"Elle" (Her) by Jean Genet [Directed by Yiannis Skourletis/ Bijoux de kant]

"French Theatre à la Grecque" - Contemporary Theatre Festival by the French Institute of Greece & the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation

  • Specially Configured Underground Level


  • Duration:70 minutes
From the 6th of May to the 3rd of June 2014
Contemporary Theatre Festival
“French Theatre à la Grecque”
The French Institute of Greece - The Michael Cacoyannis Foundation

“Elle” by Jean Genet
Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7, Thursday 8 & Friday 9 May 2014,
at 21:00

Forerunner of the theatre of the absurd, a prominent and controversial novelist, blasphemous and poetic, ingenious and provocative, teetering daringly on the brink, but always in harmony with his own truth and theory of life, Jean Genet wrote the play “Elle” in 1955.  The work, which discusses matters of power and personal identity, was neither published nor staged while the writer was alive and many believe it to be the precursor to his other provocative play “Le Balcon” which was presented two years later.

“Elle” is a harsh, lyrical work, somber yet ridiculous, based on the mechanism of power and its enticing snares.  A work about ‘self’, the image and their sad in between.  The play is about a photographer, the Pope, his “Holiness”, the eternal muse, she which Genet loved to hate more than any other.  This is why he uses quotations:  it is not Her, but “Her”,  her sanctity and holiness closed up, boarded in and protected.

“Elle” by Jean Genet
Translation to Greek: Asimenia Euthimiou
Direction: Yiannis Skourletis/ Bijoux de kant

Photographs for the program: Orfeas Emirzas, Thomas Arsenis
Video: plays2place productions

Performing: Stratos Tzortzoglou, Polydoros Vogiatzis, Orestes Karydas

Bijoux de kant
Music: Costas Dalakouras
Assistant Director: Electra Ellinikioti
Set design: Yiannis Skourletis, Pericles Pravitas, Dio Liakoura
Movement: Tasos Karachalios
Lighting: Christina Thanasoula
Photo: Panos Michael
Communication Manager: Aris Asproulis

Appropriate for ages 15 and above

“Elle” – Director’s Note

“Elle”, a one-act play written by Genet during the mid 50s about the Pope, the eternal muse, she whom Genet loved to hate more than anyone else. This is why he uses quotation marks: it is not Her, but “Her, her sanctity and holiness closed up, boarded in and protected. These quotation marks are the whole play. A play which balances between light and shadow, the authentic and the manufactured, the body and the clothing.

The Pope invites a photographer to photograph him. The photograph acts as a seal of “sanctity” and proof of “holiness”. Without the icon, without the shrine, without the holy speech and the chanting nobody exists, nobody has a name and nobody is identifiable.

Holiness exists up until the moment it becomes impalpable. When the ‘don’t touch’ concept is abolished, when the holy derrière is stripped naked, when just the hand and not ‘the hand of God’ draws the face, then everything will be reversed. The lowercase slip into capitals and capitals fall into lowercase. Everything is just letters waiting to be mixed up.

A hard yet lyrical play, somber yet ridiculous based on the mechanism of power and its enticing traps and snares. A play about one’s ‘self’, the image and the sadness in between.

Yiannis Skourletis