Putting the Nation on Stage

Meet the Director : Stefo Nantsou

July 19, 2019

What attracted you to TAKE TW0: A COMEDY OF ERRORS?

I first saw a production of Comedy of Errors at the old Nimrod Theatre (now Belvoir) when I was at Uni in 1979 with a cast including Anna Volska, directed by John Bell and it was brilliant, funny and inspiring. And now here I am 40 years later directing the play adapted by John and Anna’s daughter Hilary Bell. Fate weaves its wonderful spell.

What do you think audiences will take from it?

I would like audiences new to Shakespeare to appreciate the outlandish comic potential of this mad play and I think the wonderful cast will be able to deliver a rolling thunder of continual belly laughs which will make the production truly memorable for all, and hopefully as brilliant, funny and as inspiring for any audience as it was for me when I was a lad.

Why is this play important to you?

I directed Julius Caesar, acted in Twelfth Night and The Tempest and if I was given an opportunity to direct any of Shakespeare’s plays it would pick a comedy, and this play is certainly a wacky old comedy.

What are you most excited about working on this production?

A clear stage with a few props being brought to life by an awesome cast who will create an entire world with their skills and inventiveness, plus the challenge of making the story work for a young audience is thrilling.

Have you worked with Hilary Bell before?

I haven’t worked with Hilary but I’m a huge fan. Her adaption of the play is excellent, tailor made for all ages.

What is your relation/connection to Western Sydney? Have you worked or lived in Western Sydney before?

My connections with Western Sydney go back to my 3 years as an ensemble actor/writer/director working with Sidetrack Theatre between 1985-87. The company spent the bulk of its time touring to venues throughout inner and outer western Sydney and most of the productions were developed with different communities in and around Western Sydney. As a Macedonian Australian I feel at home in Western Sydney, the vibrant ethnic mix and the blend of nationalities is where my heart belongs. I’ve lived primarily in the Inner West Newtown/Erskineville area for many years and have spent a great deal of my working life touring plays with my company Zeal Theatre to countless venues in Western Sydney. I’ve also had the pleasure of being a part of the Bankstown community theatre scene while I was resident director at STC (2009-2013) and where I’ve since written and directed 7 plays at the Bankstown Arts Centre.

 What are you most excited about working with National Theatre of Parramatta?

Most mainstream Australian Theatre companies have until very recently been producing plays for predominantly white anglo saxon middle and upper class audiences. From its inception, The National Theatre of Parramatta has tried to reach new audiences, its broadening the country’s theatrical perspective and is being a prime mover in making Australian Theatre truly reflective of Australia’s multi-layered and multi-cultural society. I’m very impressed by their endeavours and am proud to be a part of this burgeoning movement to establish a ‘real’ Australian Theatre Company in Sydney’s heartland Western Suburbs.

As a child what memory stands out to you going to the theatre?

My most memorable theatre experience as a child was when my Mum and Dad took us to Sydney to see the Great Moscow Circus in 1968, a truely mind blowing experience. Nine years later I saw Steven Berkoff’s first tour of Australia with his first play East and that clinched it for me, I decided to work in the theatre that day, thank you to my wonderful drama teacher for taking me on that memorable trip which changed my life forever.

TAKE TWO: A COMEDY OF ERRORS
13 and 14 September
BOOKINGS