On the Couch with Merlynn Tong

Merlynn-Tong-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Merlynn Tong?
I am an actor and playwright originally from Singapore but now living in the beautiful Meanjin, Brisbane.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Everything and nothing. I dream constantly of alternative lives, but am also content in my travels.

Who inspires you and why?
My mother. She intrigues me. I have endless questions about her but I can never find the answers. She was so explosively passionate, relentlessly charismatic and almost unbearably generous. I am in constant awe of her.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I hope my words can connect, inspire or intrigue people. I hope my performance, teachings and other endeavors can do the same.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere deep in the rainforest or by the beach with no Internet connection so I can get a full recharge!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
We ride on the city cat (the local river public transport), we visit markets, we discover new restaurants (usually on the water too). Meanjin is such a river city and I try to show off this gorgeous river as much as possible. Although one of my best friends visits me specifically to go to the Ekka (Brisbane Show), so all we do is go to the exhibition, play, eat, laugh and then lounge around my place for the rest of the time. It is glorious.

What are you currently reading?
Throat by Ellen van Neerven. It is searingly beautiful.

What are you currently listening to?
Silent Waves by Raquel O’Brien. An incredible Australian podcast that is unapologetic, vulnerable and haunting.

Happiness is?
A deep connection with another human being.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully love, inspiration, contentment and adventures abound!


Merlynn’s work, Time Capsule, can be heard as part of Volume Four of Come to Where I Am – Australia, an exciting new writing and performance initiative from Paines Plough and Critical Stages Touring on Wednesday 30 September 2020. For more information, visit: www.criticalstages.com.au for details.

Image: Merlynn Tong (supplied)

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