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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 24 February 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2018 19 FEATURE Set in and around a body of water, Metamorphoses collides the ancient and the modern to celebrate love and desire in the face of constant and inevitable change. have come to see the play, have commented to me about how, after the play starts, it doesn't matter to them that there are two male bodies or two female bodies because they get so drawn in to the bigger ideas and and the humanity of the work." Dimitriadis acknowledges that it was a risk for the Old Fitzroy, a venue associated with more classic, textbased theatre, to feature such a play. “This is sort of game-changing programming for this particular venue," he says. "They took a really big gamble and they were really positive and encouraging." This is not to say that Metamorphoses will alienate a conservative theatregoer. On the contrary, the director stresses how accessible it is. "It's wildly theatrical and keeps moving and evolving," he says, urging the audience to come to the play without making any preparation beforehand. "I think that if anybody has to prepare to go to the theatre, then we as theatre-makers have failed to make a work that people can access," he says. "People can access this work with any knowledge whatsoever of mythology. They may want to go and explore it after the show and I think that this is interesting." In fact, this is what he thinks the role of theatre is. "Theatre is one of the last communal rituals that we have, it's one of the last things we have left where people come and sit quietly in the dark to experience something together. I'm interested in how people feel watching each other as audiences and what sorts of conversations they have afterwards with their friends. That is the magic of theatre for me." Theatre is one of the cultural bequests of ancient Greece to the world, and Dimitriadis says that it is his Greek background that allowed him to approach the myths that he was taught since childhood, through this innovative approach. "It's the first time I've engaged with work that is related to my Greek background," he says, "and it's very personal for me to make a project like this. Because although Greek culture is evolved, Mediterranean culture in general can be very conservative when it comes to issues of gender and sexuality. It's extremely difficult for people of strong cultural backgrounds to express their identity, so for me to take our history and present it through a queer lens, is not just personally empowering, but it's also a bold cultural statement." Having said that, he admits to feeling a deep connection with his Greek identity. "What I love most about being Greek is that there is a deep humanity and culture and tradition and history," he says. "I love the spirit and how people value family and how they are open and talkative. Greeks are not afraid of conversation." *’Metamorphoses’ is presented at the Old Fitzroy Theatre (129 Dowling St, Woolloomooloo, NSW) until Saturday 10 March. Visit redlineproductions. com.au/metamorphoses for more information.
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