On the Couch with Ben Bennett

Ben Bennett AAR On the CouchWho is Ben Bennett?
I am a 25 year old Musical Theatre writer/performer from Sydney. I was born in England but grew up on a small Island off the coast of Townsville called Magnetic Island.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
If I was ever going to do anything that wasn’t creative/performance based it would probably be something to do with sport. I’m not athletic at all, so I would definitely be more suited to being a broadcaster, than a player. I love the NBA, I watch it on my phone whenever I get a spare second.

Who inspires you and why?
As a writer, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin) would be my biggest inspiration. Followed closely by Pasek & Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman). My co-writer Ashleigh Taylor and I were lucky enough to be chosen to workshop our show with Stephen Schwartz in 2019 in LA, where I also got to meet Pasek & Paul. So it’s been a big year for meeting people who have inspired both Ash & I.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Ashleigh and I are both super passionate about animals. We spent a couple of weeks last year in Thailand working with and looking after Elephants. Animal welfare is a huge issue for us, and it’s something that we plan to do more of in the future.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
There is an Island in the Bahamas called Pig Island, where there are wild pigs roaming around. They aren’t aggressive at all because they have no natural predators on the Island. That’s at the top of my bucket list at the moment.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I think catching the ferry from Kirribilli to Circular Quay is one of the most beautiful ways to see all of the landmarks of Sydney. You can see the bridge, The Opera House, Luna Park. It catches me by surprise every time I catch the ferry. It’s an unbelievably beautiful part of Sydney.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Bryan Cranston’s auto-biography.

What are you currently listening to?
Lizzo. She’s phenomenal.

Happiness is?
Coming home to my partner Ashleigh, my dog Hunter, and my cat Elsa. It doesn’t get much better than that.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m a plan guy. But these last couple of years have been such a rollercoaster and taken such massive turns that I have no idea. Ash and I have already started writing our second musical, so if the future is anything like the last 2 years, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Ben has co-written and co-stars with Ashleigh Taylor in the new groundbreaking musical, The Life Of Us – currently playing at the Hayes Theatre Co. until 9 February 2020. For more information, visit: www.hayestheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Ben Bennett (supplied)

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