Putting the Nation on Stage

Meet the Cast : Antony Makhlouf

December 23, 2019

What do you look for in a role and what drew you to Lady Tabouli?
I’m drawn to roles that serve a social purpose. I believe my character Danny in Lady Tabouli does that.
Depending on how well one adheres to the rules, tradition has the power to maintain or erode the family structure. This play offers a place for those who are excluded and invites a conversation with those that set these people aside. The fact that this story does the aforementioned, with both humour and honesty, is what made the idea of working on  Lady Tabouli very appealing.
How do you think audiences will react to Lady Tabouli?
James Elazzi isn’t shying away from presenting hard-hitting truths, particularly within the Lebanese culture, in Lady Tabouli. He has cleverly crafted a veneer of comedy over very divisive issues in his writing. So apart from the laughs, I’m expecting polar reactions.
Tell me a little bit about your character – how have you prepared to get into the role?
Danny is a young Lebanese-Australian man living in Sydney. He is cheeky and family-orientated. We meet him at a point where his casual aloofness to the customs of his culture becomes an intentional rejection of it in order for him to survive.
My background is Lebanese so I understand the nuances of the culture that Danny is from. However, to further prepare for the role, I have been in dialogue with Judy Saba who is a cross-cultural Psychologist specialising in the issues that Danny faces.
Have you worked with James or Dino before?
I have. James and I started working together years ago. Our first project was a small production that we put on ourselves in a vacated church in Erskineville. It was a mess of hot-glue guns and bad fabric choices from Spotlight, but it was a lot of fun. Dino, James and I worked with a beautiful team on Omar and Dawn at KXT. I also worked with them both on the preliminary version of Lady Tabouli at Griffin Theatre’s Batch Festival. I actually offered James the name of ‘Lady Tabouli’ for the play. I can humbly say that he makes good choices.
You’re also an artist, can you tell me a little bit about your work?
I work with photography and illustration. I’m interested in internal cross-cultural conflict with my photographic practice and exploring how cultural temperaments can immigrate to new spaces and create hybrid cultures.
My illustrative work on the other hand, is simpler in content and realises my aim of making art accessible. I do this by stocking affordable art prints, apparel and stationary to stores around Sydney, Amsterdam and online.
What is you relationship with Western Sydney?
I was born in the inner west, went to school in Lakemba and grew up among family who lived in Bankstown, Guildford, Harris Park and Parramatta. So the relationship is a close and fond one.