On the Couch with John O’Hare

John O'HareWho is John O’Hare?
John O’Hare is a director / actor / teacher who is running a performing arts college, co producing and directing another production for O’Punksky’s theatre company.

What would you do differently to what you do now?  
When I say I need a holiday, do something about it!

Who inspires you and why?
Personally, my Dad. He is honest through and through and an artistic mentor. Professionally my colleagues Maeliosa Stafford and Patrick Dickson. John Bell had a vision in 1990 when he created the Bell Shakespeare Company, I’ve witnessed from its genesis the incredible development of John’s dream and its vision come into fruition. As an actor, director and trailblazer on the Sydney theatre scene John Bell is an inspiration.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Use less paper and time on educational compliance documents and find better pathways for artists to teach the next generation of artists.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Has to be Ireland for the Craic – its people, its stories, music and culture. Every time I go there another mystery is revealed & a story to be told.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Coogee Beach’s lay back beachside atmosphere is quintessentially Aussie to me. Having fun on the sands and braving the surf with people from many ethnic backgrounds is one of the joys of Coogee.

What are you currently reading?
Goethe’s Faust Parts I & II – I’m giving a talk on Faust to members of the Anthroposophical society next month, research for the play and tome of compliance documents for the College.

What are you currently listening to?
BBC Radio 4 Podcast Philosophy In Our Time hosted by Melvyn Bragg.

Happiness is?
The getting of wisdom, my twelve year old son Fionn and Manchester United beating Liverpool.

What does the future hold for you?
Opening Night of The Gigli Concert at the Eternity Playhouse on 8 April. The Eternity Playhouse is the best thing to happen to Sydney’s theatre culture in two decades. Thank you Clover Moore. A trip overseas with Fionn he wants to go to Old Trafford Manchester, New York and Los Angeles, I’m working on the itinerary – wish me luck!

John O’Hare is a graduate of W.A.A.P.A. and has a Master of Fine Arts from QUT, and is one of Australia’s leading acting teachers and directors. He has taught and directed for the leading Australian drama schools, including NIDA, QUT, WAAPA, ACTT and ACA.

An award winning theatre director, he is co-founder of the ubiquitous O’Punksky’s Theatre where he has produced, directed and performed in many productions over its 24 year history including The Gigli Concert, The Faith Healer and The Carthaginians. Other work includes Blue Remembered Hills, Arcadia, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Much Ado About Nothing, The Shaughraun and Observe the Sons of Ulster

His production of Hilary Bell’s Wolf Lullaby enjoyed huge success, winning 4 prestigious Green Room Awards, with seasons at Playbox in Melbourne, Belvoir St and Griffin Theatre in Sydney, where John also directed Stitching and Making Love to The Scarecrow. His production of Much Ado starring Cillian Murphy was nominated Best Irish Production by Irish Times Critics Association.

John’s film and television appearances include Packed to the Rafters, Home & Away, The Cooks, Wildside, GP, A Country Practice, The Leaving of Liverpool, Heroes II – The Return, Child of the Air, Blackrock, A Long Road to Heaven, JB and The Mule, Tough Nuts, Cops LAC, Rogue Nation and First Australians.

John is currently directing The Gigli Concert to be presented at the Eternity Playhouse in April. For more information, visit: www.darlinghursttheatre.com for details.

Image: John O’Hare