Eurohouse

Nasi Voutsas, Bertrand Lesca
Battersea Arts Centre

Eurohouse entertains with broad satiric strokes as it takes issue with the EU’s ruthless mistreatment of Greece.

Initially, there is a welcoming mood with the entire audience encouraged to join hands with each other and the performers. We are told it is “cool” and will make us “feel closer to each other.”

The two actors Bert and Nasi jog in circles to Kraftwerk’s song “Europe Endless” with its words “Elegance and decadence Europe endless”.

They perform cartwheels and raise each other into the air.

But this early fun soon changes.

Bert who controls the sound and lighting gets us to choose a song we would like to hear, but then each time plays instead Michel Sardou’s “Comme d’habitude”, the French version of “My Way” that includes the line “as usual we pretend as usual”.

Bert gives Nasi a packet of M&Ms which are promptly eaten, only to be requested back by an increasingly authoritarian Bert.

Unable even to vomit them into a bucket, Nasi is forced to hand over instead his bottle of water and all his clothes.

The show is always playfully funny but there is an unsettling truth in its metaphor for the EU.

At various points in the performance, one of the actors will begin to tell us about a dream which includes the whole audience. It concerned a circular lake upon which floated a paper boat containing a small child.

Eventually, there is a clip of this very scene, a moving childlike vision of innocence from the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Greece.

And after it comes, the terrible list of the EU’s cruelty to Greece which, despite a referendum rejecting the EU terms, was forced to accept a bail-out that gave only 5% of the money to the Greek government and the rest to the EU banks.

The suicide rate in Greece rose dramatically. Fifty-two percent of the young were unemployed. Yet the EU was temporarily satisfied.

That is till Brexit.

Reviewer: Keith Mckenna