On the Couch with Anthony Skuse

Anthony Skuse_photo by Gez Xavier Mansfield oncWho is Anthony Skuse?
I’m a theatre director and teacher. I’m currently directing Nick Payne’s Constellations at the Eternity Playhouse and dreaming of Chekhov. Chekhov is the next project and the dreams are not so restful.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I don’t think I would do anything differently, except learn to manage money. But all my choices have lead me to do what I do and I love it. At times I feel blessed to have the life I have with the people who are in it.

Who inspires you and why?
Michael Kirby: he seems to be a wonderful example of how to engage with the world with grace and intelligence. There are a number of artists who also inspire me: Derek Jarman for his writings, his garden and his political engagement, Virginia Woolf, Patrick White … it’s a long list

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
The questions is overwhelming and if I knew the answer to that I would do it. All I can really do is to live my life as thoughtfully and truthfully as I can.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Paris in the winter. The city is so beautiful in that winter light. Going to the Louvre is like coming home: all those paintings and sculptures that I have loved since a teenager. Failing Paris I would say my sister’s property in the upper Hunter Valley. It’s on a river, in nature: it’s beautiful. Of course a car trip with my partner is always fun: chatting, music, silence and new vistas.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
There’s a walk from where we are in Annandale to the harbour through back lanes and reclaimed wet-lands to come out at parkland round the Glebe foreshore. The view of the city that seems to rise out of the harbour is glorious. You get a wonderful sense of people living here.

What are you currently reading?
Middlemarch by George Eliot. The novel came up in rehearsal and so I’ve picked it up. I have to admit that this is about the fifth time I’ve attempted the book and I’m loving it. I even found myself laughing out loud on the bus.

What are you currently listening to?
Giya Kanckeli’s Little Imber and Pinchgut’s recording of Cavalli’s Giasone.

Happiness is?
Hanging out with my partner. Making the perfect risotto. Rehearsing, always rehearsing and I know, my partner tells me I’m always much happier when I have a show.

What does the future hold for you?
There are two developments coming up that I’m very excited about, and a production of Platonov that is swirling round my head at the moment.

Anthony Skuse is a director, dramaturge and teacher. His directing credits include: Anthony Neilson’s Realism (WAAPA); Diana Son’s Stop Kiss (Unlikely Productions); Bite Me – The Voices Project, Australian Theatre for Young People; Simon Stephen’s On the shore of the wide world (Griffin Independent)  Amy Hertzog’s 4000 Miles (Under the Wharf, Sydney & La Boite, Brisbane) which received two Sydney Theatre Award nominations for 2013; Simon Stephen’s Punk Rock (Under the Wharf) which received three Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Independent Production, Best Direction and Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Henry Purcell’s Dioclesian (Pinchgut Opera); Letts’ Bug,Jose Rivera’s References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Marius Von Mayenburg’s The Cold Child,  Michael Gow’s Live Acts On Stage (Griffin Independent Sydney); Robert Faquar’s Bad Jazz, Mark Ravenhill’s pool (no water) The Presnyakov Brothers’ Terrorism (Darlinghurst Theatre Sydney); Janis Balodis’ Too Young For Ghosts, Tony Kushner’s Bright Room Called Day (NIDA); The Greek Project: Aischylos, Euripides and Sophocles: a special project at ATYP, for twenty women, aged nine to sixty-nine.

Anthony teaches at Actors Centre Australia, as well as at Sydney’s College of Fine Arts and NIDA, were he was an Associate Lecturer for Performance Practices and taught Repertoire with Playwrights from 2009 to 2012.

Anthony is currently directing Nick Payne’s Constellations for Darlinghurst Theatre Company at the Eternity Playhouse from 12 August. For more information, visit: www.darlinghursttheatre.com for details.

Image: Anthony Skuse – photo by Gez Xavier Mansfield

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