Yorgos Karamalegos brings it Home to The Unity

Posted on 21 November 2015
By Chris High
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On Wednesday and Thursday this week Physical Lab’s Yorgos Karamalegos brings his latest play, Home – an adaptation of Euripodes’ Medea – to The Unity in Liverpool. Here he speaks to Chris High about the play.

Why did the story of Medea appeal for this particular production?

Albin Lesky in History of Greek Literature says that Euripides knew so well the vastness of the human soul that he was able to place love and hate right next to each other and to portray Medea finding inner unison within her contradicting nature. Obviously Lesky is referring to the symbolic dimension of the play as explored on a personal, social and political level, which has been my interest exactly. Home is a journey of the contemporary man/woman to find unison, peace, freedom, a real sense of home within themselves.
Medea and particularly the analysis of the symbolisms behind her seemingly brutal actions, has been the key to create a contemporary play that can reflect our current reality.

With this being Physical Theatre, can it be assumed that there is very little dialogue?

Frankly it is not as much of a physical theatre piece – in terms of style – as people might expect because of my background with Tmesis Theatre. I have spent a few years creating movement based work but in the last few years I have found a way to use this physicality to embody characters, and text. In a way I have returned to my acting roots with the fruits of the physical training. So “Home” is in fact a play.

What were the particular challenges that you had in creating Home?

The main challenge for “Home” was also the reason for creating it. My wish was to create a piece of theatre from a subconscious place, from a less “known” place. It is so easy to just parade a number of ideas that the mind can construct so easily and then go and do it! I can make a show in a moment this way. But that’s not what I am interested in. Through my methodology that has been developed in my laboratory for performance, Physical Lab, we enter alternatives states, highly conscious states, where text, improvisation manifests. This is how “Home” has been created. David Lynch said perfectly in one of his lectures: ‘You dive into the state – and he is referring to transcendental meditation – and in that space perhaps some fish might come. If so then you can catch it.’ Of course he is referring to ideas. So catching the fish rather than making it up was the task and the challenge for “Home”.

This is Home’s première performance. Why is The Unity Theatre the ideal space in which to show it?

Unity is one of Liverpool’s jewels giving space and supporting so many artists and I am delighted to be able to come back to Unity with my own work. Performing in the Unity and in Liverpool is a part of Home. Some of the text that you will hear in the show was written years ago in Liverpool, as a reflection of living in the city. The Unity feels also like a second Home as for about a decade I was one of the two artistic directors of Tmesis Theatre and Physical Fest. And we have premièred most of our productions, and we hosted many artists there.

How goes your involvement with Liverpool’s Physical Fest?

I co-founded Physical Fest together with Eli ten years ago, and Physical Fest partially funded and hosted the research period of the “Home”. We presented a sharing at the Festival last year, which was a great experience and a great addition to the development of the piece.

What can an audience expect from Home?

Home is a hero’s journey.The journey of Medea as seen from the eyes of today. A journey of a contemporary man or woman. With moments of hilariousness and moments of struggle.A clear narrative, created in a way to be open to the audience’s interpretations. So expect moments of cabaret, passion, darkness, emotional struggle and fun.

Home, Directed by Yorgos Karamalegos, is at The Unity Theatre, Liverpool, Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 November. For tickets: http://www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk/basket/318-home-by-physical-lab.html