One of the more extraordinary cultural events that takes place in Mytilini is a programme of old. Classic movies, put on by an elderly Greek fan, in the grounds of one of the many old ruined mansions here, just outside town. There is a large screen, and rows of chairs, and it is free. It really is like a step into another time, another place.
I went to the opening night on Monday: Once Upon A Time In The West – a 62 western, very corny, but still a classic, with a remarkable cast: James Stewart, Gregory Peck, Debbie Reynolds, Karl Malden, and cameos from John Wayne, Slim Pickens, etc, etc., and some amazing action sequences. But it was not the movie so much as the atmosphere: sitting within a stone’s throw of the Med, a balmy breeze, a crackly soundtrack, a large audience. And all for free.
Last night, as soon as the evening rehearsal was done, I raced down there again – probably my last opportunity, what with the show next week. This time it was Great Expectations – as some of you will know, a story that has particular resonance for me. Even more so, as it was the David Lean version, with Felix Hayes’ grandfather playing the “other” convict. And the fact that we were sitting in the shadow of a building that could have been Satis House was an additional bonus.
It has been a long, but surprising and rewarding summer. And this was just one more cherry on the cake.