At the age of 19 he begun to watch one theatrical play per day starting with “Suburbia” at the “Epi Kolono” theater. At the age of 34 he won the “Dimitris Horn” award for his performance as Josefino in Mario Vargas Lliosa’s “La Chunga”. Dimitris Lalos, an essential member of the NAMA theatrical group, believes in those stories that can change your reality, even a little. He loves super heroes and of course, you can find him at the “Epi Kolono” theatre – his second home – every day.
What does the team Nama ‘manifesto’ say?
We want to make theatre in a way that it can intervene without being marginalized. We strive to influence without getting influenced ourselves and, in the same time, we want to get influenced in order to be able to influence others.
Do you run the risk of becoming didactic when dealing with theatre that way?
The most important thing for us is to avoid having this kind of attitude and I believe that we manage that through the plays we choose to perform and the multi-culti style of our team. We always try to adopt a more global perspective, avoiding to point fingers at anybody.
Are you interested in stories which can have a “shelter” effect?
I think that plays with a comforting effect give a false sense of safety and conjure up fast-fading emotions. The audience, when leaving the theatre, will start feeling the same way as before. We don’t have false impressions that our performance will change things, but our goal is to make the public leave the theatre feeling a little bit changed. Sometimes we achieve that, other times we don’t. In any case, we don’t want them to leave enraged. I think we already deal with a lot of brutality.
How can one avoid ‘big words’ and banalities?
I guess one can’t. Clichés might not be that accidental. Maybe words like: ‘Let’s move on’, ‘Let go’ or ‘Time for new things’ are necessary. They give us courage. Some words prepare you for what is about to come and this happens because probably there is a constant repetition of things. There are some plans that seem to work and nature uses these patterns over and over again. Around us, we find certain predicaments that have occurred in the past as well and will take place again in different forms in the future… War, famine, love will come again. This is called life.
Which heroes do you find more charming?
Superheroes (laughs). I believe that our actions are those that make us cowards or heroes, not our very existence. When the moment comes, you will become a hero.
Where do you think lies the essence of heroism?
Everyday symbolic heroic acts or acts of virtue can transform you into a hero. To me, a hero is the one who picks up a piece of litter from the floor when no one can see him.
Ιf you were in front of 15.000 people and you had to tell them only one story, what would that be?
I would like to give them a brand new picture that some people might have never imagined before. For instance, it is said that nuts are hard to digest. You can make some- one consider it as a fact, by helping them imagine that every nut has the possibility of becoming a tree. So, with this example, when one leaves the theater, he is taking a brand new piece of information with him that could benefit him. Maybe the next time he needs the power of a tree, he can just eat a nut.
Which part of the story matters to you the most?
I am mostly interested in the way one could recount a story. The angle from which one chooses to narrate it. There are so many ways to tell a story and this is what intrigues me the most in this job.
Interview: Danai Dragonea
Photos: Nikos Katsaros