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Play dough

George Eugeniou addressing the 2019 flag-raising ceremony ceremony. On his proper is Lucy Christofi Christy

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AS the Cypriot flag was raised exterior Theatro Technis final week to mark the start of the annual Cyprus Week competition, George Eugeniou might safely bask within the data that the theatre he based 66 years in the past remains to be going robust.

His staff of devoted volunteers and employees has ensured that the Somers City-based venue is managing to climate the monetary drought at present engulfing the humanities on this nation and trying to the longer term with renewed vigour.

Though Theatro Technis receives no common funding and depends on renting out workplace and efficiency area, there’s a distinct buzz within the air as one enters the stylishly refurbished lobby. This weekend it’s presenting the return of outdated associates Martha D Lewis and Eve Polycarpou of their cabaret present, Donna & Kebab are Martha and Eve – A Celebration!, whereas subsequent month it’s internet hosting the Camden Fringe Competition

Amongst those that have stepped in to assist is Kerry Michael, former creative director of the Theatre Royal Stratford East, who’s utilizing his experience to profit from what Theatro Technis has to supply as a community-based theatre.

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“We try to get extra worth out of the constructing, construct partnerships and have a full programme on our web site,” he stated. “We wish to have a extremely robust youth theatre – to be right here in Somers City creating the following era of performers and writers. It’s not straightforward however it’s what now we have to do.”

Like lots of these concerned in Theatro Technis, he’s of Cypriot origin and volunteered on the theatre as a younger actor on the lookout for extra expertise. “I labored with George, placed on a few performs and had a implausible time,” he added. “Tons of of individuals have handed by means of the theatre on this approach. It’s nice to be again.”

Initially from Cyprus and nonetheless serving as creative director on the grand age of 92, George Eugeniou launched Theatro Technis in Camden City in 1957 after abandoning a promising stage and movie profession. His goal was to create a voice for the Cypriot neighborhood, which started settling within the borough within the Thirties following an rebellion in Cyprus in opposition to British rule.

After working from a storage in Camden Mews, the theatre moved right into a transformed railway shed on derelict land in King’s Cross earlier than ending up on the Outdated St Pancras Church Home in Crowndale Street in 1978, which it might go on to buy.

By this time, it had developed a status for cutting-edge theatre that regarded past its Cypriot roots to embrace wider points. The theatre additionally grew to become a neighborhood hub providing a spread of providers, which had been stepped up after Turkey’s 1974 invasion of the island that led to the arrival of 1000’s of refugees to the UK. True to kind, the political and social upheaval was mirrored within the theatre’s famously prolific output.

Since 1968, Theatro Technis has been staging Cyprus Week to showcase Cypriot tradition. This 12 months’s version noticed a studying of an extract from Cypria, Elena Pavli’s satirical play about Stasinus, the “misplaced poet of Cyprus”. It was carried out by Lucy Christofi Christy, who first visited the theatre as a baby, began performing there within the Nineties and is now on the board of administrators.

“After leaving drama faculty I wrote to George with an curiosity in turning into concerned and his response was very constructive,” stated Lucy, who’s at present capturing the characteristic movie, I Forgot to Keep in mind You, with the previous dancer Wayne Sleep.

“I began showing in Theatro Technis productions, each English and Greek, and by no means regarded again. There’s nonetheless a requirement for what now we have to supply and it’s beautiful to see younger Turkish and Greek Cypriots come to the theatre. There must be an immigrant voice.”

“Issues are going properly,” stated George, who was down on the theatre overseeing a studying of his new play, Pan Metron Ariston. “We’ll by no means hand over and are planning for the following 66 years.”

• Donna & Kebab are Martha and Eve – A Celebration!, July 29-30.

• Camden Fringe Competition 2023 launch get together, July 31.

• Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Street, NW1 1TT https://www.theatrotechnis.com/

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