On the Couch with Andy Harmsen

Arts Review Andy Harmsen On the CouchWho is Andy Harmsen?
Playwright, sound designer, composer, writer. Co-runs a strange little theatre company called Sly Rat Theatre Company.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Worry less. I would worry far, far less.

Who inspires you and why?
All things bright and beautiful … But, in equal measure, all things obscene and putrid. I feel really inspired when I cannot separate the two.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Get up in the morning. It’s all any of us can really do.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
India. Somewhere nestled in the mountains surrounding the northern province of Ladakh.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
For a trot around the Maribyrnong River, perhaps, Pipemaker’s Park with its beautiful, colonial meat preserving plant. The stones it’s made of were forged in volcanic lava millions of years ago. The whole area was shaped by a sea of lava leaking out of the place we call High Point Shopping Centre. It’s incredible. It’s also got a drink tap! Then, on to Flemington for a face-melting laksa.

What are you currently reading?
Amnesia by Peter Carey. Not nearly as forgettable as the title suggests.

What are you currently listening to?
Sleep by the British composer, Max Richter. The guy writes the most heart-shreddingly beautiful music. The album is eight hours long and designed to be listened to from the moment you drift off to sleep to the strange moments of waking.

Happiness is?  
An abstract noun.

What does the future hold for you?
Keep making theatre, methinks. Sly Rat Theatre Co. is pretty booked up for the next year. I’ll keep writing, keep reading, keep working. We ain’t even close to being done.

Andy Harmsen is a Melbourne playwright and academic, completing his undergraduate degree at Curtin University in Western Australia, and his postgraduate studies at The University of Melbourne where he is currently researching.

He received a Grace Marion Wilson Fellowship from Writer’s Victoria for 2012 and was shortlisted for Red Stitch Theatre’s INK program for 2015 with his play, The Long Shadow. Alongside Alan Chambers, he is the co-artistic director of  Sly Rat Theatre Co.

Andy’s latest work, Foreign Bodies will be presented at The Owl and Cat in Richmond from 23 October 2015. For more information, visit: www.slyrattheatreco.com for details.

Image: Andy Harmsen