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20 Questions to Wesley Enoch

Diana Simmonds has 20 questions for Wesley Enoch, associate director of Company B Belvoir.

20 Questions to Wesley Enoch

By Diana Simmonds

Wesley Enoch, Murri man from Stradbroke Island and associate director of Company B Belvoir, is also a playwright (Black Medea and, with Deborah Mailman, Seven Stages of Grieving) and a director of productions such as The Sapphires, Stolen, The Sunshine Club, Romeo and Juliet, Wonderlands and Parramatta Girls. His new production is Howard Brenton's Paul.

1. Who is Wesley Enoch?

Wesley is a too long biog with a bent towards Aboriginal Theatre.

2. Who was Paul?

A visionary, a pedant, a loony, a holy man, the father of the church, a freak, a celibate, an apostle.

3. What did you think when you first read the play?

I read it on a plane from Sydney to Melbourne and it filled the whole plane with characters and history and everyone spoke to me. It is a play full of ideas that challenged the way I think about the world.

4. Why do you think it caused such a furore among evangelists in the UK?

Did it?????? The play was received very well but the furore came before the play even opened. Which is amazing really - that a small and vocal minority had an opinion based on what they thought it was about rather than the play itself. It sold out as soon as it opened ... maybe the vocal minority helped bring attention to the work and the ideas in it.

Paul5. Are Australians likely to react in a similar way?

I have faith in the ability of the majority of Australians to engage in debate, ideas and discussion and the minority to attempt to control them.

6. What do you understand by "religious fervour"? What do you think of it?

Extreme belief in anything can bring about extreme action. I believe extreme stamp collecting is as dangerous as extreme Islam. Moderation and common sense should always prevail.

7. Are you or have you ever been a believer (in anything)?

I read the bible from cover to cover. It took me three years.

8. What first turned you on to theatre?

The ability to speak to an audience and for them to listen to what was being said.

9. What was your first conscious ambition in life?

I wanted to be a teacher.

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