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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 30 July 2016
18 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 30 JULY 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Alex Lykos Alex & Eve, the Complete Story Alex Lykos’ smash hit film returns to the stage, where it all started NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU was still under the Euro 2004 Soccer Championship tournament effect and things were relatively quieter in that part of the globe. Meanwhile, Lebanon was W receiving the first blow of a series of bombings and assassinations, most of them occurring in and around the capital Beirut. The Alex and Eve romance, however, evolves in the land Down Under in one of Sydney's most populated migrant neighbourhoods. It wasn't until 2006 that the play was staged and produced by the Bulldog Theatre Company. The idea was so successful for the fledgling company that it spawned two sequels. Divided into three parts: Alex and Eve, Alex and Eve the Wedding and Alex and Eve the baby, saw all performances of all shows sold out and the story receiving critical acclaim nationwide. Over the last decade, the Alex hen Alex Lykos first wrote the script for Alex and Eve, Greece and Eve plays have been seen by more than 25,000 people in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, including many members of the Greek Australian and Lebanese Australian communities. Meanwhile, the Alex and Eve motion picture, released in 2015, which was based on the first play and featured the beginning of the second part (i.e. the wedding), also became a huge success and even made it to the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Now, in 2016, the couple returns to where it all began, the stage, in a show that condenses six hours of theatre into two. "I first wrote this show in 2004 and I thought it was quite timely back then," Alex Lykos tells Neos Kosmos. "I felt that I could create a piece of art that encourages tolerance and understanding and compromise and love above all else." Back in 2010, Alex had begun to believe that the cultural clashes that came from being a 'wog' or a Muslim in Australia, felt dated. "In 2011 and 2012 I thought that finally people were getting along. But now, with the emergence of ISIS and all that's been happening around the world every day I'd say it gets timelier every day," he adds. "With the recent spike of terrorist attacks the story is now more pertinent than ever." It did not take long for Alex to see his story as a means to bring people closer together and respond to several nationalist viewpoints that are "over the top". The Greek Australian writer and director believes migration and refugee issues are far more complex than people tend to believe. "The idea to stop the immigration of Muslims altogether just because a few people of that background are terrorists is absurd," he emphasises. "To me it almost seems like saying we will stop the migration of Catholics in the country just because some priests did what they did to children. If that's the line that you want to take, then you need to be consistent and prevent the migration of every pocket of ethnicity that is committing heinous crimes and pedophilia is up there with murder. Is it really that black and white?" he wonders. Alex understands that people are becoming polarised due the shocking nature of terrorism crimes. Unexpected 'hits' across the globe and newspaper covers donning children in body bags are turning people against each other, when, in fact, there is no differentiation behind basic human instincts. "Humans are humans, we've all got our foibles, we've all got our Achilles heels but at the end of the day you do want to try and kind of live a normal healthy life," he says. "How one goes about living their happy healthy life is different, but our core is the same. We want the best for our kids, we want them to be happy." "The story touches on all the crosscultural difficulties, sometimes it can get uncomfortable and confronting but eventually gives people hope." This is the argument he tries to explore in Alex and Eve, portraying two sets of parents that are opposing each other, when in reality they both want the same things. "People of all backgrounds have related to the Greek father and the Arab mother in particular. I think that as much as we fear the other person when we think we don't connect with them, it comes down to being the same. I think that's set the play and film apart from other romantic comedies with an ethnic twist; it resonates, especially in today's current climate. That's what's great about this show. Hypothesis: Alex is a single 35-year-old school teacher who believes he is destined to spend the rest of his life alone, living with his parents. While they step up the pressure for him to marry a good Greek Orthodox girl. His fortune takes a miraculous turn when at a party and after a few mishaps he meets Eve, an attractive corporate type. Eve is Lebanese Muslim. Alex is initially reluctant and fears both families will have a problem with the religious background conflict. To complicate matters, Eve's parents have reached breaking point with their 30-year-old daughter and want her to marry a Muslim man who flies all the way from Lebanon with his family. Meraki TV wins Best Community TV Report in NSW Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards On Saturday 23 July at Daltone House in Sydney, the Premier of NSW, Mike Baird announced the winners across a range of categories for the 2016 NSW Premier's Multicultural Media Awards. One of the winners was Meraki TV, the Greek Australian television programme, for Best Community TV or Community Radio Report. The show's producer and host, Ana Sevo, was delighted and honoured by the award. "I was the lucky one to walk up and accept the award, however, it belongs to a team of people who devote time, passion, and talent with a relentless pursuit of higher quality often with no reward other than knowing a good job was done." Flanked by members of the show including Roula Angelopoulos and Maria Hohlastou, Ana further explained that the show only succeeds with the support of "each and every one of our viewers. Hellenism is alive and thriving in Australia and you all are shining examples. We all feel privileged that you allow us to reflect your lives on Foxtel. The show always was and will be about you." The gala event included 14 award categories that recognised journalists, photographers, and editors working across print, radio, and digital media. One of the reporters from Meraki TV and Neos Kosmos' own, Billy Cotsis, was a finalist in the Best Story on Cultural Diversity category for his story on the refugee crisis on Lesvos: ‘The Lesvos Odyssey’. The story was written after a visit to the island. Michael Mystakidis OAM, from the Greek Herald was a finalist in the best Commentary/ Editorial section for ‘Immigration is a blessing to Australia’. Meraki TV returns to Foxtel for Season Four on Monday 15 August at 7 pm, on Aurora 183. The Meraki TV cast.
23 July 2016
6 August 2016