(London, England) – Sunset at the Villa Thalia, a play by Alexi Kaye Campbell and directed by Simon Godwin, will run at the Dorfman Theater in London from May 25, 2016 to August 4, 2016. The play starts in 1967 in Greece and spans across the next decade. At the opening scene, we see that Greece is in political turmoil. In fact, things had been rocky for the country ever since it achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire in the mid-1800’s.
In order to truly understand the play itself, it helps to have some knowledge of Greek history. In 1936, the dictator General Metaxas came into power. In 1941, the German’s attempt to invade Greece was successful. After WWII in 1946, Greek entered into a Civil War that went on until 1948. In 1967, the year that the play begins, Greece had already endured several decades of uncertainty. To make matters even more uncertain, in 1967, there was a military coupe where the end result is that the king left Greece for good. Amidst all this uncertainty, the people of Greece were looking for some comfort and peace, and many of them began to flock to the islands to avoid the political and economical conflicts, as well as to find themselves.
Sunset at the Villa Thalia actually follows Charlotte and Theo, who have retreated to a small island looking for some peace and a little inspiration. They decide to spend some time at the Villa Thalia, where they end up meeting a charismatic American couple at the port. Intrigued by this couple, Charlotte and Theo get swept up into their world and are forced to make some choices that ultimately have devastating consequences. The play, however, is a comedy and even though the consequences are devastating, we watch the events of that decade unfold with an eye towards humor and essentially shows how the people of Greece can be impacted by outside influences such as the American couple whom they meet. The cast includes Elizabeth McGovern, who is in Downton Abbey, Same Crane, who was in Farinelli and the King, and Ben Miles, who was in Wolf Hall. Sunset at the Villa Thalia won Edgarton Foundation of New Plays award.