On the Couch with Richard Moore

Richard Moore - photo by Jim LeeWho is Richard Moore?
A critical mass of neurons, cells, blood vessels and liquid arranged in a human form, driven by a vision of an animated life where art is Key (is there anything else … well apart from dark chocolate) and creative activity is vital. I’ve been producing and directing arts events and projects ever since my first puppet festival at 8 years old … I guess I don’t want to stop. At the moment I’m working on a new version of the classic Greek tragedy Medea – with real wife (of 28 years) and performance maker Deborah. We’ve just made a short film together and want to evolve the dynamisms of our combined creative forces. I like surprise, imagination and fictional worlds – that’s where I want to exist – not in some dream they call reality.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’m having a ball really. Please pass me a Margarita.

Who inspires you and why?
My parents, Felicity and Des Moore, have always inspired me, not only for their devotion to the pursuit of critically intellectual life but for their spirit of adventure, curiosity and for the constant challenges they issue, even now in their mid to late eighties. Being a parent is the most complex circus act (I’ve got two boys) and I appreciate their sense of justice and fairness. It’s a blessing to be able to continue to have a relationship with them at this stage of their lives.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Firstly, I’d remove the fun police (when did this society, so outwardly relaxed, turn so serious?). Secondly, I’d remove all administrative layers from all creative institutions across the world. (Seriously folks, a spreadsheet won’t improve your intuition … art comes in flashes and bursts not in straight lines) and thirdly I’d make the teaching of a foreign language compulsory in every Australian primary and secondary school. The creative paths that a new language opens are vital for unearthing new layers of personality and thinking.

Favourite holiday destination and why?  
I’ve been lucky to travel to so many different lands – I can’t compare the south of France to the deep green waters off the coast of Croatia so I’m going to opt for my next destination way down in the south of Panama – a little beach town called Venao. Why – because my eldest son and grandson live there and I haven’t seen them for over one year and … apparently the diving is phenomenal.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Being Melbourne it would be totally weather dependent of course but as a principle I’d go as far away from the official route as possible and avoid becoming another statistic in yet another marketing survey. (when did marketing become so much a part of contemporary life ) I know, I’d head to the Dandenong market on a Saturday afternoon when the hawkers are bellowing, the prices are beyond fair and the Afghan baker is just bringing out the sesame bread from his special ovens. If that doesn’t get you then I could tell you about the Sri Lankan takeaway joint or the Polish Smoke House just around the corner. Equally, a quiet ale on the top floor of the newly revamped Espy as the sun sets in St Kilda could be just the ticket.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading various translations of Medea, have just finished a crime novel called Six Four by Japanese author Hideo Yokoyama and I’ve got a pile of books next to my bed including an old Stephen King novel, Dreamcatcher, and a new Australian book by Robert Lukins called The Everlasting Sunday. I try and be as eclectic as possible in my reading habits.

What are you currently listening to?
The Gotan Project / a New Zealand performer called Estere, Ethiopian jazz man Mulatu Astatke, some original music composed by the live sound artists in our next show and the sound of my stomach … it must be dinner time!

Happiness is?
Floating near one of the poles off Elwood beach at 6:15 am on a still morning; the sky is still drawn in purples and blues and the demands of the office are still 3 hours away.

What does the future hold for you?
More grandchildren (c’mon kids), a Collingwood flag, and a 5 star review for our new production of Medea: Kaddish for the Children.

Richard performs in Medea: Kaddish for the Children at the Footscray Community Arts Centre: 28 February – 2 March 2019. For more information, visit: www.footscrayarts.com for details.

Image: Richard Moore – photo by Jim Lee