On the Couch with Phillip Kavanagh

Phillip-Kavanagh-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Phillip Kavanagh?
I’m a playwright from Adelaide, where I’m also currently based. Pre-COVID I was living in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne, but border hopping without a fixed address doesn’t work during a pandemic.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Right now I’m in the final weeks of a PhD at Flinders University, and I’m only just starting to remember what it’s like to not have the same project churning away in the back of my brain at all times. It’s been there for four years so I’m really looking forward to just letting it dissipate.

Who inspires you and why?
My friends and peers. Nothing makes me happier than having long tangent-filled conversations about everything and anything before we admit that we’re both avoiding work and should probably get back to it.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I have a very limited skill set, as the maintenance staff in my apartment building are beginning to realise – the other day the repairman said “Oh, it’s you again” which felt about right. I try to write things people will enjoy and that dig into what it means to be alive. And I try to be a supportive ear and shoulder.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Right now it’s Sydney and Melbourne because I miss the people I used to see so regularly when I lived in those cities.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The cafes and op shops. Adelaide does both well.

What are you currently reading?
Because the PhD is almost finished, I cheated on my promise to myself that I had to stick to relevant reading until it was done, and just finished the first book on my post-PhD pile: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. So bloody charming and delightful.

What are you currently listening to?
The soundtrack to Girls5eva.

Happiness is?
Having a sense of purpose generally and a sense of contentment in the present.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m about to go into rehearsals for The Bridge of San Luis Rey, which I adapted from the novel by Thornton Wilder for Brink Productions and the Adelaide Guitar Festival. It’s directed by Chris Drummond, starring Paul Capsis with live music by Slava Grigoryan and Manus Noble. This show has been years in the making and was rescheduled because of COVID. I’m really excited to get into the rehearsal room and finishing making it and sharing it with audiences.

Phillip has adapted Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer-winning novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey for Brink Productions and the Adelaide Guitar Festival in the Space Theatre – Adelaide Festival Centre from 9 July 2021. For more information, visit: www.adelaideguitarfestival.com.au or www.brinkproductions.com for details.

Image: Phillip Kavanagh (supplied)