History of Theatro Technis
Theatro Technis: an odyssey
Sixty years ago a theatre was founded bang in the heart of London’s Cypriot community. It called itself Theatro Technis, a name harking back to Ancient Greece when there was no distinction between art, work ad craft. Therein lay the clue to what path the new theatre would take. Regarding itself as a radical alternative to the mainstream, it set out to be rooted in a community whose struggles were inextricably linked with events in Cyprus, at the time a British colony embroiled in the battle for self-rule. Inspired by Ancient Greek dramatists who wrote about the way humanity lived and governed itself, the company’s founding principle was ‘from life to art, back to life’, signifying a magic cycle of creativity and originality. This meant that aside from its prolific creative output, Theatro Technis also provided services to improve the welfare of its compatriots as well as offering a focus for political campaigns, both at home and abroad. As the community itself changed and moved on, Theatro Technis has evolved to serve a wider base but all the while maintaining its core philosophy. There is no money in alternative theatre, that much was clear from the beginning. If anything sums up Theatro Technis’ ability to overcome the trials and tribulations it has faced over the years it is Aristotle’s dictum, ‘A convincing improbability is to be preferred to an unconvincing probability’, in other words don’t be put off by the seemingly impossible. But none of its achievements would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all those involved. It is a fascinating history, to be sure, and one that is inevitably bound with the story of its founder, George Eugeniou.