On the Couch with Hilary Bell

Hilary Bell Arts Review On the CouchWho is Hilary Bell?
I’m a playwright, librettist and lyricist. I also create picture books with artists extraordinaire Antonia Pesenti (Alphabetical Sydney, Numerical Street) and Matthew Martin (The Marvellous Funambulist of Middle Harbour, and Other Sydney Firsts).

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Be financially literate.

Who inspires you and why?
Jazz saxophonist Phillip Johnston. He has integrity, kindness, a sense of humour, and will do anything for those he cares about. I’m lucky enough to be married to him.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Give animals the same rights as humans.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
The Jenolan Caves. The lolly-coloured lighting of the Temple of Baal and Cleopatra’s Jewels …

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The Glebe Foreshore parks – Jubilee and Blackwattle Bay. There’s water, bush, dogs, bicycles, all you could wish for.

What are you currently reading?
I just finished Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel for the third time; about to start her House on the Strand.

What are you currently listening to?
Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales’ song cycle, Room 29. My son playing the ukulele and my daughter on flute and piano. A lot of barking whenever someone wearing high-vis passes the window.

Happiness is?
Being in the company of my loved ones. Working alone in my attic.

What does the future hold for you?
It’s busy. I’m creating a new book with Antonia Pesenti. Next June my adaptation of Moliere’s The Hypochondriac gets its world premiere at the Eternity Theatre. And I’ve just written my first episode for Play School! And right now, it’s all about The Red Tree.

Hilary has authored the Book and Lyrics for the National Theatre of Parramatta’s production of Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree – at the Riverside Theatres for a limited season from 20 October 2017. For more information, visit: www.riversideparramatta.com.au for details.

Image: Hilary Bell (supplied)