A Quick Chat With Brian Lucas

Brian Lucas is a Brisbane-based performer, choreographer, director, teacher, writer and Arts-advocate. Having trained in both dance and theatre, he has earned a reputation across Australia for creating and performing provocative, powerful and intelligent works that bridge the divide between the two forms.

Ahead of his new work Performance Anxiety opening in Sydney at Carriageworks next week, we took time to ask Brian our 20 Questions…

A Quick Chat …

Performance Anxiety. Image by Michael Hills
Performance Anxiety. Image by Michael Hills

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An artist. Always an artist. Though it was more an unspoken “knowing” than a stated fact.

Who is the most important person in the world to you?

There is no one “most important person”…..my friends and my family are all important – and of course “me”. I’m quite important to myself, not as an ego thing, but merely as a reality of being.

What animal best represents you and why?

I’d love to think a cat or a gazelle, but I fear it might be meerkat. A really, really tall meerkat. With a dash of owl thrown in.

What is your go-to shower song?

‘Rock and Roll Dreams Come True’ by Jim Steinman. It’s a bit ‘Sing Out, Louise’, and a bit stadium rock.

What was the first piece of theatre/film/TV you ever appeared in and how old were you?

A ballet school recital when I was about 6 years old. But I was always putting on plays and performances for my family from the time I could walk and talk.

Windows or MAC?

Windows….   I know, I know. But I just prefer it, I really do.

Brian Lucas in Performance Anxiety. Image by Fiona Cullen
Brian Lucas in Performance Anxiety. Image by Fiona Cullen

Favourite food?

I love breakfast cereal. Not for breakfast, but usually late at night. And coffee, which I regard as a stand-alone food group.

Who is the actor you would most like to work alongside?

So very many. But I’ll be a bit parochial and name two incredible Queensland artists – Barb Lowing and Lucas Stibbard.

What would be the first five songs you put on a ‘mix-tape’ playlist?

Something by Laurie Anderson.

Something by Morrissey.

Something by Kate Bush.

Something New Romantics 80’s, probably Yazoo.

Something Broadway. Probably Sondheim.

What is the best thing about theatre in Australia?

The many amazing people who work within the sector, and the incredible work that they are doing. The risks, the ideas, the tenacity and bravery.

What’s the worst thing about theatre in Australia?

Anything that conspires to stop people doing the best work that they can – unnecessarily tangled bureaucracies, weak or non-existent cultural policies, sometimes misguided academic distractions. Oh, and the terms “innovation”, “cultural industries” and “audience development” (when it’s applied purely as a revenue-related term).

Name one moment when you looked around, breathed happily and felt content.

I’m a Libran, so I tend to be both things at the same time. Totally content, and totally discontented. The friction between the two keeps me alive.

Where is the most interesting place you have travelled?

I been to a lot of incredible geographical locations, but you vcan’t beat the places you can visit in your head, in your imagination. 

Most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?

Onstage, I don’t embarrass easily, simply because in my own work I tend to really push myself into revealing territory. Onstage, I’m up for anything. I get much more embarrassed in real life, and usually for dumb things like being clumsy or forgetful.

What’s your life motto?

I don’t really have a motto – the closest thing would be three mighty words…..Live. Learn. Create.

What’s your favourite post-show snack?

Red wine and cigarettes. I know, I know. But that first, and then usually something involving either chocolate or breakfast cereal.

What’s your biggest phobia?

Spiders. And magpies. And being thought of as boring.

What is the worst date you’ve ever had?

April 20th. And that’s all I’m saying about that one.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Still alive. Still learning. Still creating. Five years wiser, and five years more aware of what I don’t yet know.

Brian has worked with some of Australia’s most well-known performance-makers and presenters including Chunky Move, Finucane + Smith, La Boite Theatre, NORPA, Pentimento Productions, Michelle Heaven, KAGE Theatre, ChamberMade Opera, Circa, Dance North, Motherboard Productions, The Queensland Ballet, Queensland Theatre Company, QL2 Centre for Youth Dance and Expressions Dance Company… to name a few…

Brian’s latest work Performance Anxiety – sensory experience that explores his deep-rooted fears of performing to all kinds of audiences via dance, movement, physical imagery, voice and sound – will be playing at Carriageworks in Sydney from February 27 – March 2.


Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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