CULTURE

Stage honors young actor

Seven promising actors – with resumes not exceeding five years on stage – were nominated for this year’s Dimitris Horn Award for a young leading actor. The prize finally went to 25-year-old Argyris Xafis, an actor first spotted at the Theatro tou Notou company at the Amore Theater. The award came for his part in the play «The Turn of the Screw,» which was staged last year at the same theater. Disarmingly youthful in appearance, the two-meter-tall Xafis was born and raised in the Athens suburb of Maroussi, where his parents and sister still reside. The actor currently rents an apartment in the Gyzi area in order to be closer to his second home, the Amore Theater, where he has been working hard in rehearsals and performances for the last five years, ever since he graduated from the National Theater’s Drama School in 1997. Do you make a consistent effort in order to maintain your youthful appearance? I don’t try that hard, but I do hope I can keep it, at least on the inside. On the outside I grow a beard over the baby face. Your stage debut was made in a rather shocking play. It was in Ravenhill’s play «Shopping and Fucking,» directed by Thomas Moschopoulos. Since then I have appeared in the Theatro tou Notou’s «Powder Keg,» «After the Rain,» «The Turn of the Screw,» «Much Ado About Nothing,» and I am currently in David Gieselman’s «Mr Kolpert.» I also participated in the State Theater of Northern Greece’s production of «The Cherry Orchard,» again directed by Moschopoulos. Moschopoulos appears to be a key figure in the development of Argyris Xafis the actor. He has also been instrumental in the development of Xafis the man. Yiannis Houvardas and Anna Mascha – a dear friend and colleague to whom I owe a lot – have also contributed. As a member of a tightly knit company from the very beginning, aren’t you afraid you might miss being part of the team when you go on to other things? I’ll try and prolong this way of working for as long as I can. I believe that it is precisely this team atmosphere which gives you the energy to create, whether on stage or during rehearsals. As an actor of this generation, are you perhaps more interested in roles that fall under the banner of a more contemporary repertoire? Neither parts nor works matter as much as personal relationships. I would consider myself lucky if, together with a good team of colleagues, we worked on a classical play, perhaps even more so than working on a more contemporary one. Do you know anything about the era of Dimitris Horn and his contemporaries or is it completely foreign to you? I’m still at an age where I am trying things out. I listen, I read whatever falls into my hands concerning that era, but I haven’t gone any further. I feel, however, that the theater’s basic role is still the same and that is to communicate with people. Only the means change. It does seem to me that relationships have reached saturation point, however. That’s how I feel today, and I’m only 25 years old. Just a few years ago my relationship with my grandmother as well as other close relatives was different, far more human. It’s been a month since I last called my grandmother. The speed with which we live our lives is going to burn us out.