Margaret Thanos: The Cypriot Australian giving people a masterclass in film directing


Margaret Thanos is an award-winning Cypriot Australian director for theatre and film, based across the United Kingdom and Australia.

The Greek Herald recently reached out to Margaret after she received the 2023 Ensemble Theatre Sandra Bates Directors Award.

In the interview, Margaret speaks about how it felt to win the award and shares how her Cypriot upbringing influences her career.

Production of Labyrinth. Photo: Clare Hawley.

Tell us about your journey with theatre and film.

My journey with theatre and film has been a long one filled with so many wonderful opportunities. I began theatre when I was seven and was lucky enough to have a family that fully supported my dramatic aspirations. Since then, I have been working in the industry – beginning as a performer and expanding into directing, writing and producing later in my career. 

I have directed at King’s Cross Theatre, Flight Path Theatre and the Cellar Theatre in Sydney and I am the co-artistic director of the Meraki Arts Bar – a three level arts venue on Oxford Street that also incorporates its own 50 seat black box theatre. Running this theatre is one of the great privileges of my life and I am so excited to watch it bloom. 

My first short film Through the Window They Came is currently in post-production, which was funded by The Blackbird Foundation and NIDA. 

All of my work is political (and often satirical) in nature, and I own a production company called Queen Hades Productions that aims to incorporate art and activism in all the work that it creates. 

You recently won the 2023 Ensemble Theatre Sandra Bates Director’s Award. What does it mean to you to be recognised?

I am thrilled to have won the Sandra Bates Director’s Award for 2023. It means so much to have my work valued in this way by the team at Ensemble. It can be challenging for young female directors to break into our industry – particularly into mainstage spaces – and I am thrilled that the team at Ensemble is working to change that. Being recognised for your hard work and abilities is always the best feeling!  

How does your Cypriot heritage influence your work? 

As the child of a Greek Cypriot immigrant, I have been raised to care deeply about social justice and all of my work is rooted in that. I am proud that I can say that everything I direct is centred around creating change and doing good for the world. I know many artists that don’t believe that what we do can make a difference, but I am a staunch believer that it can. I think us Greek Cypriots are a very passionate bunch, and I am proud that I get to represent my community as an artist.  

I am also currently in the early stages of creating a work exploring my heritage and experience with culture growing up in Australia, and my Cypriot background is most certainly influencing that. 

What is next for you as a director?

I am currently living across both London and Sydney, working as a director, performer and activist. Next year I will be directing two short films, as well as some exciting unannounced projects that I can’t yet share. Of course, one of my main focuses of 2023 will be my work with Ensemble as part of the Sandra Bates award. I will be making the most of every opportunity that Ensemble brings my way. 

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