On the Couch with Thom Monckton

Arts Review On the Couch Thomas Monckton photo by Pirita MännikköWho is Thom Monckton?
Thom makes physical theatre. He doesn’t know what Perambulate means even after reading the definition in the dictionary. He now lives in darkness in an ice-age commonly referred to as Finland. He has a pension for locking himself in stairwells, and in his spare time he writes elusive answers to direct questions. He is at least 30 years old and is probably from New Zealand. He has also become quite confused writing about himself in the third person…

What would you do differently to what you do now?
In Maths class at high school I was told off for practicing balancing on the back legs of my chair instead of doing  Maths. So I stopped and did some algebra. If I could do it all again, I would have been less obedient and spent more time balancing on the back legs of my chair as it would have been more beneficial to my circus career than doing algebra.

Who inspires you and why?
Pretty much all my circus artist friends. They work hard and even if some of them are really successful they still keep their feet on the ground (figuratively speaking). I aspire to be a successful artist and a nice human so I find people who are well balanced inspiring.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Turn most of the current world leaders into videos of cats. They would inspire much less xenophobia, and be much more aware of the general population.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Home! I’m very lucky that I get to travel a lot already, which I love, but it means that when I’m on holiday my favourite place to be is at home. Wherever that is at the time. But for the sake of informativeness some of my favourite destinations are Bay of Islands and the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand during summer for the beaches and the people. Croatia for the clear water and the heat, Tbilisi in Georgia for the city, and La Grave in the Alpes in France for the view.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I have recently moved to Helsinki. If you came to visit then we would go ice-swimming. I’ve never been. I think the reason we would go ice-swimming is to understand why anyone would go ice-swimming. Why would anyone go ice-swimming!?

What are you currently reading?
I recently finished Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl.

What are you currently listening to?
Secret Chiefs 3 & Ishraqiyun.

Happiness is?
Giggling with Gemma. Corpsing on stage. Learning a new trick. Early mornings & squirrel sightings. Successful pudding attempts.

What does the future hold for you?
I’ve been working on a new solo show called Only Bones which premiering in December 2015 and then taking it to NZ, Avignon, and Edinburgh, as well as laying the ground work for two ensemble pieces one called Chameleon, the other called KWALK. After Australia, The Pianist is off to Hong Kong, back to Europe and eventually to the U.S. with a follow up show with Circo Aereo in the mix for 2017/18.

Thom will be appearing in The Pianist at Arts Centre Melbourne: 12 – 17 January, before playing the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre: 22 – 23 January, and the 2016 Adelaide Fringe Festival: 13 February – 5 March.

Image: Thomas Monckton – photo by Pirita Männikkö