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Honouring the life and work of Kazantzakis 60 years after his passing

With the season kicking off in November, NK: A Kazantzakian Montage is a stage production celebrating struggle, triumph, freedom and joy

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19 October 2017

There's no denying Nikos Kazantzakis is one of Greece's most prolific writers.

Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature nine times, he is universally regarded as a significant contributor to thought and literature of the 20th Century, his most well-known works Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation Of Christ.

It was in fact a copy of Zorba the Greek that first caught the attention of writer and public lecturer Howard F Dossor in 1958, that would lead him to become what is widely considered to be the global expert on Kazantzakis, and result in the creation of NK: A Kazantzakian Montage.

Now Dossor's work is being brought to life on the stage by director Suzanne Heywood to mark the 60th anniversary of the passing of Crete's most famous writer.

The world premiere of NK: A Kazantzakian Montage will be showcased at Gasworks Arts Park next month, opening on November 13.

Presented by Q44 Theatre in agreement with the Kazantzakian Estate Athens, Heywood says she was drawn to the text by its language, poetry and ideas.

"My challenge was to find a theatrical form that would provide a more dynamic engagement with the audience while maintaining the integrity of the ideas," she explains.

"I have found the more an audience engages with a character, the more they empathise with their struggles, so building a picture of this man, not just his work, was very important to me."

The stage show will be performed in the style of traditional Greek theatre, resulting in an immersive spectacular that merges the ancient with the modern featuring breathtaking light, sound, and physical theatre.

Cast in the all important role of Kanzantzakis is Greek Australian stage and screen actor Alex Tsitsopoulos. Currently starring in Neighbours, his past credits including Hyde & Seek (2016), Gallipoli (2015), Fat Tony & Co (2014), with Underbelly Files: Chopper soon to be added to the list.

Meanwhile the star bouzouki player will be Pantelis Krestas, with the chorus featuring members of The Pancretan Youth, along with Elyssia Koulouris, Kostas Ilias Philopoulos and a host of others.

NK: A Kazantzakian Montage is on at Gasworks Arts Park (21 Graham St, Albert Park, VIC) from 13-17 November. For times and to make a booking, visit q44.com.au

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