Greece ... Europe ... A nation and a continent in crisis ... money always comes first and people are left to deal with the rest.
Into the arena steps Strepsiades. He owes money. A lot of money. And that's because his son, Phiddy, has a penchant for betting and isn't so keen on working. Streps has no way out. At a loss, he has a brainwave: Phiddy can go to Socrates' Academy!!There he can learn the ways of the world, how things work and most of all how to talk himself out of trouble! The perfect solution to a terrible problem. Job done! What could possibly go wrong? ...
Aristophanes meets comic strip in Socrates and his Clouds - !a bawdy, slapstick tale of what happens when ethics and education aren't part of the equation in a society where money makes the rules. Suffused with song and dance, the work is an exuberant but piercing study of the ways in which education and morality define a society in crisis.
This world premiere by award-winning playwright William Lyons is brought to the stage by a team of young, emerging Greek-Cypriot and Greek theatre makers in collaboration with other International Artists. At a time when Greece and Cyprus are coming under unrelenting attack on all fronts, this production acts as an active dialogue between the ancient heritage of the Hellenistic world and contemporary Greek and European cultures.
William Lyons's play Wittgenstein-The Crooked Roads won the START Chapbooks Award 2005 and was presented at Riverside Studios in London in 2011 ('grabs philosophical enquiry by the shoulders and gives it a good shake. This is a show brimming with ideas.' The Londonist - London Evening Standard.) Its companion piece, The Fir Tree and the Ivy, won the Eamon Keane Full Length Play Award in 2006 and has been translated into Italian as L'Edera e l'Abete.
Melina Theocharidou directed the UK premiere of Pamela! The Musical for Lost Theatre One Act Festival ('Clever lyrics by Sarah Underwood, cheeky music by Olivios Karaolides, whirled merrily on in Melina Theocharidou's direction.' Jeremy Kingston, The Times.) and the World Premieres of Elle A Live and Unplugged for the Shaw Theatre and The Hospital Club in London and Södra Teatern in Stockholm ('a beautiful piece of theatre, full of originality' Etta Cascini, Sipario), Princess for the Camden Fringe Festival and STOFF in Stockholm ('Director Melina Theocharidou pulls the whole together with tremendous skill', Camden Voyeur), Enarxis for Satiriko Theatre in Cyprus, Dream for Theatre Underground at Brunel Museum and Red in the Forest at Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab 2012. www.melinatheo.com
Socrates and his Clouds follows Anthony Biggs' production of Frederick Lonsdale's On Approval in April and Marshall and Cole's production of And in The End - The Death and Life of John Lennon in May.
SOCRATES AND HIS CLOUDS by William Lyons inspired by Aristophanes, runs 4 - 22 June, with Press Night 6 June 7.30pm. Performances are Tuesday - Saturday 7.30 pm, Saturday and Sunday Matinees 3.30pm, and extra matinees 13 June and 20 June 3.30pm.
TICKETS £18 (concessions and groups £15). EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT £14 (if booked before May 1). Box office 0207 287 2875 and online at www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk.
For more about the play, go to www.socratesandhisclouds.com or follow it on Twitter @socandhisclouds #SocandhisClouds and Facebook.