On the Couch with Des Flanagan

Des-Flanagan-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Des Flanagan?
A boy from Beechworth who has found himself at the Moulin Rouge kicking a leg, singing some of the greatest love songs ever written and falling in love with a Sparkling Diamond. I play Christian in the highly acclaimed Moulin Rouge! The Musical. This is my first lead role in a mainstage show.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I wouldn’t want to do anything else from what I’m doing now. Having found a drive to perform late in life there is nothing I would trade it for. I had started my Masters of Teaching prior to landing Christian in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. I did however find a way to ‘perform’ everyday when I worked as a Teachers Aide for four years.

Who inspires you and why?
No one person in particular but rather my beautiful family and collection of friends. All of them have attributes I admire and I aspire to employ in my own life. They also never cease to support my aspirations, are patient listeners and are there always when I need someone to confide in.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
All I feel I can do is to continue telling stories as best I can in the hope it inspires, brings joy, gives a moment of escape or teaches. A good story is our greatest tool in teaching empathy and morals.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I have two, Angelsea and Beechworth. Beechworth is where I’m from and grew up my whole life. I haven’t been there for many years but to me it always has this mystic draw to it. In my opinion and it may be a bias one, it is the most beautiful town in Australia. I love the familiarity of it all. There is a memory for every sense throughout the area which is very calming when I am able to get out of the city. Beechworth is my mountain escape but I’ll head to Angelsea to smell that salty air. Anglesea has to be my favourite place along the Great Ocean Road. I spent a lot of time growing up there during the summer holidays. It’s a quite place, with stunning scenery, walks and too many options for beaches to swim at.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I am a real avid walker when it comes to showing people around Melbourne. Key areas are the Botanical Gardens, Smith Street, Brunswick Street or along the Yarra River.

What are you currently reading?
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. A book thrown into my hands as a must read and it hasn’t disappointed. It is an examination of a marriage and the different perspectives of their union.

What are you currently listening to?
Gregory Porter is a staple in my music diet over the last year. Particularly his albums All Rise and Take me to the Alley. And about once every six months to a year Above and Beyond’s album Acoustic plays relentlessly. It is the most incredible self covered album. Originally trance music the band have reinterpreted their music to create a Bond style sound and the whole concert can be found on YouTube. Highly recommended!

Happiness is?
A good book in front of a fire on a cold day. A pint in a pub with pals. A cup of tea after dinner. A float in the ocean. A tear and laugh in a theatre.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully an extended list of what happiness is…

Des stars as Christian in Moulin Rouge! The Musical – which is now playing Sydney’s Capitol Theatre (Sydney premiere – Saturday 4 June). For more information, visit: www.moulinrougemusical.com for details.

Image: Des Flanagan – photo by Steven Grace Photography