On the Couch with Conor Leach

Fourteen Conor Leach photo by Morgan RobertsWho is Conor Leach?
I have thoughts on whether the self is knowable, but I’ll just give you some facts about me instead! I’m an actor and theatre maker currently rehearsing Shake & Stir’s production of Fourteen, based on Shannon Molloy’s beautiful memoir of the same name. I played Shannon in our original season for Brisbane Festival 2022 and now we get to tour his story around the country. I feel very lucky to be taking on such a gift of a role.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Be kinder to myself, which I’m getting better at with practice. Also, actually commit to getting through my never-ending watch list of TV shows. I just can’t stop rewatching Veep. Help me.

Who inspires you and why?
Australian Diamonds netballer Courtney Bruce. She’s so committed to her craft and so in the moment too. I think actors can learn a lot watching elite athletes. She’s the world’s best player of the world’s best sport.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
It’s a privilege to do a show like Fourteen precisely because you can feel that difference. In our first season, we saw how Shannon’s story was moving and changing people – in their responses during the show, at Q&As, in conversations at stage door. It’s heartening to make a genuine impact through your work. Outside of work: protest, protest, protest. And put your money where your mouth is.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
One of my friends got married last year in Sardinia and we all went over and had the time of our lives. The most unreal beaches I’ve ever seen. I usually do my utmost to avoid the sun, but I was thoroughly converted to beachgoing. I was also introduced to the wonder that is the limoncello spritz.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
In Naarm where I’m based, you can’t really beat Naked for Satan. I think it’s been written up a few times as one of the world’s coolest bars. Divine cocktails and stunning city views from the rooftop. In Meanjin where I grew up, and right now am calling home again, I love just taking friends down the river on the CityCat.

What are you currently reading?
I have three books on the go at the moment: Andre Agassi’s memoir, OpenSorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason and Pageboy by Elliot Page. They’re all great but I really need to commit to one, I’m spread thin!

What are you currently listening to?
My housemates and I threw a party a few weeks ago, and not to brag, but I made the most fire playlist and I haven’t stopped listening to it. My specialty is forgotten 2000s / early 2010s bangers.

Happiness is?
Accepting what you can’t change and changing what you can’t accept. And Tim Tams.

What does the future hold for you?
The tour of Fourteen of course, coming to a city near you May through August!

Conor stars as Shannon Malloy in Fourteen – which commences its national tour at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta (3 – 4 May), before playing in selected venues across Australia through to August 2024. For more information and touring schedule, visit: www.shakeandstir.com.au for details.

Image: Conor Leach – photo by Morgan Roberts