It's been a while since we've done an interview with an actor or creative, so we're bringing it back in a big way with a short Q&A with a well renowned playwright and director, Aidan Fennessy. Black Swan first worked with Aidan in 2012 when we premiered his play National Interest, which he also directed on the Heath Ledger Theatre stage. The critically acclaimed production was a powerful and emotional story of Australian history and family grief.
Now, Aidan is back at Black Swan with his play The House on The Lake. This is the world premiere of this play, a Rio Tinto Black Swan Commission, and directed by Stuart Halusz in the Studio Underground. It's very different from National Interest - it's a taut and gripping psychological thriller, a roller-coaster ride where logic, truth and deception collide in a stunning climax.
Q&A with Aidan Fennessy
My name is Aidan Fennessy and I am a playwright.
Other people think my job is interesting, but the reality is that its actually a lot of hard work where you work on your own for months at a time honing a script that may or may not ever be made.
Im perfect for it because I actually love writing and quite like being on my own. I love stories, I love characters and I love words. And if I wasnt doing this I would probably be quite depressed. This is about the only thing Im good at.
The things you most need to do my line of work are resilience, bravery, perserverence and hope. Though I find it can sometimes be a bit disheartening because of the lack of new, original, australian narratives gracing our stages.
Right now Im writing another play that will be produced later in the year in Sydney. And I love it because its a comedy thriller, nothing at all like The House on The Lake.
I am challenged by myself. I never want to replicate a play or do something Ive done before. And am most inspired by the trans global, trans cultural and age old phenomena of narrative and its evolution.
I strongly dislike style over content and formal experiments on stage. Experiments are for the lab. Learn from them, then leave them behind and write a play.
And the biggest lesson I've learned is theatre is all about engaging with and holding the attention of the audience. Everything I write has this at its core.
The best piece of advice Ive received is that a good artist is not one that makes one or two decisions but one that makes thousands.
When I look back on my career, I will be most proud of the fact that I am still an artist.
The House on The Lake plays at the Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA from 6-22 June 2014. Tickets on sale now through Ticketek.