On 24 November 2006, Papaioannou premièred 2 in Athens, his first work following his creative direction of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. 2 was produced in collaboration with the electronic music composer K.BHTA for the production company Elliniki Theamaton. A "dissection of the male psyche", the production commanded a large of amount of Greek press attention, not least for its open references to homosexuality. 2 proved a commercial success; its run was extended twice and over 100,000 tickets were sold in total.
The work seems to draw upon a range of influences, including the work of Jean Genet, René Magritte and Robert Wilson. Inspiration for the show also came partly from Papaioannou's experiences as a gay man in Greece. Contemporary magazine described 2 as an "inspiring" work that "captures the zeitgeist".
A DVD of 2, produced and directed for the screen by Athina Rachel Tsangari of HAOS FILM, was released on 11 December 2007 by Elliniki Theamaton and Modern Times.