On the Couch with Stephen Hall

Fawlty Towers Live Stephen Hall Arts Review On the CouchWho is Stephen Hall?
That’s actually me. Weren’t you told? Oh. This is a bit awkward… I’m an actor, currently in rehearsals for the world premiere of Fawlty Towers Live (the official Fawlty Towers stage show, adapted for the stage by John Cleese)… in which I play Basil Fawlty.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
If I could have, I think I’d have had more confidence, earlier in life. When you back yourself – really back yourself – in bold endeavours… sometimes they pay off! And even when they don’t, at least you had a crack and learned from the experience. Fortune Favours the Bold – that’s a lesson I wish I’d learned, and acted on, earlier in life.

Who inspires you and why?
Anyone who turns the other cheek. I was struck by a great line on Game of Thrones the other day (don’t worry, no spoilers)… “Violence is a disease. You don’t cure a disease by spreading it to more people.”

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think I’d make Kindness and Empathy compulsory subjects in every school. Teaching these basic human qualities is often neglected or overlooked, and I can’t help but think if we were all taught how to walk in another’s shoes, how to see things from another’s point of view, then the world would look vastly different from the way it does today.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I really liked Rome – such an exciting, bustling foreign city. I was there by myself with just a phrasebook to guide me, and it was fascinating, stimulating… and the HISTORY! 2000-year-old buildings right on your doorstep! The first time I saw the Colosseum, I gasped. A cliched reaction I know, but I actually did!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
It’s a bit of a drive, but I think it’s hard to go past the penguins at Phillip Island. It’s unique, it’s natural, it’s a really well run tourist attraction… and they’re so darn cute.

What are you currently reading?
The script for Fawlty Towers Live… Repeatedly!

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve recently rediscovered Big Country, the Scottish band formed in 1981. Their biggest hit was 1983’s In A Big Country, but there’s a lot more to them than that. They’re actually still going, and I saw them last month at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne. A great show, a great band. So do yourself a favour…

Happiness is?
Catching up with old friends. There’s nothing quite like it; shared histories, misadventures and in-jokes. You can always make new friends, but you can’t make old friends. And of course any time spent with my wife and daughter.

What does the future hold for you?
Personally; hopefully continued good health and happiness for my family. Professionally, I’ve co-written the book of a musical which is in development, I’m writing a screenplay (but hey, who isn’t?), developing v2.0 of my iPhone app (Step-By-Step-Story), and continuing my blog at: www.HowToWinGameShows.com. And who knows what else? There are always more things to create.

Stephen will be starring as Basil Fawlty in the World Premiere Season of Fawlty Towers Live at the Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney from 19 August 2016, before touring to Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre: 21 September – 16 October; Adelaide’s Her Majesty’s Theatre: 26 October – 13 November; Perth’s Regal Theatre: 17 November – 4 December; and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre: 28 December – 15 January 2017. For more information, visit: www.fawltytowerslive.com.au for details.

Image: Stephen Hall