ASTORIA – The Pancyprian Association Cultural Division Presents the poetic monologue Farewell by Yannis Ritsos at the Pancyprian Center in Astoria with Phytos Stratis as Grigoris Afxentiou under the direction of Ioanna Katsarou. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Afxentiou’s ultimate sacrifice and of the writing of the poem.
Yannis Ritsos wrote this poetic monologue as a tribute to the Battle of Macheras, the outcome of which was the death of Grigoris Afxentiou, EOKA’s second in command, and the pre-eminent hero of the struggle to rid Cyprus of British colonial rule and unite the island with Greece.
This poem, written in the same month as Afxentiou’s sacrifice, reveals the hero’s ecstatic state of mind during 10 hours under siege in his hideout as he meditates on his life and on his decision to die.
It is shocking to consider that during those 10 hours fighting, wounded, in pain, Afxentiou must have considered again and again giving himself up, imagined living and returning to his home and family, and yet he would not be deflected by love of life and instead remained committed to his own death.
O Apoheretismos (The Farewell) is subtitled the Last Hours of Grigoris Afxentiou in the Burning Cave. It opens on Friday, May 19 at 8 PM with performances onSaturday, May 20 at 8 PM and on Sunday, May 21 at 4 PM. Tickets are available by phone: 646-595-7303.
Cast and Crew:
Grigoris Afxentiou: Phytos Stratis
Director & Set Designer: Ioanna Katsarou
Video: Kyriakos Pishoftas
Graphic designer: Tharivol Productions
Music selection: Ioanna Katsarou
Production: Phytos Stratis