What is Walking Cities?
Walking Cities is a British Council programme that pairs contemporary UK writers with writers and theatre experts from other countries.
This year, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the writers will meet in many of the cities that provide the settings of Shakespeare’s plays and discuss how these places and Shakespeare’s texts have influenced their own writing and thinking. The ‘walk’ will also give the visiting writers the opportunity to explore the city through the eyes of their host.
The discussion will be led by the writers themselves, taking advantage of the urban surroundings of each city and will also revolve around contemporary issues. The result will be a series of thought-provoking intercultural short films, which will be made available via our website in November 2016.
The countries involved
Walking Cities: Athens
18 October 2016
Walking Cities: Athens will take place in the centre of Athens. From the UK we have invited British poet Anthony Anaxagorou, who will be joined by the director of the National Theatre of Greece, Stathis Livathinos, theatre director Dimitris Karatzas, and translator and actor Nikos Hatzopoulos on the occasion of the production of Twelfth Night at the National Theatre of Greece, which will premiere on 20 October 2016.
Walking Cities is part of Shakespeare Lives, our global programme of events and activities celebrating the world’s most popular playwright’s work on the 400th anniversary of his death. The programme includes a wide variety of events, such as innovative theatre and dance performances, film screenings, globally-sourced art exhibitions and educational resources for English language learners.
Anthony Anaxagorou is an award-winning poet, prose writer, playwright, performer and educator. He has published eight volumes of poetry, a spoken-word EP, a book of short stories and has written for the theatre. His poetry has appeared on various BBC programmes over the past decade, while also featuring at the British Urban Film Awards and on BBC 6 Music. In 2013 his poem Dialectics was interpreted and performed by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. He is a judge for the 2016 BBC Young Writers Award and is currently the poet-in-residence at several London schools, where he teaches poetry and creative writing. In 2015 his poetry and fiction writing won him the Groucho Maverick Award. He founded Out-Spoken in 2012 and has since launched Out-Spoken Press, a publishing house specialising in poetry, plays and critical writing. His work has subsequently been studied in universities, schools and colleges across the USA, the UK and Australia, as well as being translated into Spanish, German, French and Japanese.
Stathis Livathinos was born in Athens. He is a graduate of the Pelos Katselis School of Drama and of the Department of English Literature at the University of Athens. He graduated from the Theatre Department at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) in 1990 with an M.A. in Theatre Direction and an M.F.A. in Theatre Acting. During his seven years (2001–07) as Artistic Director of the Experimental Stage at the National Theatre of Greece, Livathinos directed several plays and founded the first School of Theatre Directing in Greece in 2001. His productions have toured in Europe and overseas (his recent world tour of Homer's Iliad was a huge success) and he has been awarded numerous prizes, among them the Moscow Critics Award for his thesis-performance Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. He has taught theatre at the University of Patras, the Center of Ancient Drama at Harvard University (A.R.T.) in Boston, and most recently at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Since April 2015 he has held the position of Artistic Director at the National Theatre of Greece.
Dimitris Karantzas was born in Athens in 1987. He studied acting at the Empros Drama School, and Communication and Media Studies at the University of Athens. He has directed plays by Ibsen, Chekhov, Pinter, Euripides, Virginia Wolf, Pirandello and others. He has collaborated with the National Theatre of Greece, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, the Onassis Cultural Centre, the Art Theatre and the National Opera of Greece. His performances have received critical acclaim and he has represented Greece at the 68th Avignon Festival, the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon and the Oslo Ibsen Festival 2016. He took part in the Residence & Reflection Project at the Kunsten Arts Festival in Brussels. He teaches acting and was one of the supervising directors at the National Theatre of Greece’s Dramaturgy and Creative Writing Studio.
Nikos Hatzopoulos was born in Piraeus and is a graduate of the School of Architecture and of the Veaki Drama School. An actor since 1984, he works with subsidised theatre companies in Athens as well as with the Greek National Theatre on a wide range of productions. Working also as a director since 2002, he has directed, among others, plays by Shakespeare, Marivaux, Kleist, Schiller, Strindberg et al. His translations for the stage include Shakespeare’s Richard III, King John, Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. Other translated works include: Arden of Faversham, Calderon’s La vida es sueño, Marivaux’ L’Heureux Stratagème and J. C. Oates’ Tone Clusters.