On the Couch with Kim Hardwick

Kim Hardwick Arts Review On the CouchWho is Kim Hardwick?
That depends on which day you catch me. Today (because I’m taking the time to reply to these questions) I’m a passionate believer in the power of Theatre to tell stories about our culture… enliven and inspire and make us reassess what we presume is the status quo. Tomorrow that may have faded slightly and I’ll be the Kim that is hiding away watching a sports program! My favourite quote about directing is from Orson Welles – ”Good evening, ladies and gentleman. My name is Orson Welles. I am an actor. I am a writer. I am a producer. I am a director. I am a magician. I appear onstage and on the radio. Why are there so many of me and so few of you?”

What would you do differently to what you do now?
If I had a wish, I’d sing, sing, sing! It sounds so facile but I’ve seen people reconnect with emotions they thought were long gone through the power of song. If I could stretch it to another wish I would have had a broad of children. Having a child taught me how to love and I’m presuming (in my ignorance of being the mother of only one) that more children means more love, compassion and learning.

Who inspires you and why?
Hard question to answer. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be amongst a group of directors that had the opportunity to chat with the American theatre director Peter Sellars. Here was a man who has had a monumental career and influenced many directors/theatre goers/communities/students and in his position it would be easy to be seduced by your own acclaim but he struck me as someone who really didn’t care about the frippery. Amongst many things he spoke about finding your own voice and being culturally and morally active. It sounds like such a simple encounter but as I listened I truly believed that when he walked out the door he would continue to live by those principles… that this was not a statement for the benefit of short term acceptance. It’s hard to live a principled life. It takes courage and I’m sure at times can be isolating. I find that inspiring.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
My God where do you start! Every action you take makes a difference in the world. Placing the story told in Nick Enright’s Blackrock on the stage is making a difference. Being conscious of how you engage with people and looking beyond your own prejudices makes a difference. Taking the time to become informed about where your food comes from is making a difference. If I had a magic power to make a sweeping and swift difference to the world I’d hit the empathy button for all.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Impossible to answer with a favourite because I’ll feel like I’m doing a disservice to the others. Wherever I am at the time my enjoyment always revolves around theatre, art, architecture, food and people. I could sit in a theatre for days (and have in the past) in wonder at the stories being told. If I dig a little deeper, Russia would have to be up there. It’s a fascinating place that I can’t fathom… but keeps calling.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
None! If they’ve come to town then more than likely they’ll be arranging the itinerary. My contribution is usually the the local coffee shop or the latest exhibition/show.

What are you currently reading?
Next to my bed is Basic Writings by Martin Heidegger.

What are you currently listening to?
Nick Cave is never far away. Max Richter is a favourite for walking and dreaming. Any of the Wainwrights. Scrolling through my music library I can see Johnny Cash, Bette Midler, Amy Winehouse, Jose Feliciano, Lana Del Rey, Marianne Faithfull, Patti Smith, Kasey Chambers, London Grammar, Bjork… it’s a mixed bag.

Happiness is?
Looking into the happy eyes of those I love.

What does the future hold for you?
I’ve been trying to work that out for years but the present keeps getting in the way! I’m a great believing in living in the present because then the future will appear in a spectacularly surprising manner. I imagine that by the time the state of my future is important, the past will become an obsession.

Kim trained as a dancer before studying acting at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), and directing at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Her directing experience ranges from mainstream subsidised theatre, musical theatre, cabaret and children’s theatre, to directing for small independent companies.

Kim’s most recent production was Hurt by Catherine McKinnon at The Old 505 Theatre, which will be revived for Hothouse Theatre in 2017. Additional and upcoming theatre credits include, I Hate You My Mother by Jeanette Cronin, The Shadow Box by Michael Cristofer at the Old Fitzroy Theatre, They Shoot Horses Don’t They for Sport for Jove, and I Love You Now by Jeanette Cronin at the Eternity Playhouse.

Kim is currently directing White Box Theatre’s production of Blackrock by award-winning Australian playwright Nick Enright at the Seymour Centre from 9 March 2017. For more information, visit: www.seymourcentre.com for details.

Image: Kim Hardwick (supplied)