My name is Dimitri Katsoulis. I am from Greece. Here in Melbourne I live in Cheltenham and I am a Greek shadow puppet theatre puppeteer.
Greek shadow puppet theatre, through its main character and representative, Karaghiozis, deals with social issues and problems.
Originally it drew me as a spectacle.
I worked at a café theatre, I used to sell pumpkin seeds and chickpeas and when the performances would commence I would go backstage and watch.
And that’s how I began … slowly, slowly, and I started to love it. It suited my personality, too because I am also opinionated.
When the military dictatorship took over in Greece my wife and i decided to come to Australia.
In 1978, a Greek shadow puppet theatre puppeteer, Abraam, came here. And when he left he left me all of his equipment.
There are about 17 to 18 principal characters. However, the main character, without whom a performance cannot proceed, is Karaghiozis.
(As Karaghiozis) Hello Moya. How are you? Well? Me? Hahahaha…
He is basically satirical. He satirises everything. And he is also subversive. He does not agree with many things that are detrimental to society.
The shadow puppet theatre gives me the opportunity to express myself through the characters. The things I believe and want to say, I say through Karaghiozis.
(As Karaghiozis) Ok, goodbye! I am going home to eat … Not that there’s anything to eat … bloody hell … (laughs)