On the Couch with Maeve Marsden

Maeve Marsden AAR On the CouchWho is Maeve Marsden?
She’s great, I’d hang out with her. The professional bio says ‘writer, producer and performer working across theatre, cabaret, live music and storytelling’, though, so that might be a more sensible answer.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I can’t imagine living a different life to this one having worked so hard to be able to do the work I love and make a living.

Who inspires you and why?
So many people! I am inspired by loads of writers and artists all the time, people who are driven and creative, like Nakkiah Lui, Ruby Hamad, Candy Bowers, Zoe Coombs Marr, Ali McGregor, Steven Oliver, Sarah Ward, the women behind Hot Brown Honey and the guys who make Briefs, so many more I could just list Australian creatives for days…

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Like if I had magical powers to make unrealistic change? I’d tax the rich and give it to the poor. Like tax the hell out of them. No one needs that much money. The divide between rich and poor in the world is fucked. No one should have to struggle to have their basic needs met.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I like discovering new places. My criteria for holiday destinations are usually swimming + being able to walk through interesting towns or gorgeous natural landscapes + tasty vegetarian food options. I’m lucky to get to travel a lot for work and I especially love it when we visit places I wouldn’t otherwise get to go, because they don’t really feature in guidebooks. We often end up in some weird little towns and that’s always interesting.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’d take them to a show at Giant Dwarf (not one of my own, someone else’s so I could sit with them), to Carriageworks or Addison Road for the morning markets on the weekend, and to Coogee Ladies’ Baths for a swim.

What are you currently reading?
I’m working through a stack of scripts at the moment. I am trying to write a play about my mothers’ “divorce” (when they split up we didn’t have same sex marriage so it wasn’t technically a divorce). So I am reading plays that feature family drama, queer themes and farce, so Stephen Karam’s The Humans, Taylor Mac’s Hir, Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men and Declan Greene’s The Homosexuals have been top of the pile, but I have a few more to get through.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve got Electric Fields, Ngaiire, Janelle Monae and Sia on high rotation. I’ve also been driving a bit to do events in various towns for the Queerstories book launch (a collection of short stories by LGBTQI+ writers that I edited), so I often list to spotify playlists my partner makes for the road!

Happiness is?
Gin, cheese, dancing and TV melodramas with good ethics and bad dialogue

What does the future hold for you?
As I said, I am working on a play. Most of my work – cabaret, storytelling nights etc – involves me having to perform and I am a bit stretched so I am trying to develop writing skills in forms that don’t require me to be on stage each night! I’m also planning more touring for Mother’s Ruin, my cabaret about the history of gin – we will be heading back to the UK for our third tour there next year.

I’m curating Queer Thinking for Sydney Mardi Gras 2019 – so that’ll be fun, and I’m working on a new show with Libby Wood called Fat Musicals that we’re premiering in February. Plus, Queerstories continues every month in Sydney and Melbourne, and I have this new show Homage – a live music spin off of Queerstories at The Factory on Wednesday 24 October (subtle plug).

Image: Maeve Marsden (supplied)