Theatre Company Mneme
Theatre Company Mneme was founded by the actor, director and playwright Michalis Virvidakis.
The company appeared for the first time in Athens, May 1992, with four short-length plays of William Butler Yeats, in a unifying performance, in the theatre of the old printing-house of Embros. The plays were: “The Shadowy Waters”, “A Full Moon in March”, “The Cat and the Moon”, and “Purgatory”, translated by Dimitra Papazoglou and Dimitris Giannopoulos. The performance had the general title: “William Butler Yeats – A Vision”. In March 1994, the company presented at the upper circle of Amore Theatre Frank Wedekind’s play “Death and Devil” (Totentanz), translated by Anastasia Karastathi in collaboration with Maria Kyrtzaki and in October 1998 in the theatre of Kykladon Street, the play of Fernando Pessoa “The Sailor”, translated by Michalis Virvidakis and Angeliki Sigourou and edited by Roza Sarli.
CHANIA CRETE YEARS
In May 2001, Theatre Company Μneme moved for the first time its artistic activities from Athens to Chania, Crete, and presented with the actors of the Laboratory of Theatre Education and Dramatic Art of Michalis Virvidakis Harold Pinter’s play “The Lover”, translated by Pavlos Matesis in the “Theatre Opposite the Museum”, Halidon Street 27, a place which was specially adapted to accommodate the performance and its audience.
In 2002 the company restored and moved to an old urban house in the center of the city of Chania, Ipsilanton Street 12, which was transformed into a fifty-seat theatre and which became the basis of its activities. The theatre was named Theatre Kydonia.
Theatre Kydonia was inaugurated on November 27, 2002, with the staging of David Mamet’s “Oleanna”, translated by Lila Troullinou. Actors from the Laboratory of Theatre Education and Dramatic Art took part in the performance.
In May 2003 the company presented Samuel Beckett’s play “Endgame”, translated by Kostis Skalioras, winning the praise of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Culture for the quality of the performance.
On February 17th, 2004, Theatre Company Mneme was granted the State Award of the Union of Theatre Critics, for “its consistently creating in the city of Chania a stable point of theatrical and spiritual reference”. The award ceremony took place in the Athens Music Hall’s (Megaron Mousikis) room of Dimitris Mitropoulos.
In April 2004 the company presented the play of the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, “Before the Retreat”, translated by Vasilis Poulantzas, attracting excellent reviews from Athenian critics.
In February 2005 the company presented Carl Sternheim’s comedy, “Underpants” (Die Hose), translated by Giorgos Depastas.
In June 2005 it presented for the first time in Greece three novellas of Antonio Tabucchi, translated by Antaios Chrysostomidis, under the general title: “Three Unimportant Stories with no Result” in the presence of the author himself at the opening of the play. The company toured these plays in Athens and Heraklion, Crete.
In March 2006 it staged for the first time in Greece Thomas Bernhard’s play “The World-Fixer” (Der Weltverbesserer), translated by Zisis Sarikas. This production was also presented in July in Athens, in the Theatre of Art of Frinihou Street at the invitation of The Athens Festival.
In June 2006, it presented a theatre performance based on a text of the Chanian poet Eleni Marinaki, under the title “The Nights I Descend into Dreams”.
In January 2007 it produced for the first time in Greece a theatre performance based on the novel of Ingeborg Bachmann, “The Franza Case” (Todesarten : Der Fall Franza), translated by Maria Angelidou.
In June 2007 it presented a theatre performance based on several texts of the poet George Manousakis, under the title “Our Dark Basement”.
In February 2008 Theatre Company Mneme presented for the first time in Greece Jon Fosse’s play “And Never We’ll be Parted” (Og aldri skal vi skiljast), translated by Zisis Sarikas and edited by Thomas Thomell.
In June 2008, it presented a theatre performance based on several poems of the Chanean poet Leonidas Kakaroglou, under the title “Tinted Glass”.
In February 2009, it presented for the first time in Greece a theatre performance based on Peter Handke’s play “Underground Blues: a Station Play” (Untertagblues. Ein Stationendrama), translated by Giota Lagoudakou.
In May 2009, it presented two theatre performances based on the writings of the Greek writer and poet Argiris Chionis. The first based on his play “The Message”, and the second, which was presented under the name “Apartment Rain”, based on 32 poems and two pantomimes of his.
In April 2010, it presented for the first time in Greece the first part of Lars Noren‘s play “The Last Supper” (Nattvarden), translated by Kostas Koukoulis and Xenophon Pagalias, edited by Lila Troullinou.
In December 2010, it presented a theatre performance based on the play of the Chanean architect and writer Aristidis Antonas “The Buildings”.
In April 2011, it presented the second version of the first part of Lars Noren‘s play, “The Last Supper” (Nattvarden), translated by Kostas Koukoulis and Xenophon Pagalias, edited by Lila Troullinou.
In November 2011, it presented the second part of Lars Noren‘s play, “The Last Supper” (Nattvarden), translated by Kostas Koukoulis and Xenophon Pagalias, edited by Lila Troullinou.
Between January and March of 2012 the company presented the full cycle of Lars Noren‘s play, “The Last Supper” (Nattvarden), in a single performance lasting 6 hours including three intervals, during one of which a light supper was served to the audience.
In May 2012 the company staged for the first time in Greece John Clancy’s “The Event”, translated by Dimitris Kioussis.
In September 2012, also for the first itme in Greece, a performance of Mr. Pirandello is Wanted on the Telephone (Il signor Pirandello è desiderato al telefono) by Antonio Tabucchi, translated by Antaios Chrysostomidis, was presented in a production dedicated to the memory of the author.
In January 2013, the company devised a theatre performance based on poems by the Greek writer and poet Argiris Chionis with the title “Motionless on the River Bed” and dedicated to this poet’s memory.
In April 2014 the company presented for the first time to a Greek audience Nick Payne’s “Constellations”, translated by Dimitris Kioussis.
In February 2014 they staged Mike Kenny’s “Walking the Tightrope”, translated by Kostis Skalioras.
In April 2014 the company presented on stage a translation by Ioanna Hatzinikoli of Marguerite Yourcenar’s short story “Mary Magdalene or Salvation” (Marie-Madeleine ou le salut) with the actor Rika Sifaki.
In November 2014 the company staged for the first time in Greece “Fishskin Trousers” by Elizabeth Kuti, translated by Dimitris Kioussis.
In March 2015 the company devised a theatrical documentary on “Eleftherios Venizelos in the Greek Parliament in the Spring of 1932” based on original speeches written by the politician and found in the archives of the Greek Parliament. The role of Eleftherios Venizelos was played by Michalis Virvidakis.
In June 2015 the actor Rika Sifaki presented three short love stories by Andreas Empirikos in a semi staged theatrical production.
In Decmber 2015 the company presented for the first time to a Greek audience their production of Anders Lustgarten’s “Lampedusa”, translated by Dimitris Kiousis.
In November 2016 the company staged also for the first time in Greece the play “Four Minutes and Twelve Seconds” by James Fritz, translated by Dimitris Kioussis.
In June 2017 the company presented the well-liked greek play “The Backgammon” by Dimitris Kehaides inaugurating the new open stage of the theatre.
In January 2018 Theatre Company Mneme staged for the first time in Greece “The Destroyed Room” which is conceived and directed by Matthew Lenton and created by Vanishing Point, translated by Dimitris Kiousis. The company toured this play in Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion of Crete.