On the Couch with Geoff Cobham

Patch Theatre Geoff Cobham - photo by Andy RasheedWho is Geoff Cobham?
Geoff is a lover of light, a purveyor of Pasties, a sucker for Science Fiction and has a late onset passion for Rugby Union. He is also the Artistic Director of Patch Theatre.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I am at a sweet spot of my career right now, I suppose it could be the peak? But whatever it is I am loving it. I get to share lighting driven theatre with 3 to 8 year olds and it’s obvious to all that I have found my peeps. I spent last week with 8 creative designers/ theatre makers in the Queens Theatre – Australia’s oldest mainland theatre, playing with light and eating cake. Every day I am surprised and delighted by the wonder of light and the marvel of flour, sugar and especially butter. We are making a participatory promenade piece of theatre called The Lighthouse. Perhaps this could be described as my Love letter to Light.

Who inspires you and why?
4 year olds, they’re so wise and so funny. Kids at this age are great, they’re so honest and I prefer them before they learn to tell adults what they want to hear. Also Olafur Eliasson, Roy Anderson, Gregory Crewdson and Chris Petridis who is my lighting muse and cake enabler.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Swap the arts budget with the defence budget. Art in all its forms is how we celebrate and understand the beauty and wonder of the world we are fortunate to spend time on. It just makes sense to have more of it. The role of art in the next decade is to drive political change on the climate and focus all efforts on emission reduction. Surely we are all grown up enough to know we cannot leave this to our kids to solve.

Favorite holiday destination and why?
Favignana in Sicily – the simplicity of riding bikes and swimming in the azure blue sea. However we often stay in Adelaide at Christmas and enjoy having the city to ourselves, especially the empty Norwood Pool.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The sunset from the beaches, the Adelaide Central Market, the Adelaide Festival and the 40 minutes of ‘peak hour’. I would also take them on a Pasty crawl, we’re the Pasty capital of Australia.

What are you currently reading?
Arthur C Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama. I am trawling my way back through the Old Masters of SF.

What are you currently listening to?
Everything Olafur Arnalds makes.

Happiness is?
Family and being a Dad, even when I’m not perfect at it I still love being one. Lasers… how frickin thin is that beam! Facts about the ridiculous vastness of everything!

  • 68% of the universe is made of invisible dark energy… we don’t even know what it is or what it does, maybe it is why the universe is expanding exponentially.
  • Almost all of ordinary matter (99.9999999% of it) is empty space. If you took out all of the space in our atoms, the entire human race (all 7 billion of us) would fit into the volume of a sugar cube.
  • If you unravelled all of the DNA in your body, it would span 34 billion miles, reaching to Pluto and back … 13 times.

What does the future hold for you?
I am trying very hard to Be Here Now.

Geoff is the Director and Designer of The Lighthouse – which will be presented at the Queen’s Theatre as part of the 2020 Adelaide Festival from 25 February. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefestival.com.au for details.

Image: Geoff Cobham – photo by Andy Rasheed

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