Ευανθία Στιβανάκη, Αναπληρώτρια καθηγήτρια, Τμήμα Θεατρικών Σπουδών, ΕΚΠΑ
In the recently annexed (1881) Thessalian village of Nychteremi, the inhabitants have gathered at the grocery in the village to hear the letter of their lawyer about the future of the fields they claim from the bey of the region. Although bey is backed by the Greek state, the lawyer reassures them that the case will end up in favor of them, because he has daily communication with the prime minister. However, with the appearance of a bey’s officer, everyone bow down with the subconscious fear that they had during the Ottoman domination. In the village there is a beggar (Tziritokostas) with his disfigured young assistant to ask for alms by its inhabitants, but who, for his bad luck, is being beaten by the customs guard Valachas. Villagers help the beggar to recover the fastest of blows. Nevertheless, the beggar is pretending, and when they leave, he shows acuteness. On the other day, he approaches the women of the village in an epic way to sell them magical herbs. Representative victim in this case is Kroustallo (pregnant) because of her great desire to make a male child. Firstly, he passes through all the women's homes and taking them gingerly their valuable goods, he ends up in the house of Kroustallo where he slaughters her domestic lamb without her husband's approval to learn from its divided kidney - depending on the movement it will make on the cinder - the sex of the child. Eventually the kidney is burned and Tziritokostas gives her to soothe a powder (abortive) that will help her to change sex of her child, paying almost all of her clothes. At the same time, Valachas is in charge of the Pinios river estuary in order to capture smugglers with whom he cooperates to obtain extra profits. This co-operation will suddenly interrupt a customs officer accompanied by two soldiers and Valachas almost insensible takes the decision to return to the village. There, the young assistant of Tziritokostas has died and with the help of women he has put him in one of the two rooms of the house of Valachas. The customs guard does not understand the existence of the corpse. When he shows up at the door of the house, at the instigation of the Tziritokostas, the villagers believe that the dead becomes a vampire and furious trying to burn the house, but with their misguided moves they burn bey’s house. The villagers flee from the village except Kroustallo to escape the bey's woe. Soon, the aga, the authorities, gendarmes and soldiers arrive at Nychteremi. The villagers are arrested and along with them an old navy (Tziritokostas) who, with a fake certificate, convinces the authorities and villagers that he is called Hatzis Bakas. From the house of the guard, they take the dead young assistant and Valachas in a shock that the old seaman will be part of. The authorities decide to lead the villagers to Larissa to be tried. From cooperative solidarity they suggest to the old navy to transport with his donkey Valachas. Suddenly, there are hearty voices from the house of Kroustallo. When everyone is approaching they are faced with the horrible sight of the hanged woman. At the same time, Tziritokostas takes advantage of the opportunity to leave for new adventures, having as a new replacement for his young assistant, the weak Valachas.
The Beggar, Karkavitsas, Dramatization, Theatre, Literature