LIFE OF BYRON opens to a full house in Sydney; Stellar performances by Kapiniaris, Theodorakis


"Life of Byron" starring George Kapiniaris and Maria Theodorakis opened to a full house last night at the Fuse Box, Factory Theatre in Sydney and did not fail to impress with stellar performances by the cast, under the direction of Tony Nikolakopoulos.

Attending the Sydney premiere was Mr Harry Danalis, President of the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW, Mrs Nia Karteris, Chair of the Greek Festival of Sydney,  Actors Alex Dimitriades and Salvatore Cocco, comedian Joe Avati and award winning director Peter Andrikidis amongs others.

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Joe Avati, Alex Dimitriades and friends (Photography courtesy: Vasilis Vasilas)

George Kapiniaris and Maria Theodorakis mesmerised the audience with their solid performances of very complex characters and took it on a journey of bitter sweet moments of our fragile humanity. With poignant moments peppered with plenty of smiles and laughter, this is a must see and much needed play; an antidote to the inhumanity that surrounds us.

Nia Karteris, Chair of the Greek Festival of Sydney and Mr Harry Danalis, President of the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW and friends (Photography courtesy: Vasilis Vasilas)

The play sees the world through the eyes of Byron (Kapianiaris) as he struggles with one of the most important decisions he’ll ever make – and the choices, mistakes and the greatest influence that have brought him to this point.

Byron’s mother is suffering from the early effects of dementia, and his sister Alex thinks the best option is to sell the house and put their mum in a nursing home. Can Byron send his mother away? Has he got what it takes to care for her himself? Or can he use the time he’s got left with his mum to unlock her mystery and maybe, finally, grow up in the process?

After a successful run in Melbourne, the much anticipated stage play Life Of Byron starring George Kapiniaris and Maria Theodorakis is playing tonight in Sydney and will run till Nov 12, at the Fuse Box (Factory theatre) Marrickville.



Actor/Comedian George Kapiniaris with friends (Photography courtesy: Vasilis Vasilas)
TV Producer Angelo Sakkelariou, Actor/Director Tony Nikolakopoulos and Actor Alex Blias (Photography courtesy: Vasilis Vasilas)


There is much to like about the way Life of Byron has been constructed and executed. Exaggerated for theatrical effect, it still has authenticity at its core. In other words, it feels real. Well directed, the timing is excellent. The scenes are unhurried” said Alex First in The Blurb and

this is George Kapiniaris as perhaps, you’ve never seen him before, in a partially dramatic role. Part drama, part comedy and a lot of the Kapiniaris’ signature style of ethnic humour thrown in; the story is told in hysterically titled chapters that blames mum for everything. Maria Theodorakis is brilliant in all the roles she takes on, as all the women in George’s life, and is very engaging on stage. There’s no hiding her acting chops, as she navigates 9 personalities that gives the show its light and shade.” -Weekend Notes review.




George Kapiniaris is one of Australia’s best loved comedy, music and TV stars – having had an incredible impact on Australian popular culture over the last thirty five years.
George Kapiniaris’ claim to fame was his starring role in the hugely popular stage show ‘Wogs Out Of Work’. Since then, the Australian public has continued to see him use his Greek heritage as inspiration for future roles and performances. George developed his popular style of ethnic comedy at Rusden College in 1985. Straight away he was labelled as a pioneer of Ethnic Humour in this country.

We all loved him as DJ in ‘The Flying Doctors’ and who could forget his starring role as the manic waiter Memo in TV’s ‘Acropolis Now’ from 1989 to 1992 ( A show which he co-produced & co-created). Since 1992 george has also been the front man of his 70’s cover band ‘The Flares’. In 2004 George was nominated for a Green Room Award for his role of Stretch in the musical ‘Oh, What a Night’. other musical credits include ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ and ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’. His theatre credits include ‘The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui’ for the MTC, ‘The Queen and I ‘, ‘An Evening with Merv Hughes’ and Guy Masterson’s production of ’12 Angry Men’.

