…“If you are not afraid of blisters from the nettles, come take a walk through the narrow path that leads to the ward and see what is happening inside.”…
Yolanda Markopoulou's play is inspired by the novel Ward no. 6, one of Anton Chekhov's capital pieces of literature, which is being staged for the first time in Greece in the excellent translation by Aris Alexandrou.
Written in 1892, in the period between his early and mature theatrical plays, the novel possesses a rare – one could say cinematic – force.
Ward no. 6, one of the most daring, harsh and rebellious texts of his time, broaches rather unusual themes for the 19th century and beyond. Stemming from personal experience of “doctor” Chekhov and using his omnipresent insight as a tool, the novel dissects the bleak reality, which is not really that far removed from that of mental institutions of the 20th century.
The relationship between individual and society, personal responsibility and social adjustment, the tense relationship between theoretical approach and lived experience, society automatisms, intolerance of diversity and the legalization of current suppression mechanisms are some of the themes addressed in this play.
Ward no. 6 observes minute by minute – and always through Chekhov's humor – the course of doctor Ragin’s life starting from his full of expectations and dreams medical mission and leading to his ethical and finally physical extinction due to personal resignation. With the inciting incident being an encounter with an incarcerated psychiatric patient and the triggering of a forgotten need for human communication beyond society's conventions, doctor Ragin’s becomes a victim of the all powerful social structure that does not excuse diversity and gets committed to ward no. 6.
Director: Yolanda Markopoulou
Adaptation - Dramaturge: Elsa Andrianou
Set & Costumes design: Alexandra Siafkou – Aristotelis Karananos
Lighting Design: Alekos Anastasiou
Music: Lampros Pigounis
Movement: Pauline Huguet
Hair Design: Talkin' Heads
Set & Costumes Assistant: Dora Tourva
Production Assistants: Tzela Christopoulou
Photography: Elina Giounanli
Identity Design: Sakis Stristidis/FRONT
Production Managers: Elina Fessa, Constantina Georgiou
Production: Polyplanity Productions