The theatrical production, “Melina: The Last Greek Goddess” was performed with great success at the Michalis Cacoyiannis Foundation in Athens on Monday, 4th December 2017. The highly-acclaimed monologue, which stars renowned Cypriot actress Paola Hadjilambri, written and directed by award-winning screenwriter Paul Lambis, is a tribute to the life and times of Greece’s most celebrated national heroine, Melina Mercouri.
Paola Hadjilambri’s dynamic performance captured the Athenian audience from the start; her similarity to Melina Mercouri and her professional acting approach towards the monologue inspired the audience to cry, sing and applaud throughout the production. Writer and director Paul Lambis received excellent praise for his work and his ability to capture every aspect of Melina Mercouri’s life, while keeping the audience engrossed throughout the one-hour production.
One of the highlights of the evening was the attendance of Spyros Mercouri, Melina Mercouri’s brother, who noted the striking resemblance of actress Paola Hadjilambri to that of his late sister. During his conversation with Ms. Hadjilambri, Mr. Mercouri asked the actress to convey his greetings to Mr. Lyssarides – a Cypriot politician who actively participated in Cyprus’ national liberation struggle, at the same time referring to Melina Mercouri’s meeting with Archbishop Makarios in 1975 – one year after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Deeply moved by the performance, Mr. Mercouri said that he was extremely touched by the Cypriot community and the decision to honour his late sister through a theatrical production. Speaking to a few members from the audience about Paola Hadjilambri, he added, “I met her, spoke to her and when I embraced her, I felt as if my sister was physically here. She doesn’t just play Melina, she is Melina!”
“Melina: The Last Greek Goddess” continues its international tour with invitations to participate in monodrama festivals in Dubai, Edinburgh and Dublin, while the Hellenic community of America have organised additional performances of the production in four different states. President of the Pancyprian Association of America, Mr. Philip Christopher, has commented that, “Paola’s depiction of Melina is a strong link between Cyprus and Greece, and it’s significant for everyone to see the show.”
The theatrical production travels around the globe under the auspices of His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, with its platinum sponsor, Aphrodite Aroma – the first online perfume shop in Cyprus.