Isidora Provatos on Home, Sweet Home at Riverside Studios

Amalia Kontesi’s Home, Sweet Home makes its World Premiere next week as part of Riverside Studios’ Bitesize Festival, with Isidora Provatos starring in the one-person show.

The show, directed by Penny Gkritzapi, was first workshopped as part of Pinch of Vault Festival 2023 and sees its central character, Ellie, travelling from London to Greece to prepare her childhood home for sale following its destruction by wildfires. Tackling themes from economic migration to the climate crisis, it raises questions about what ‘home’ is.

Ahead of opening we caught up with Provatos to find out what it’s like to be taking the show to Bitesize Festival.

Q&A with Isidora Provatos

When did you first come into contact with Home, Sweet Home?

I was very lucky to have already worked with the director, Penny Gkritzapi, in a Director’s Cut showcase at Park Theatre. She approached me to play the part of ‘Ellie’ and I was immediately drawn to the project and team. Penny, myself and Amalia Kontesi, the writer, have grown up in the same region of Greece in the Peloponnese; and have been working in the theatre in the UK for many years as Greek migrants. 

What was it that drew you to performing in the show?

The shared experiences of the team straddling two homes is at the core of this play and really brought us together. I truly believe Home, Sweet Home is an important piece of art that can speak to many different cultures and lived experiences globally. It’s such a quirky, poignant play blending nostalgia and childhood memories with the very visceral emotions of loss, displacement and grief.  

How have you approached the performance?

As an actor delivering a whole 60 minute show is always daunting and requires a lot of energy so the most important for me is to work on my movement. I incorporate dance, movement and physical theatre workshops to make sure my energy is flowing and never stagnant. I work on my voice through vocal warm ups and singing lessons. It’s also a mental effort and so I try to take it one day at a time. 

What has it been like working with Penny Gkritzapi and Amalia Kontesi?

The talent that is present in these two artists as well as the pure drive to keep developing and evolving this piece is unparalleled. Amalia’s writing is poetic and authentic. Penny is truly able to make any actor understand even the most nuanced subtext in any piece of work. This has been a true meeting of the minds and I am excited to see where this journey takes us. 

Is there anything you hope audiences take away from the show?

This piece is here to remind people of the tangible impact of climate change. However, despite the tragic incident that drives the play’s action, the piece is also here to inspire people to not lose hope. To me, this is a story about the importance of continuing to fight for yourself, the people and the places that are important to you. 

Home, Sweet Home is at Riverside Studios from 8 to 14 July 2024