On the Couch with Finegan Kruckemeyer

Arts Review On the Couch Finegan KruckemeyerWho is Finegan Kruckemeyer?
I’m a Hobart-based playwright of 76 commissioned works, primarily for young audiences.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Given the happiness felt at this moment in time, I’d say little. Both the struggles (comparatively small) and pleasures (comparatively large) have proven to be good stepping stones, and the place arrived at (sitting in a warm house, shared with a beautiful wife and child, on a crisp Tassie day, with words to write and tea to drink and family healthy and friends close by) is a nice one.

Who inspires you and why?
The writers who fill my bookshelves, the family who fills my home, the audience members who (…hopefully) fill the theatres that house my works.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
On a community level, volunteer for programmes that bring practical help to those needing it. On a national level, vote, protest, champion and generally add my voice to the national debate. And on a broader humanist scale, try to raise a son who will love and be loved, in a world which is filled with more rights than wrongs.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
The East coast of Tasmania and the Pacific Northwest of America – two oddly similar places, on either side of the one ocean.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
We might ascend a mountain (Wellington), and descend into an art gallery (Mona), and walk a harbor (Salamanca), and have a pint at the New Sydney.

What are you currently reading?
The Fishermen by Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma – I’m lucky enough to be sharing a panel with him at a Balinese writer’s festival soon, and am preemptively star-struck given the niceness of his words.

What are you currently listening to?
Ivan and Alyosha, with the song Easy to Love on repeat a lot.

Happiness is?
Working in the garden with my wife as our son eats the grass, as the fruit trees blossom and the sun shines and jazz plays and deadlines are met.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully more of the same.

Finegan Kruckemeyer was born in Ireland, and came to Adelaide, Australia at eight. In 2004, he moved with his wife Essie to Hobart, Tasmania, from which he now writes for national and international companies. His son Moe was born in September.

Finegan is committed to making strong and respectful work for children, which acknowledges them as astute audience members outside the plays, and worthy subjects within. He has had seventy-six commissioned plays performed on five continents and translated into five languages, and was an inaugural recipient of the Sidney Myer Fellowship.

This year twelve works are presented worldwide, with seasons in five Australian states, and in the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland and the United States. His plays for young audiences include This Girl Laughs This Girl Cries This Girl Does Nothing, Boats, The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly, Man Covets Bird, and Love.

He has also written plays for general audiences including Those Who Fall in Love Like Anchors Dropped upon the Ocean Floor, Drums in the Night (Translation), This Uncharted Hour, Trouble on Planet Earth, and At Sea Staring Up.

Finegan and his work have received at least one award each year for the past thirteen. Recently he received two Australian Writers Guild Awards, one for The Boy at the Edge of Everything and one, the David Williamson Award, in recognition of his sustained excellence in theatre writing. He has also won a Helpmann Award for Best Australian Children’s Theatre, the Rodney Seaborn Award, Jill Blewett Award, and Colin Thiele Scholarship.

Finegan’s The Boy at the Edge of Everything is currently playing at Melbourne’s Southbank Theatre until 3 October 2015. For more information, visit: www.mtc.com.au for details.

Image: Finegan Kruckemeyer