On the Couch with Craig Ilott

Arts Review On the Couch Craig IlottWho is Craig Ilott?
A dashing bon vivant.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’d be happy if I could watch Netflix without falling asleep on the couch in the first 10 minutes.

Who inspires you and why?
People dedicated to a cause larger than themselves. Due to related subject matter on my last show B-Girl, I was fortunate to meet a couple of staff members of Domestic Violence NSW. Their dedication to such an important cause and just being around them was really inspiring.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Forget about myself for a moment.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Edinburgh during the Fringe. The world largest arts festival descends on such a beautiful town. Artists and ideas and show pamphlets fill the streets. Amazing.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Anywhere around the Opera House or Lady Macquarie’s Chair (or perhaps cut out the middle man and head straight to the Opera Bar). That’s when I feel most in Sydney and in awe of her beauty.

What are you currently reading?
I’m struggling to read Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, and The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno.

What are you currently listening to?
Sam Amidon’s Bright Sunny South and the soundtrack to Wish I Was Here.  Oh and Let it Go from the soundtrack of Frozen whenever my three year old daughter is in the room. God help me!

Happiness is?
Creating something that wasn’t there before.

What does the future hold for you?
I have a couple of shows on the road (Velvet and Band of Magicians) as well as a couple of other exciting projects coming up that I can’t announce yet. Currently engaged in a new work at NIDA called Stranger I Am (a song cycle composed by Caitlin Park and iOTA) collaborating with Gavin Robins, my dear friend Andrew Ross and an interesting bunch of NIDA students.

Craig Ilott is an award-winning Australian theatre director. He won a Green Room Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Hedwig and the Angry Inch before directing Love Song (MTC), Pig Iron People (STC) and The Pillowman for Company B Belvoir. His production of Smoke & Mirrors played festivals around the world and was awarded three Helpmann Awards including Best New Australian Work.

In 2012 Craig directed the highly acclaimed production of La Clique Royale for The Famous Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh Festival and was appointed Creative Director for Pacha Sydney @ The Ivy, the flagship Merivale Group venue, directing site specific performance and entertainment.

Most recently he directed Velvet for Brisbane Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival (which won BankSA Pick of the Fringe Award), Diamonds are for Trevor for Arts Centre Melbourne, La Boheme for Opera Queensland and B-Girl for Sydney Opera House Presents.

Craig’s work can be seen in the current production of Velvet at the Sydney Opera House until 1 November and the upcoming production, Stranger I Am at NIDA from 16 – 23 October. For more information, visit: www.velvettheshow.com and www.nida.edu.au/student-productions for details.

Image: Craig Ilott