On the Couch with Bonnie Lythgoe

Bonnie Lythgoe Arts Review On the CouchWho is Bonnie Lythgoe?
I am a very loyal and honest person that loves life and the challenges that come my way. I always try to respect listen and understand people and not jump in with my own conversations. I was born to be in the entertainment world and have dedicated most of my life to it. Artists are very important to me and I will always do my best to help and advise them on their future. I am a strong but sensitive person and will fight for what I believe in. I love my Family very much and would protect them with my life.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I suppose I would face a situation and solve it if I could rather than leave it and not face facts. I would listen to my two sons far more and spend time with them and not let work get in the way. Finally I would make more time for me and take a break now and again.

Who inspires you and why?
So many people inspire me but Sidney Poitier was my first. I was an actor in the film To Sir With Love, and Sidney was my mentor. He helped me with the script, and I watched him develop his character throughout the days of filming – he was so professional. Gene Kelly was also an inspirational man that I had the pleasure of working with. I felt that he was a friend you had known for ages. He was such a brilliant dancer I could not takes my eyes off him. I asked him for his autograph and I left it on the table at home and one of my kids thought it was a piece of paper to scribble on, and so I lost the one autograph I asked for, but I have the memories.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Spending Family time together as a unit is something I feel very strongly about. I feel it is important in a person’s development. This is a process we try to achieve by introducing Family Panto’s to the Australian society, as well as many other countries.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Portugal is my favourite holiday destination because it has been part of my life for a long time. My Grandparents lived there for many years and I travelled there every school holiday. The weather is ideal, the people beautiful and the villages picturesque. Time has stood still in many of the towns, and it is still as lovely as I remember as a child. I still go there at least twice a year, and I still get that familiar feeling of I am home again.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I would take them to the Melbourne Cup, as it is such an exciting day out and a great tradition, and then if it is in January, it would be a trip to the Tennis. Not sure if they would like the tennis but I would.

What are you currently reading?
Survivor – which is a trilogy written by Lesley Pearse. It leads you through the turmoil of world war two and the destruction it caused to so many countries, but it also gives you an insight to the families left behind. A very romantic brilliant writer – recommended to all.

What are you currently listening to?
Now that’s a loaded question as I listen to everything depending on the mood I am in. But let me say my love of music stretches from the Beatles to Classical to Sting, and of course Adele. One thing I hate is Jazz.

Happiness is?
Seeing your child take their first baby steps. Waking up to Christmas morning knowing that the day is going to be full of surprises, love and lots of food. It’s a time when families come together and talk around a table and that makes me so happy.

What does the future hold for you?
For the first time, I am bringing The Adventures of Peter Pan & Tinker Bell Return to Pantoland to the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne in June and July with Todd McKenney playing Hook. To see Panto is truly a great Adventure!

The Adventures of Peter Pan & Tinker Bell Return to Pantoland plays The Arts Centre Gold Coast: 23 June – 1 July, before touring to the State Theatre, Sydney: 7 – 16 July, and the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne: 21 – 30 July. For more information, visit: www.ozpanto.com for details.

Image: Bonnie Lythgoe (supplied)