On the Couch with Vivien Davies

Vivien Davies AAR On the CouchWho is Vivien Davies?
I am a jobbing actor and have been since I was 21. I’ve had many varied experiences so a very rich life in that way. I am welsh born, so a male voice choir can move me to tears. I love singing and I love cats.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Nothing really. I am so lucky to have this role in Billy Elliot. It’s a dream come true, I am loving every moment.

Who inspires you and why?
So many people inspire me: Judi Dench is one, such a great body of work and she loves trees! Maggie Smith too, both Dames of course, and Downtown Abbey, the movie has opened, I can’t wait to see it. Jacinda Ardern for obvious reasons and my sister Anne – a wonderfully kind and loving person, a great gardener too! Ooh they’re all female, actually anyone I meet who teaches me something or is passionate about this amazing planet we inhabit. Lastly, people with a sense of humour (i.e. all my friends).

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
So many things: no new coal mines, more recycling, more recycling of the recycling, awareness of how precious water is in our dry land, no gun shops. Teach kids respect for all living things and empathy. Crickey, I could keep going but…

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’d love to go to Canada and see the northern lights and maybe a bear or two. In Australia, it’s a bit boring but I really like Noosa, in the OFF SEASON! Gorgeous!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Apart from Billy Elliot you mean?? The Blue Mountains – a special place for me – spiritual and beautiful.

What are you currently reading?
When I am not acting, I work for Wyndham Libraries in Melbourne’s West – it’s a lolly shop for me. I will read any murder mystery that grabs me. Just finished Murder Mile and The Dirty Dozen by Lynda La Plant and Blowing The Bloody Doors Off, Michael Caine’s biography.

What are you currently listening to?
Apart from ABC Radio, I am revisiting old favourites like Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd, such great music. I also love Kasey Chambers and some country western (never thought I’d say that!) Learning a lot about contemporary dance tracks from our company warm ups thanks to the gorgeous young people in Billy Elliot.

Happiness is?
A garden or anywhere birds sing surrounded by trees and flowers is my idea of bliss. A cup of Earl Grey Tea and a purring puss – heaven!

What does the future hold for you?
Actually, I try not to think about that. I like to live one day at a time. Keeping healthy and interested is my aim.

Vivien stars as Grandma in Billy Elliot The Musical – currently playing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre (opening night: 18 October), before heading to Adelaide (from 29 December); Melbourne (from 20 February); Perth and Brisbane. For more information, visit: www.billyelliotthemusical.com.au for details.

Image: Vivien Davies (supplied)