Onassis Cultural Centre - Athens


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Giorgos Gallos talks to Lara Johnson-Wheeler

Lara Johnson-Wheeler: Tell me about working with Aris.
Giorgos Gallos: Aris is a young man as you know, but he is experienced in this type of musical theatre. He started by himself in small theatres with small audiences. I had been watching him, I had seen his performances, and then he phoned me one day and told me he wanted us to work together. I immediately replied, “Yes! When and what?” This is our first collaboration.


LJW: How do you respond to the music in the play?
GG: To begin with, let me tell you that if I hadn’t become an actor, I’d have tried music, I love singing. But I’ve never been to music school. I may do it later, when I grow up! At any rate, this performance combines two things I love.  Music and Ancient Greek texts. I feel lucky to be in it.


LJW: I noticed the play is very physical, a lot of the acting is heavily involved with the body. Is that something that is key to you?
GG: In Aris’ performances body and music are inseparable. Everything flows from the text; the text becomes rhythm, sound, melody and they in turn energize the body, which is ever present. On fire.


LJW: What’s your relationship with the Bacchae as a classic?
GG: These are difficult works. To relate to an ancient text, you have to accept its relationship with the Sacred, the Divine. This is not about respect for the text but about understanding.


LJW: Do you find there’s a difference in the way you’re acting in front of Nick Knight’s camera than you would on stage?
GG: The first five or ten minutes of shooting seem somehow like disguise. But once you go deeper in the work with Nick and follow his instructions, without realizing it, you enter the acting process. As he suggests various things for you to try, you go deeper and deeper. You stop posing.

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