Stathis Livathinos

Casanova / Don Juan
The Romantic Wandering

A performance built upon a poetic parallel between Lord Byron and Marina Tsvetaeva, both of whom were inspired, a century apart: the former by the mythical figure of Don Juan and the latter by the historical figure of Casanova. Byron began writing Don Juan in 1818 while in self-exile in Italy. After approaching this mythical Don Juan in a brand-new manner, he abandoned the work unfinished in 1823, as he started to become increasingly involved in the Carbonari revolutionary society and later the Greek War of Independence. About a hundred years later, in the tempestuous post-October Revolution years, Tsvetaeva wrote The End of Casanova in Moscow, last part of her play Phoenix, shortly before she departed for Berlin in self-exile.

In director Stathis Livathinos’ new production, the voices of the two great poets meet, illuminating various questions, from romantic wanderings and a constant sense of looking back to the time that passes by and fades away to the issue of exile, the other face of this wandering. Both texts were composed in turbulent times; the sense that something is coming to an end is inscribed in their core.

For this production, Livathinos collaborates with his regular team of actors, theatre researcher and translator Elsa Andrianou for the translation of Tsvetaeva’s The End of Casanova, and poet and translator Giorgos Koropoulis, translator of Byron’s Don Juan. Both of these unique classics are presented in Greek for the first time, in rhyming verse, promising us a highly creative stage work.