It was the evening after the August full moon, the 19th of August when my friend and I went to see “The Birds” by Aristophanes being performed in the ancient theatre at Epidauros. I was really looking forward to it as I hadn’t been there for some years.
I realised that we should get there at least half an hour before the play began so as to ensure a decent parking place. Naturally enough, that didn’t happen given that my friend and I are easily distracted from our original plans.
Instead of going directly to the theatre, we stopped off at our favourite fish taverna just outside Corinth. I believed that we were only going to ask if it would be open when we returned after the performance. However, my friend decided to order a fish, which meant that we had to wait some time for it to cook.
So it was inevitable that we would miss the start of the play. It also meant that we would have to park some way from the entrance to the theatre. I need to explain that I can’t walk very well because of arthritis in my right leg.
My friend parked the car at a distance from the stage entrance and so by the time i got close to the entrance to the theatre, I couldn’t negotiate the steps and ramp, even with his help and my stick.
He romped up the steps to find out how much further I would have to walk, and said that it was only about a hundred metres. By the time he came back for me, I was speaking to one of the people who work at the theatre. She told us that there is actually a disabled access to the theatre, but at that time I couldn’t use it because it would have meant disturbing the performance, as one has to enter the theatre from the back of the stage.
I was disappointed, of course, but knew it couldn’t be helped. We saw some of the play as it was being performed on a TV in the restaurant close to the stage entrance. My friend suggested that we went back to the taverna, and I agreed with alacrity. We might as well salvage something of the evening, I thought.
So off we went back to Kalamaki beach under the light of the August (almost) full moon. The stars were twinkling – we could see them clearly for a change because of the lack of lighting on the winding road to Corinth.
The people in the taverna were surprised to see us back and thought that we hadn’t been able to get tickets, either because they were sold out, or because they were too expensive. No, we still had our tickets, we just hadn’t used them!
My friend was determined to make me feel better and couldn’t have said anything more right.
“Next year, we’ll get there early and take a wheelchair.”
That was probably the best part of the evening as I had been thinking that I would never go to a play at Epidauros again.