where Liromions Grow, a play for children. Published work includes two poetry books (Mandragoras Publishing House, 2008 & 2013). Interview with the author …

1.How did the idea of writing this play come to you?

There is not a single Greek I have met (this definitely excludes the upper echelons as they inhabit a different universe internationally anyway) who will not admit to a constant feeling of being severely violated, more degradingly so during the last few years. Any sense of hope or prospect of some sort of future or even present has been violently extinguished. I needed to show how organic, incessant and ruthless this degradation is and more importantly how distorting its effects are on our essential humanity. Because a financial crisis, be it real or a construct, is one thing, but what it does to people and their human values is even more disturbing. Internalising the we-are-good-for-nothing-propaganda, facing a state that in all its dealings considers citizens as guilty of still surviving, only adds to how suffocating the current condition is to any human being. The crisis manifested itself by the stripping off of possessions and basic standard of life but continued its effect, via the always classic, but so well-orchestrated “divide and conquer” rule to a splitting of society into scared individuals and ultimately to a stripping of minimum human values. At the same time, luckily enough, there is memory of times where our basic decency was not perfect, but definitely there, as an intrinsic part of our lives. This is where the characters in my play come from.

2.-To what extent do you think that reflects the current situation in your country?

What I described above is the mechanism that I have been witnessing throughout these years, though its seeds were there all along. In stages it has been like this: media spreading worry and eventually terror as to the country’s future, the official state relaying and investing on the all-important central european message of how “bad” we have been, media highlighting how overprivileged some professional groups have been, people getting more and more the sense that their enemy is basically everyone else. Under this widespread fear and utter mistrust of any other person, the average person now acts as if the enemy is someone next door. The mere experience of existing in this country has blindsided us to the fact that the enemy might be above us, not next to us. When you take these factors into account, this play is hardly a surrealist take on what is going on.

3.-How would you define your style of writing?

I have come to realise that every time a new content comes up with its mysteriously to me preordained form. Every time the content somehow dictates its style of preference, it is like a condition I have to follow up every single time I start working on a play. So all I can say about my style is that it always strives towards serving and highlighting the content to its best effect. Having said that, if I had to use the usual terms, I’d say realism does not cut it for me, I’d even go as far as saying that realism is not enough for a theatre that is interested in social change. It has been my impression that most times, deliberately or not, realism works as a reaffirmation of our inherently violent bourgeois existence, comforting the audience to a point that is ideologically questionable. I need to be unsettled by the theatre, not reassured that my life is better than that of the fictional characters. I’d rather feel more alive and aware than before so this essential need informs and shapes whatever I write in any medium or format.

DirectorAntonio Morcillo

Director and playwright educated at the Institut del Teatre of Barcelona and participated in various seminars taught by Martin Crimp and Yves Lebeau, among others. Among his writings include Bangkok (SGAE theatre prize 2013), Dow Jones (Vallromanes Theatre, 2012), Al Hoyo(published in the theatre magazine ADE 2009), El Tiovivo (published by the AAT and premiere at the 32nd Sitges International Theatre Festival in 2001 and Tantarantana Theatre, 2004), Firenze (published by Arola editors 2003 and staged reading at Sala Beckett 2008), En experimentos con ratas (SGAE theatre prize 2007), Despedida II (SGAE theater prize 2001) and Los Carniceros (Marques de Bradomín theater prize 1998), among others.

Among his directions are included: Dow Jones (co direction with Beatriz Liebe, Teatre Municipal Vallromanes 2013), Hipòlit o la mirada d’Hipòlit (Teatre Municipal Vallromanes 2011), A dues bandes (Caixa Forum auditorium 2010), Aoi (Caixa Nova, Vigo 2010) among others.

He is currently the artistic director of the promotional platform of dramatic authorship “perpetuum” ( and teacher of writing and oral skills at The National Distance Education University (UNED).

Together with Rosa Moliné and Beatriz Liebe is the creator of the Festival PIIGS and its organization. He directed the staged reading of the play Teulada of the greek author Maria Tranou.



María Ramírez

Melisa Fernández

Laura María González

María Rodríguez

Joan Pascual


Marta Torras

Marta Roigé