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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

South Brisbane.

What do you like most about your

neighbourhood?

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

capitals?

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

high.

Where do you take visitors when they come

to Brisbane?

It’s obvious but I often take people to the city

beach at South Bank, especially on a warm

evening.

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,

South Bank.

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

the theatre?

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

neighbourhood feel.

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

Queensland Theatre?

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

David’s City

and the best people in them such as

Marta Dusseldorp who will appear in

Scenes from

a Marriage

in November).

You have collaborated with playwright

Michael Gow, a former artistic director of

Queensland Theatre Company, on

Once in

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

Brisbane?

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

May and

Noises Off

is on 3-25 June, both at

Playhouse, QPAC, South Brisbane. See

www.queenslandtheatre.com.au

BNE May/June 2017 |

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