Greek Australian actor, Ariadne Sgouros, will take to the stage in the production of “Midnight Murder at Hamlington Hall”, for Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre, running from December 1, 2023, to January 14, 2024.
Mark Kilmurry and Jamie Oxenbould’s world premiere comedy, brings life to the humorous struggles and hurdles faced by a small cast as they strive to deliver a memorable performance against all odds.
“It’s been interesting to do, not a straight comedy, as the setup is sort of setting everything up that could go wrong and then having to sort of make that happen…it’s been quite an interesting intellectual comedy endeavour,” says Ariadne Sgouros to Neos Kosmos.
“Coming together as a group to make something happen”
The play follows an amateur theatre group attempting to stage the production, facing challenges such as cast members falling ill.
With only three actors and Ariadne in the role of Karen, the stage manager, the narrative unfolds as they navigate the ensuing chaos and comedic challenges of putting on a show with limited resources.
The Greek Australian actress expresses her hope in “doing a comedy that will make people laugh,” but also wishes that viewers leave with a sense of wanting the characters to overcome obstacles “and succeed even with all the things going wrong.”For her, this marks a celebration of the joy found in the arts, the power of theatre, and the collective effort of individuals “coming together as a group to make something happen.”
Proud to be Greek
Ariadne, born in Athens, to a Greek father and an Australian mother, made the move to Australia at the age of four.
Her parents, who met while teaching at a school in Greece, relocated to Australia, shaping her multicultural background.
Despite her attempts to “acclimatise” after arriving in Australia as a young migrant, Ariadne says recent experiences, including a Greek short film project, have not only “invigorated” her love and appreciation for Greece and its rich contributions to the world, but have also cultivated a deep sense of pride in her Greek heritage.
“I used to not like my name because people couldn’t spell it and people couldn’t say it, and now I think it’s one of the best things about me. I think it’s so important to have a connection to culture, and I think Greek culture is at the epicentre of a lot of the world. I feel quite privileged to be a part of that,” added Sgouros.
A Hellenic link to “inherent desire to tell stories”
The Greek Australian performer draws a connection between her decision to pursue acting and her Greek upbringing.
Bedtime stories, filled with epic trials like Hercules, narrated with passionate detail, ignited in her an “inherent desire to tell stories.”
Recognising the “strong connection” Greece holds to “playwrights and theatres,”she initially perceived it as a “tenuous” link.
However, she now considers it a foundational reason behind much of her motivation in pursuing her chosen career.
The 30-year-old actress acknowledges that certain personality traits, such as passion, outspokenness, and having strong opinions, which she associates to being “inherently Greek,” have proven beneficial for her art.
“I used to shy away from that and sort of be like. Oh, you know, I’ll just keep calm… Now I’ve realised that a lot of my art and the stuff that I’ve been producing through has benefited from the things I get from being Greek,” says Ariadne.
Discovering a passion for acting
After completing Year 12, the Greek Australian actress went on a gap year in England, and worked at a school with children, doing drama classes.
It was during this experience that she discovered her true calling for acting, thinking “this is where I want to be” and finally made the decision to “give this a go.”This realisation led her to apply for the Bachelor of Performing Arts program at Monash University in Melbourne.
In her second year, she took a bold step and applied to the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, describing it as “an exercise to see what it would be like to be in one of these big rooms.”
Her determination paid off as she not only got in, but successfully completed the three-year program from 2015 to 2017, marking the launch of her acting career.
Since then, she has consistently been working in the field, starting with “independent theatre,” and later moving to “professional companies.”
Following her involvement with the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), she worked on a short film titled “Gorgo,” which premiered at a film festival, where she undertook the challenge of delivering her performance entirely in Greek.
With a little bit of help from her father, Ariadne found herself in need of a “touch-up” on her Greek language skills.
“It was incredible to sit down, learn it, and be able to speak it on screen for a film that a lot of people saw. It was truly amazing,” she says.
Looking forward to her upcoming comedy play, the 30 year old Greek Australian actress, shares her excitement about unveiling it to the audience.
“It’s such an amazing team to me, it’s just such a funny show. I’m honestly really excited to get it up and get it in front of people.”