On the Couch with Phil Scott

Phillip Scott_photo by Grant Sparkes-Carroll oncWho is Lionel Bart?
Lionel, whom I portray in Reviewing the Situation, was an English writer of pop songs and shows, notably Oliver! As for me, I am (at various times) an actor, writer, pianist, singer, composer, reviewer and broadcaster.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would do more composing, and learn how computers work.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by people who have a lot of energy, especially creative energy.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would return $120,000,000 to the Australia Council, then treble it. I would also ban all use of indefinable terms like “excellence”.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’d like to say somewhere bizarre and exotic, but I rather like London and Hobart. I recently had a wonderful stay on the Greek island of Paros.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’d take them to the Sydney Theatre Company’s annual Wharf Revue, because I would be in it.

What are you currently reading?
The Saturday Paper.

What are you currently listening to?
Right now, Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto, with the young team of pianist Yuja Wang (Chinese) and conductor Gustavo Dudamel (Venezuelan).

Happiness is?
I have two answers to this. 1) Personally, I’m happiest when I am blown away by a work of art, whether it’s a play, a symphony, a movie, a painting­­ – even a great performance or a great meal. 2) The quality of happiness is relative. It’s not a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, always just out of reach or illusory. It’s part of now; it’s there in the small things and the quirky details of life. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see it.

What does the future hold for you?
Short term: Three brilliant cabaret festivals. Medium term: A Lotto win. Long term: A breakthrough anti-ageing medication and hair restorer.

Pianist/singer/writer/comedian Phil Scott is well known to audiences for his one-man shows. He wrote and performed several ABC TV series including The Gillies Report, Three Men and a Baby Grand and Good News Week, and has had four novels published in Australia and the US, including One Dead Diva and It’s About Your Friend. Since 2000, he has co-written and co-starred in the annual political satire The Wharf Revue for the Sydney Theatre Company.

As a writer, Phil’s cabaret shows include Newley Discovered (starring Hugh Sheridan, written with Dean Bryant), Pop Princess, Fat Swan and Little Orphan Trashley (all with Trevor Ashley). With Jonathan Biggins, he wrote a new libretto for Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, produced by South Australian Opera in 2012 and Opera Australia in 2013.

As a composer, Phil has written film scores and musicals including Safety in Numbers (Q & Ensemble Theatres and The Republic of Myopia (Sydney Theatre Company). As an actor, he has appeared in the films A Few Best Men (directed by Stephan Elliott), Fat Pizza and Houses vs Authority (directed by Paul Fenech).

Phil has worked as an actor and composer on many shows at Sydney’s Darlinghurst Theatre, including The Illusions, Love Song, Cloud Nine, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and Torch Song Trilogy.

Phil will be performing Reviewing the Situation at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival (18 – 20 June) and the Melbourne Cabaret Festival (24 – 25 June).

Image: Phil Scott – photo by Grant Sparkes-Carroll