On the Couch with Andy Packer

Andy-Packer-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Andy Packer?
I am father to three sons, a passionate cook, happy partner to a sewist and companion human for Skylar the rescued greyhound. I am also a director of theatre, opera and events, founding Artistic Director and CEO of Slingsby.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
If I wasn’t making theatre I’d run a small establishment called SPICE BAR. Inspired by the history of small town Irish grocer/pubs, this would be an immersive, suburban hole-in-the wall with house fermented and cured foods, bulk spices for sale and an evolving range of cocktails. A place for community gathering and storytelling. Not that I’ve thought about it much… clearly.

Who inspires you and why?
Every independent artist that manages to get a new work that burns in their heart off the ground and in front of an audience.

What would you do to make a difference in the world? 
Roll out worldwide the investment that countries like Denmark and Norway make in art making and experiences for children and young people. Art can profoundly build confidence, creativity, empathy and community. Imagine the impact of such an investment over a five-generation timeframe.

Favourite holiday destination and why? 
The Canal du Midi in France. But in COVID-19 times – Deep Creek Conservation Park on South Australia’s stunning Fleurieu Peninsula. Being out in the natural world, being with my family, breathing in the restorative balm of bucolic countryside.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why? 
Bunnings for a Sausage Sizzle and then, as a contrast, Gaganis Brothers for a Souvlaki with Russian Salad. If we have a few days to spare, Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island.

What are you currently reading? 
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky and Australian Gypsies: Their secret history by Mandy Sayer

What are you currently listening to?
Kjartan Sveinsson’s stunning Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen

Happiness is? 
Taking in the morning rounds of my vegetable garden

What does the future hold for you?
The premiere of The Boy Who Talked to Dogs. A brand-new work which Slingsby has been developing since 2017 and which, thanks to the support of State Theatre Company of South Australia and Adelaide Festival, we will finally be able to share with audiences during Adelaide Festival 2021. I am also very excited to be establishing Slingsby’s Flying Squad, a team of five multi-skilled artists that we will employ on two-year contracts, to generate and tour original theatre works across South Australia. An incredible new chapter in the company’s development.

Andy is the Director of The Boy Who Talked to Dogs – which will make its world premiere at the Thomas Edmonds Opera Studio – Adelaide Showgrounds as part of the 2021 Adelaide Festival: 25 February – 14 March. For more information, visit: www.slingsby.net.au or www.statetheatrecompany.com.au for details.

Image: Andy Packer (supplied)