On the Couch with Laurence Boxhall

Laurence Boxhall AAR On the CouchWho is Laurence Boxhall?
An army brat. Incredibly restless. A fan of Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Wearer of colourful socks. A nerd for language. An admirer of hats. An owner of many hats. A man with plans to buy yet more hats. An avid photographer. Compulsive, predominantly-secret poet. An actor sometimes. A man very aware how wanky that all sounds. Longtime magician. First-time producer. Frequent audiobook narrator. A friend to bees. A fan of very tall trees, Orion’s belt and good vanilla yoghurt.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
If I were to completely throw in the towel with acting and producing, I would most likely move into law with an interest in specialising in environmental law. Being able to build a career on fighting for the little-guy would be satisfying in a great many ways.

Who inspires you and why?
There are several sources of inspiration for me. In terms of acting, Stephen Graham is endlessly inspiring. Truly remarkable. Ian McKellen. I wrote to him in the lockdown. I’ve been adoring the work of Colin Farrell recently, a man totally free in his limbs and mind, he creates incredible work. The delicate difference between In Bruges and The Banshees of Inisherin is remarkable. Tonally similar, sure, but executed worlds apart. Put those against The Lobster, and it’s just heaven. Mark Rylance. I saw him in Jerusalem in 2022 and it turned my world upside down.

My family inspire me, my partner inspires me, my godmother, my housemate and creative partner Liam, my friend Luke, all my loved ones… the most generous, talented, worldly, loving, funny, exceptional, blindingly brilliant people. All far smarter than I am, all more talented, all more patient and witty. You can’t help but be enriched. You relax with people like that, you breathe deeper, and that creates inspiration.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Encourage patience, take time to listen, call out injustice, refuse mediocrity, repay kindness twofold. Start there as a good foundation, and see that it spreads like wildfire.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Not telling, it’s secret and I don’t want other people to go there. But it’s really nice, and if you’re very polite I’ll draw you a map.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
If they’re in town between 28th of Feb and 10th of March there is the Australian premiere of Milked by Simon Longman on at fortyfivedownstairs. Tickets are cheap, it goes for 1 hour 15 (give or take) and it’s a great night at the theatre.

If they come to town outside of that time, my favourite place for lunch, where try, as I might to branch out, I always order the same thing because someone else is always eating it as I walk in and it’s too tempting. Then the gardens, the NGV, gelato, and somewhere with good wine.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading Patricia Highsmith’s diary entries currently, as well as as many of her books as I can as research. After Milked, I’m heading up to Sydney to work in Ensemble Theatre’s Switzerland by Joanna Murray Smith. There’s a lot to get through, but it’s brilliant writing.

What are you currently listening to?
Anything orchestral. I’m trying not to let my internal metronome be too-guided by anything in particular whilst in rehearsals for Milked, so songs 3-4 minutes in length are too prescriptive and ear-wormy, which I don’t find to be productive for this work.

Happiness is?
Realising you don’t need to try and be present, because you are present. Lowering your own stakes. Finding joy in others’ joy. Buying honey from a local beekeeper. Warm socks. Realising it’s okay to just be doing okay. Little wins. Fresh bedsheets. Exquisite memes. Board games with family.

What does the future hold for you?
Playing Snowy in Milked at fortyfivedownstairs directed by the visionary Iain Sinclair, where I have the extreme pleasure of acting with William McKenna each night. I’m very, very excited for that. More than can be put into words. I’ve been sitting on this play for 6 years, not telling anyone about it so they don’t do it before I get to. Then Switzerland at Ensemble, directed by Shaun Rennie with Toni Scanlon. That’s going to be a whole world of fun. Then probably planning the next production by The Ninth Floor.

Laurence stars as Snowy in Simon Longman’s Milked – which plays at fortyfivedownstairs from 28 February – 10 March 2024. For more information, visit: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com for details.

Image: Laurence Boxhall (supplied)