On the Couch with Jason Cavanagh

Jason Cavanagh Arts Review On the CouchWho is Jason Cavanagh?
Artistic Director of 5pound Theatre.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
I basically am living the life I want to be living, I spend some days in the studio painting and other days working on making theatre… every now and again I have to work a real job so I keep a steady income coming in. So that’s what I’d change, I wish I had more money or could make a living in the arts so I could just concentrate full time on those things I love. But then I enjoy getting out on the road at work, it makes a nice change so it’s not all bad really.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m really into politics so I am constantly looking towards parliament to be inspired. I think I may be one of the last people left in Australia that still hopes they might deliver that front. Penny Wong I am constantly impressed with and Daniel Andrews I think is doing an amazing job. Do they inspire me though? I’m going to go with my mum.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Working in the arts you constantly get the opportunity to comment on, examine and challenge society. It’s the job. And I think that when it is done well it can have a profoundly positive impact. And not just in shaping society but also enriching it by adding to a rich and vibrant culture. When you look at how Melbourne has taken off in recent years, a large part of it comes down to having a vibrant arts scene – the street art, the theatres, the Festivals, the live music… Sure they are not valued and protected as much as they should be even here, but I have hopes for the future. Getting back to the question though that’s what I do to make a difference. I’m a big believer in the arts’ ability to make a difference in the world. And if that fails there is always politics.

Favorite holiday destination and why?
Thailand because the beaches. And Berlin because the art.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I take friends bar hoping around Fitzroy cause the best attraction in Melbourne is just being in Melbourne.

What are you currently reading?
Just finished reading the new Harry Potter. It’s like well written fan fiction really.

What are you currently listening to?
The new Radiohead album.

Happiness is?
Is a bi-product rather than an ends to itself.

What does the future hold for you?
Well that is a very difficult question that I’m glad to say I do not have the answer to. Through 5pound we have Titus Andronicus coming up at the end of the year and we have started working on a new adaptation of Animal Farm for next year, so those are both really big projects that will eat up a lot of our lives. Beyond that, who knows? I will keep painting because that keeps me sane… ish.

Jason will be appearing in the premiere of Man of the Year as part of the 2016 Melbourne Fringe at the Fringe Hub – Lithuanian Club: 16 – 23 September. For more information, visit: www.melbournefringe.com.au for details.

Image: Jason Cavanagh