George and Tony invite you into the "Life of Byron" for a memorable experience

tony george

Greek City Times shared a quick coffee with legendary screen favourites Tony Nikolakopoulos and George Kapiniaris ahead of their production "Life of Byron" which is playing in Melbourne at the Alex Theatre St Kilda October 11-22 and then from 31 October to 12 November at the Factory Theatre, Sydney  under the auspices for the Greek Festival of Sydney.

Produced, directed and written by Tony Nikolakopoulos (Last Proxy, Honeymoon in Hellas, Café Rebetika, Underbelly, Last King Of The X) with co-writer Sally Faraday (Red Lopez, Dog Park), The Life of Byron is a sweet and tender theatrical experience and an ode to the extraordinary lives of a generation of migrants who made Australia what it is today.

George Kapiniaris and Tony Nikolakopoulos (Photo: Vasilis Vasilas)

Is there still an appetite for Greek Australian 'immigrant' humour? It feels like the genre has been done to death.
There's an audience for every genre. We need to offer audiences a diverse range of options. Our play differs from the stereotypical approach towards migrants stories, where we present as exaggerated caricatures of ourselves.

How does Life of Byron differ?
Life of Byron is driven by narrative that asks its audience to listen and feel and question. You will laugh at the situation presented and relate to what is playing out in front of you as we follow through Byron's process of trying to make a decision that will require him to take responsibility for once in his life. It is written and performed with truth and humility. It asks for vulnerability of its actors.

How important was it to tell this story?
It wasn't so much of its importance as much as wanting to create something that allows a Greek Australian character to be seen in a mainstream context and not in the stereotypical way we are accustomed to. I think we need to allow ourselves to be represented in TV, films and theatre in a more positive and realistic fashion and allow the comedy to be generated organically through story without forcing it through stereotypes.

Can you relate personally to the story or experiences of the characters?
We do relate as the stories are of the human experience. Although neither of us are confronted with the situation the protagonist faces situation, we know of people in similar situations and thought of putting the proposition of "what if" to ourselves and to the audience.  We have had many discussions with people who have been in this situation or are going through this situation, which we tell through the eyes of our protagonist Byron and the many women in his life.

Can you see the play performed outside the borders of the Greek community?
Yes definitely.  It is totally created with the idea of being mainstream. This is a play for anyone and any community and in any country. It's a mother and son story  about a man needing to step up and take responsibility.

 Do you guys have anything else planned for the future?
Tony:  I have a couple feature films and a TV show I'm working on.
George: I'm in a new TV called Local Council on channel 7.

A message  to our readers?
We would like for nothing more than for you all to come along and support the show as we believe you will thoroughly enjoy it!

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