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Interview with Daniel Keene


If I was a character in a play I’d be… Clov, on bad days. On worse days, Hamm. Both from Beckett’s Endgame.

I hate theatre when… it bores me and lies to me (if it does such things, it usually does both at the same time).

Playwrights who inspire me… are those who understand theatre as a form, as a poem, as a celebration, as a transgression, as a ritual, as a delight.

The best line that never made it into one of my plays is... I leave all the best ones in. The list of the worst lines that never made it into any of my plays is as long as my arm (maybe both arms).

My best or worst moment working in the theatre was... many years ago, still working on building a set for one of my plays at La Mama at 3 am. I was very hungry and had brought some salami with me. I had nothing to cut it with, so I used the saw. It was the worst, but somehow also one of the best moments.

Heroes or villains - whose side are you on… I sometimes have trouble telling one from the other.

My last big laugh was about… Bob Katter’s hat.

My last big whinge was about… Bob Katter.

The role of theatre in 21st century Australia is… pretty much the same as it was in Greece 2000 or so years ago. It keeps us in touch with what it might mean to be human, and reminds us of the terrors and the joys that are part of being mortal.


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