George’s film credits include ‘Alex and Eve’, ‘Big Mammas Boy’, ‘Thunderstruck’, ‘Bloody Footy’, ‘Fat Pizza’, ‘Housos The Movie’, ‘Closer and Closer Apart’ & ‘Joey’ – George also appeared on the TV series ‘Its A Date!’. Kapiniaris was also seen in the controversial mini series ‘Underbelly’, playing George Defteros – the lawyer to Melbourne’s underworld. In 2009 George appeared as a regular panelist on the very popular SBS show “The Squiz”.

In 2022 George was touring OZ with his comedy stage show, ‘Crazy Rich Ethnics’. In 2023 George will be Starring in Paul Fennech’s new TV show ‘Local Council’ on 7mate.

He and his Co Stars have received two ACE awards for Best Comedy for their ‘Il Dago’ Shows and this year he and his team were nominated for Best Comedy for their ‘Wildwogs’ Production.

George has recently played a Vulgarian Spy in The Australian production of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang The Musical’ and starred last year in The Production Company’s Award Winning Show ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It!’ where he stole the show with amazing reviews.


Maria Theodorakis is an award-winning actor, writer and director of the stage and screen. She is an AACTA (AFI) and FCC Best Actress winner in a Feature Film Award for her starring role in Walking on Water. A multiple Green Room nominee, she has performed in theatre for companies including MTC, Malthouse, Belvoir St, and Melbourne Workers Theatre. Maria was Queen Claudia, Hamlet’s murderous aunt, in Because the Night, the immersive reimagining of Shakespeare at Malthouse Theatre. Returning to the Malthouse this year, Maria appeared in This is Living. Her online hit series, Little Acorns, which she co-created, wrote, and directed, has millions of views and continues to find new audiences. It has exhibited, won, and been nominated for film festival awards in Australia and internationally: Best Web Series, Best Writing, Best Directing, Best Comedy and Best Ensemble, including the NYC Independent Film Festival. Maria was nominated for Best Director at the Australian Director’s Guild. Little Acorns is in development for the half-hour TV series.

She ran the writer’s room and script-edited the ICE-developed comedy series The Curse of the Virgin. She is a writer/producer for the Film Victoria-funded development of the TV series Cloud Nine.

Maria is a leading artist for St. Martins Youth Theatre and supported the direction of young people in Gene Tree at the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. Television work includes Seven Types of Ambiguity, Newton!s Law and an ongoing role in Neighbours as a villain who blew up a boat, kidnapped a baby and required seven police officers and a divvy van to take her down.


Tony Nikolakopoulos is an Actor, Director, Producer and Writer.

As a director Tony has directed and developed multiple productions. Last Proxy which successfully toured for over 2 years nationally, Honeymoon in Hellas, Borneo + 3, Lysistrata, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Baraki and countless others.

As an actor he has worked on many feature films such as the highly acclaimed Head On, Alex and Eve, The Independent, West of Sunshine, Joe Cinque’s Concolation, Predestination, The Wannabes, Kangaroo Jack, The Wog Boy series along with many others. Some of Tony’s many television credits are Last King Of The Cross, Wentworth, The Tourist, Jack Irish, Hopelessly devoted to you, Fancy Boy, Here come the Habibs, The Time of our Lives, Fat Tony and Co., Killing Time, Rush, Tangle, Lowdown, Please Like Me, East West 101, All Saints, The Pacific, City Homicide, Reef Doctors, Small time gangster, Rush, Underbelly, Pirate Island, Little Oberon Jason, Scooter: Secret Agent, The Brush Off, Stingers, White Collar Blue TV Movie and many more.

Theatre credits MTC nave been Osage County, Hamlet and Astroman. National tour of acclaimed production of ‘Café Rebetika’, Tony has appeared on stage in The Spook and Pompeii LA (Malthouse), Wog Story Roulette: Ranters Theatre, (Australia and Portugal), Court Yard of Miracles (State Theatre Company of South Australia, with many more.
Tony has been involved in the Acting and drama lecturer/Teacher at Deakin University and Melbourne University, VCA School of Film and TV and School of Drama currently.

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