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Interview with Nikki Bloom

My first theatre experience was…  playing the character of ‘The Queen of Hearts’ Croquet Ball’ at the age of six in my primary school’s production of Alice in Wonderland. I was hit on the bum with a giant cardboard flamingo and had to forward-roll across the stage.

If I was a character in a play I’d be...  something of an amalgamation of all of them I’d expect.  

I love theatre because…  it is itself. 

I hate theatre when…  it resembles television. What’s the point? 
My best moment working in the theatre was…  pulling the production of Tender together at downstairs Belvoir last year. We all worked long and hard and didn’t get paid but the communal effort and spirit was exhilarating.

The worst thing to happen to me in the theatre was…  fainting on stage at the age of eleven. My acting career stopped there really.

I write plays because…  I have ideas that insist on becoming plays. 

The most important thing I’ve ever done was…  to strike out on my own at the age of sixteen. It was the making of me. 

The best line that never made it into one of my plays is…  lost now. It can’t have been that good if it didn’t make it. 

My latest play was inspired by…  the idea of language breaking down. 

If I was to start all over again as a playwright, I wouldn’t…  change much. 

The role of theatre in 21st century Australia is…  the same as it always has been. 

When I hand over a script to a director I’m…  thinking about the nice bottle of wine I’m going to open that night to celebrate. 

My last big laugh was about…  my dog, a very funny creature.

My last big whinge was about…  the crippling power of jealousy.

The best production I’ve ever seen was…  Christoph Marthaler’s Seemanslieder at the Sydney Festival in 2007. Sublime. His Maeterlinck at Hau Eins in Berlin this year was outstanding too.  

My greatest theatre hero is... Prospero. 

Greatest heroine is… Caryl Churchill. 

My next big project is…  a six hour epic called The Sun and the Other Stars about everything in the universe. Very loosely based on The Divine Comedy.  

And very personal: My favourite German word is…  ‘Körper’ (which means ‘body’) because it sounds alien, yet comforting at the same time. ‘Skorbut’ is a great word too. Very pirate. It means ‘scurvy’. I love how satisfying the ‘schm-’ words are to say—Schmerz, Schmuck, Schmetterling... And for sheer German complicated-straightforwardness, ‘sozialversicherungspflichtig’ meaning ‘liable to pay social security’ wins hands down. 

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