A Nikos Kazantzakis Play to be Staged for the First Time in the UK


6 May 2014

A Nikos Kazantzakis Play to be Staged for the First Time in the UK

Comedy: A Tragedy in One Act will be performed for the first time in the UK at Sadler’s Wells on 31 May 2014.

The play is being staged by the innovative emerging theatre company The Canting Crew and has been made possible with the support of Kazantzakis Publications, Ethnos Newspaper Group, EdmissionUK and EntertainingTV.

Kazantzakis wrote Comedy in 1909 while he was still young but it already explores some of the challenging and original thinking that was to mark much of his later work.  More than 50 years on from his death, Kazantzakis remains a divisive figure and his religious thought continues to resonate in the context of today’s religious debate.

The performance of the play will be followed by a round table discussion chaired by author Dr Lewis Owens with panel guests including Kazantzakis Publications Director Niki Stavrou, Professor of Religion Darren Middleton, Modern Greek Professor Roderick Beaton and the play’s director Stephen Oswald.

Tickets go on sale today, 6 May 2014, and can be purchased at http://www.nikoskazantzakis.org

EntertainingTV are producing a film of the play and a feature length film about the play’s author Nikos Kazantzakis.

About The Play:

Comedy is a damning critique of Christian salvation and an exploration of the ‘abyss’ in the wake of Nietzsche’s proclaimed ‘death of God’.  The existential themes in Comedy antedate by decades Sartre’s Huis Clos and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

As Peter Bien, Kazantzakis’ main translator, writes: “In Comedy the main theme is that heaven does not exist. For Kazantzakis, the abyss is not hell in an ethical sense, but the extinction that is our guaranteed end once we no longer believe in Christianity’s afterlife of eternal bliss.”

Further information is available at https://nikoskazantzakis.org/about-the-play/

About the Organisers and Collaborators:

The Canting Crew formed in 2013.  This emerging London based theatre company has a reputation for bold and ambitious work.

Dr Lewis Owens is the author of ‘Creative Destruction: Nikos Kazantzakis and the Literature of Responsibility’.

Professor Roderick Beaton, Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature, Kings College London.

Professor Darren Middleton, Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University.

Mrs Niki Stavrou, Director, Kazantzakis Publications, Athens. Kazantzakis Estate, adopted granddaughter of Eleni N. Kazantzakis, wife of Nikos.

EntertainingTV is a London based film production company making a feature length film about the life of Nikos Kazantzakis.

Contact Details:

The Canting Crew
Stephen Oswald

Dr Lewis Owens

Liz Smith
+44 207 101 0208

Kazantzakis Publications
Niki Stavrou



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