Lorna V Writer-Performer

I started performing my work right in at the deep end, on stage with no training or experience, and in front of theatre critics. As I began developing a series of female characters, I learnt ‘on the job’, at venues in and out of London appearing at festivals. I then started training, taking courses, attending workshops and working one-to-one with voice coaches.

Veterant arts journalist Donald Hutera gave me the wonderful opportunity to embark on writing and performing my work, and as a result was a recipient of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Olwen Wymark Theatre Encouragement Award in 2016.
I owe a special thanks to George Sallis and Giant Olive Theatre for providing me with ample support to develop as an artist.



‘Aliki Speaks, Women GOlive Festival, Arts at the Old Fire Station, Oxford, 2016
Dance diva and celebrity movement guru, Aliki Mbakoyianni, had the audience’s sides splitting. For once she was not dancing and her lectures to the audience ignited a myriad of emotions – mostly happiness and laughter. Speaking on the gender dynamics in dance Aliki was passionate vivacious and the best shoe thrower I have ever seen.

Georgina Campbell

Oxford Times

‘Aliki Speaks’ Women GOLive Festival, Arts at the Old Fire Station, Oxford, 2016

The first half [of the festival] concludes with a lecture from Lorna V’s alter ego Aliki Mbakoyianni – tango star, dance diva and celebrity movement guru. V embodies her character from the minute she enters the stage, so convincingly that many of the audience do not realize that she is acting. Aliki’s speech is meant to explore the significance of dance in our culture, and whilst this topic is not explored in great depth, the performance is endearing and extremely humorous. Standout moments include cultural allusions to Brexit and Boris Johnson, and a motif in which Aliki invites an audience member to practice throwing a shoe at her partner for spending too much time playing the newly released Pokemon Go.’ Emily May, Oxford Dance Writers.

Emily May

Oxford Dance Writers

‘Aliki Speaks’, Women GOlive Festival, Arts at the Old Fire Station, Oxford, 2016

The programme opened with something neither mythic nor intense: an un-danced monologue in rueful broken English from Aliki Mbakoyianni (the alter ego of Lorna V) on the ways in which dance helps the ordinary people of places like Greece and Argentina to stay sane amid their many troubled existences. Drawing on personal experience of both countries, this rambling discursive piece might in other hands have lost the audience. Yet by its humour and thoughtful

Barbara Berrington

Oxford Dance Writers

Joining in can be difficult, and certainly, some of us were too hesitant or reticent to join Mbakoyianni (aka ‘Lorna V’) on stage in the concluding conga line; but who could ever forget that it was as part of her Aliki Speaks dance lecture, on that most political day, that we discovered that Boris Jonson was the new Foreign Secretary?

Maggie Watson

Oxford Dance Writers

‘Tango Journeys’, GOLab Festival 2014
Lorna V is another Time Out alumnus who’s bravely spreading her performing wings via a series of smart, self-composed monologues set in the seductive and socially complex world of tango.


‘Tango Journeys’, GOLab Festival, 2014
[…] three distinct, somewhat damaged yet endearing and even comic female characters – wallflowerish Denise, the more brassy Kirsty (also known as ‘Kissy’), and a language-mangling teacher named Aliki, three richly-written women let loose.

London Dance.Com

I was invited to read/perform poems by Cypriot poet Sotirios Varnavas at the Cyprus High Commission, an event organised by Cultural Counsellor Dr Marios Psarras, hosted by the High Commissioner Mr. Evripides Evriviades, introduced by socio-linguist Dr Petros Karatsareas from Westminster University. It was a dreary, wet June evening, after a day of cataclysmic rain, yet culture warmed our hearts. It was an exciting experience to offer my interpretation of these moving poems with vivid images of nature, geology, and life’s tiny and big moments.

Dear Lorna,
Thank you for all the expression with which you interpreted my poems. I’m so happy I met such a talented person as you with a spirit of culture. To interpret poems one needs to penetrate their spirit and you had and have the power to do so. My congratulations and many thanks.

Sotirios Varnavas


From Bailamos Opa! with Dance Guru to the Stars Aliki Mbakoyianni at the Blue Elephant Theatre, London, April 26 2018

Photo by Vassa Nicolaou

Funny, warm & engaging character comedy @BETCamberwell feat. some hilarious, movement-based audience participation &, at the end, a few moments of true, quiet beauty (sigh)… Thank you, @LornaVwriter {& #performer!) + @Athena_Mandis + movement adviser Evi Xydia… …
So, the rhetorical question is, what does Aliki do – and where does she go – next? For sure there’s a lotta life in her to be shown & shared

Donald Hutera

Arts Journalist, on Twitter

The director, Athena Mandis, sensitively crafts an enticing one-woman show that differs from a stand-up comedy show in its reason and truth. The story offers opportunities for Lorna [as Aliki] to improvise, (something that she does very well), and actively engage with her audience. Aliki doesn’t want you to admire her -although she does achieve that- but instead, to embark with her upon an intimate journey around themes of age, humanity and belonging. Her final scene is wordless as she dances barefoot the ‘Zeimbekiko’ around her stilettos. This is a dance where traditionally the ‘Magka’ -a tough Greek guy- surrenders to his pain through dance. Aliki’s Zeimbekiko is, by contrast, a duet between her and the performer, with you witnessing where those two intersect. It’s easy to love them both.

T.A. Lfoy @Tia_Lfoy

Writer, artist, researcher. MA student at Central Saint Martins.

Bailamos Opa!

With Dance Guru to the Stars Aliki Mbakoyianni

‘Bailamos Opa! with Dance Guru to the Stars Aliki Mbakoyianni’ is my first full length cultural comedy show, written and performed by me, directed by award-winning Athena Mandis, with Evi Xydia as Greek Dancing Advisor.
With thanks to The Blue Elephant Theatre for the development opportunity and previewing the show.

In this poignant cultural comedy Greek-Argentine global nomad, political activist and single-lady-again Aliki Mbakoyianni arrives to give a lecture on the history of dance. As the former stage star finds herself reflecting on her celebrity-studded life, she delivers a message to every dance body in the audience.

I was thrilled to play Androulla in the short film Southgate to Brighton (2017) written and directed by Athena Mandis and Dino Jacovides. The hilarious Nina Mandis played my mother and as you can see we were enjoying ourselves filming. Photos by Vassa Nicolaou