On the Couch with Christopher Samuel Carroll

AAR-Christopher-Samuel-Carroll-photo-by-Novel-PhotographicWho is Christopher Samuel Carroll?
I’m an actor, director, playwright, theatre-maker from Ireland, now based in Canberra.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
My background is in physical theatre, so I have the recurring urge to abandon this notional career of mine, and flee to some remote village in Japan or Italy or Poland to do rigorous physical training every day with a devoted group of monastic fellow-actors, making theatre that no one will ever see.

Who inspires you and why?
What keeps me going is the magic that happens when you bring actors together in a rehearsal room; the wonder of making something out of nothing. I teach at Canberra Youth Theatre and, trite as it sounds, I draw great inspiration from the passion, beauty, and life of my students as they discover the breadth and depth of who they are.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Quit theatre and commit my energies towards climate activism. It’s an ongoing source of inner-conflict that I pour my life into the vanity of playing make-believe, or worse still, all the administrative sludge that comes with it, for outcomes that inevitably leave me dissatisfied. I’ve come to terms with the futility of theatre, even as I continue to try to make work with a social conscience, but the question gnaws away at me.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I was fortunate that different projects took me to Italy several years in a row in my early 20s. Every summer since has felt wasted. The marriage of beauty, sensuality, and culture that flows through all things – the heavy odour of Jasmine on long summer nights in Arezzo; the delicacy of buffalo mozzarella in Pontedera; the sepia splendour of Syracuse; getting lost in the medieval hilltop labyrinth of Noepoli… It’s like a dream, to think there are places in the world that ache with such beauty.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
If a friend ever visited me in Canberra, I’d take them to Sydney.

What are you currently reading?
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve been relistening to Have One on Me and Divers by Joanna Newsom lately: soothing, surprising, intricate, melodic, ethereal worlds woven in every song. Like sipping a complex elderflower gin.

Happiness is?
Is it though?

What does the future hold for you?
Growing into myself more as a writer, and devoting more time to touring my own productions.

Christopher stars as Marc in the classic comedy classic Art by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, playing at The Street Theatre from 6 – 11 September 2022. For more information, visit: www.thestreet.org.au for details.

Image: Christopher Samuel Carroll – photo by Novel Photographic