On the Couch with Heidi Manche’

Arts Review On the Couch Heidi MancheWho is Heidi Manche’?
Theatre Director, founder of Room to Play productions. Afterplay by Brian Friel will be showing at Sydney Fringe Festival in September.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Deep sea adventures, I want to find the blob fish.

Who inspires you and why?
Dario Fo. Italian Noble Prize winner for literature (theatre) and comic extraordinaire. A people’s court jester. Political, bold and takes on the heavy weights.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Be a people’s court jester. And create a space where all children could play safely.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Stradbroke Island – an island off Brisbane where you can watch giant manta rays dance and goannas grin. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. It’s paradise.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
We’d sit on the sprawling verandah of our Queenslander home, with some local Moreton bay bugs and liquid of choice, humming with the abundant wildlife that still frequents the inner city of Brisbane and then roll down to the GOMA for Friday Night acoustics.

What are you currently reading?
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari – a brilliant insight into human behaviour.

What are you currently listening to?
Russian classical violin and Puccini’s La Boheme – prepping music for our show Afterplay. I’m also listening to the Spanish singer Camarón de la Isla – I’ve got a soft spot for flamenco music.

Happiness is?
An action, not a feeling. Feelings are too transitory. But a happiness action is holding the space for a friend who is struggling, smiling at the cashier, being an inchworm for my kids’ latest role-play.

What does the future hold for you?
Create a fringe theatre venue for independent theatre practitioners in Brisbane – filling a much needed hole.

Heidi Manche’ studied theatre in Sydney and was granted a scholarship to study at La Sapienza Rome University in Italy, with a project to work alongside Nobel laureate Dario Fo. In Italy, she was trained in Commedia dell’arte and Theatre of the Oppressed. Heidi translated many of Dario Fo’s texts into English and joined a Roman theatre troupe, Stalker, touring throughout Italy.

On her return to Australia, Heidi become part of a Commedia troupe in Sydney, founded an independent theatre, The Crypt Theatre, and continued to direct plays whilst enrolled in the Sydney Film School with a focus on directing. Moving to Brisbane, she founded Brisbane Youth Theatre and the independent theatre company Room to Play which recently toured to the Melbourne Fringe Festival with Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna. Manche’ has recently directed Dario Fo’s, The Virtuous Burglar to a sell-out season in Brisbane.

Heidi is currently directing Brian Friel’s poetic one act play, Afterplay at the Old 505 Theatre: 8 – 12 September 2015 as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. For more information, visit: www.sydneyfringe.com for details.

Image: Heidi Manche