Where are you from?
Most recently from Melbourne and before
that Sydney, but I grew up all over the place:
Sydney, Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory,
Canberra and Melbourne.
When did you come to Brisbane?
I came here to take up the position of artistic
director of Queensland Theatre in November
2015 but I had spent time here before as chair
of circus company Circa and through my
grandparents who lived in Esk.
Where do you live now?
New Farm, 6km from the city centre and about
15 minutes from the theatre headquarters in
What do you like most about your
As the parent of a toddler, it’s hard to go past
New Farm Park.
What’s the biggest difference you notice
between Brisbane and the southern
The generosity and warmth of the people
here. Brisbane audiences are genuinely up for
experiences and Brisbane artists are genuinely
supportive of each other.
What has been your best discovery about
the city since moving to Brisbane?
Newstead Brewery is currently rating pretty
Where do you take visitors when they come
It’s obvious but I often take people to the city
beach at South Bank, especially on a warm
What’s your favourite thing to do on the
weekend in Brisbane?
I love taking my son on the CityCat to
GOMA and wandering around the exhibitions,
especially the child-friendly ones. It’s pretty
amazing to have an interactive LEGO
installation by one of my favourite Danish
artists, Olafur Eliasson.
What’s your greatest indulgence?
A long anniversary lunch with my wife at one
of the tables by the river at Stokehouse Q,
Favourite place for coffee?
Ripe café on Merivale Street in South Brisbane
because it’s around the corner from Queensland
Theatre, and because the barista Brett is a great
bloke and knows I like double strength coffees.
Favourite meal out?
I had a very decadent lunch at Bacchus (at
Rydges, South Bank) the other day. Beautiful
food served with a sense of theatre.
What is your favourite activity away from
Being from Melbourne I’m an AFL guy (North
Melbourne is my team) but I love watching
any code of football, on TV or live. I’ve started
wandering across the river from our HQ to
watch rugby league games at Suncorp. I love
the atmosphere of football games and how
passionate people are.
What’s an entertainment you enjoy in
addition to theatre?
I enjoy watching movies at the cinema,
especially New Farm Cinema because of its
Where and when do you feel most inspired?
I love Jacaranda season. I love how trees you
don’t realise are Jacarandas suddenly burst into
life and how you can turn a corner and suddenly
be amongst a sea of purple. It fills you with hope
and possibility and then it’s all gone.
Why did you drop the word ‘company’ from
To reflect the fact that we think bigger than just
our own company interests. We are passionate
about the health and quality of theatre in our
whole state. Our new name is who we are, what
we make and what we care about.
How will Queensland Theatre be different
under your direction?
I want to build on the strong foundations of
the company’s past to create a future in which
we lead the country from Queensland. My
first season, on stage this year, is the start of
this. In 2017 we are engaging with the rest of
Queensland more than ever before (for example,
by staging a world premiere –
My Name is Jimi
– in Cairns before it opens in Brisbane), we are
taking the work of Queensland artists around the
country more than ever before (with multiple
shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and
Perth), and we are bringing people the highest
quality theatre (best plays such as
Once in Royal
and the best people in them such as
Marta Dusseldorp who will appear in
You have collaborated with playwright
Michael Gow, a former artistic director of
Queensland Theatre Company, on
Royal David’s City
. What has been a highlight
of working with him?
Michael has one of the most amazing brains I
have ever encountered. Working on or seeing one
of his plays lets you spend time inside his mind.
He is uniquely able to blend the personal with
the political, the serious with the silly, and the
natural with the theatrical.
How do you like to travel around Brisbane
and what’s your favourite journey?
It’s rarer than it should be but I’m enjoying
jogging around New Farm and especially across
the Story Bridge at night. I enjoy the trip into
Queensland Theatre because I have the best job
in the world.
What is a favourite short break outside
As Queensland Theatre gets more involved in far
north Queensland, I’ve been enjoying spending
more time in Cairns. I like how laid back it feels.
Once in Royal David’s City
is on until 14
is on 3-25 June, both at
Playhouse, QPAC, South Brisbane. Seewww.queenslandtheatre.com.au
BNE May/June 2017 |