'I’m not Australian, I’m not Greek, I’m not anything ... What I am is a runner. Running away from a thousand and one things that people say you have to be or should want to be.'
Loaded by Christos Tsiolkas is one of Melbourne’s most iconic works of fiction. In Tsolkias's high-octane, sex- and drugs-fuelled 1995 debut novel we follow 19-year-old Ari – Greek, gay and furious with the world – as he moves through the east, north, west and south of the city.
Loaded has been adapted three times. First, into the feature film, Head On, starring Alex Dimitriades. More recently, playwright Dan Giovannoni and Tsiolkas himself developed a contemporary adaptation for the stage. With the play’s planned October debut cancelled due to social restrictions, Malthouse Theatre has commissioned a unique third adaptation: an audio experience. You might not be able to watch Ari pace the stage, but you can now hear his distinctive voice in your ears as you walk the streets of Melbourne.
To launch the audio experience, we'll present a discussion with Tsiolkas, Giovannoni and the director of both the play and audio experience, Stephen Nicolazzo. With host Rebecca Harkins-Cross they'll discuss Melbourne scenes, adaptation hurdles and why Ari never gets old.
Presented in partnership with Malthouse Theatre.
Christos Tsiolkas is the author of six novels, including Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award, as well as being made into a feature film. His fourth novel, the international bestseller The Slap, won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and won the Australian Literary Society Gold, as well as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. Christos's fifth novel Barracuda was shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and the inaugural Voss Literary Prize. The Slap and Barracuda were both adapted into celebrated television series. His latest novel, Damascus, won the 2020 Prize for Fiction at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
Christos's acclaimed collection of short stories, Merciless Gods, was published in 2014 and his critical literary study On Patrick White came out in 2018. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.
Dan Giovannoni writes plays for families, young people, and adults. Recent credits include Air Race (Arena Theatre Company), Merciless Gods (Little Ones Theatre), Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories (Barking Gecko Theatre Company), Turbine (Malthouse Theatre), Jurassica (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre), and with Amelia Chandos Evans, Cut Snake and Mad as a Cute Snake. Dan was an inaugural writer in residence at Melbourne Theatre Company as a part of the NEXT STAGE program, and is currently under commission from Barking Gecko, Malthouse Theatre, and Melbourne Theatre Company.
Stephen Nicolazzo is a Melbourne based theatre director, and the founder and Artistic Director of Little Ones Theatre, an independent company focused on queer theatre-making. He is a Green Room Award winner for Best Direction (The Happy Prince) and has been nominated a further three times (Psycho Beach Party, Dracula, and The Moors). His works have won 10 Green Room Awards and been nominated for a total of 33. They have also been nominated for six Sydney Theatre Awards and won one in 2020. He was also a participant in the Lincoln Center Theatre's Director's Lab and received the Besen Family Artist Program with Malthouse Theatre.
Rebecca Harkins-Cross is a non-fiction writer and cultural critic. Based in Melbourne, her work has been published widely in journals and periodicals across Australia and the world.
She is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at Monash University and finalising her debut essay collection Terror Australis: Essays on Film and Home. Past roles include theatre critic at the Age, film editor at The Big Issue and long-running film columnist at The Lifted Brow.
Rebecca will be a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia School of the Arts’ Writing Program in New York City in 2021.