Carnet artistique et pédagogique
– Who are your favourite authors and playwrights ?
Samuel Beckett has always been a favourite author of mine. I’ve been reading his works since I was a teenager, and I still read them ; his plays, his novels, his stories, his poems. They give me endless amounts of pleasure. I never tire of them. Anton Chekhov is also an author that I am very much drawn to, his plays particularly, but also his short stories. He is a beautiful writer.
– Your favourite heroes / heroines in fiction ?
I’m not sure that I have any, but I always enjoy the characters in the novels of Jane Austen ; they feel very real to me.
– What music do you listen to ?
I listen to all kinds of music. I enjoy contemporary classical music (Glass, Part, Richter, Karaindrou, Gorecki etc etc.) but I also enjoy Bach and Chopin. I listen to blues and rock and roll. I like Tom Waits, and Bruce Springsteen very much. I also very much enjoy musicians/composers like Johann Johannsson, Hildur Guonadottir, Nils Frahm, Yann Tiersen, Joep Beving, Armand Amar, Olafur Arnalds, Anouar Brahem etc. etc.
– What music were you listening to when you wrote this play ? Or do you work in silence ?
I mostly work in silence.
– Your favourite painters, visual artists / visual works, paintings ?
I have many favourites. Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell are two, but there are many others, from all time periods : Goya, Monet, Manet, Vermeer.
– What do you like to see on stage or on screen ?
Anything that keeps me interested and asks more questions than it answers.
– Which works had a deep influence on your life ?
I would say poetry in general, especially the works of Rainer Maria Rilke, but also Yves Bonnefoy, Ted Hughes, Shakespeare, Yannis Ritsos, Federico Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Jaan Kaplinski, Octavio Paz, Paul Celan etc. The list is very long !
– The place where you usually write ?
I have a study in my house, filled with books, and my desk, which I have had since I was 14 years old.
– The place where you wrote this specific play ?
In my study.
– The objects that surrounded you at the time ?
Lots of books, a large indoor plant, small objects ( few wooden statues, some photographs, a digital radio).
– On what material do you write (paper, computer…) ?
I use both paper (noteboks) and a desktop computer. I begin on paper, making lots of notes and first drafts, then move to the compueter : then I print what I’ve written and edit it with a pen or pencil, then I go back to the computer and make corrections, changes etc. Then I start all over again.
– When do you write ? At what time of day ?
I like to start work in the morning after a couple of coffees. I usually stop work in the early afternoon. I might do some more work for an hour or so in the evening, if I feel that I need to.
– Your favourite hobbies ?
I like to repair / restore old bicycles. Usually they are racing bicycles from the seventies and eighties. I often have to find the parts I need on line. I have a few bicycles at the moment (which I ride) but I have sold quite a few over the past five or six years.
– What are the objects you would never part with ?
I’d be very upset if I lost my wedding ring, or the watch that my parents (who have both passed away) gave me 40 years ago.
– What is your idea of happiness ?
When the whole family is here (my three children and their partners) and we are having dinner together. It’s always a lot of fun, with a lot of talking and a lot of laughing.
– What would you like to be ?
A decent human being.
– Where would you most like to live ?
I enjoy living in Melbourne (my birth place) but I always enjoy my time in France. I have been to France many times. I love being in Paris, but I also enjoy being in the South of France very much ; it’s very beautiful, the food is great, the air is so fresh. I always feel very relaxed there, and very free.
– Ten words that accompany you ?
I deal with words all of the time, but I can’t think of any to answer this question. Maybe it’s for someone else to answer.
– What is your present state of mind ?
At the moment, because of Covid, we are all in lockdown here in Melbourne. It’s the 6th time the city has been locked down. It’s depressing and boring, but it really has to be done in order to supress the virus. We’ve been relatively lucky here in Australia and have escaped (so far) the very worst of Covid. I would say that my state of mind is anxious and impatient, but hopeful.