Presenter Interview プレゼンターインタビュー
An organization tuning out world-class actors Talking with the Director of The National Institute of Dramatic Art of Australia
I have known Aubrey Mellor for nearly 30 years. By the time we met, in the late ‘70s, Aubrey was already established as one of Australia’s most innovative and theatrical directors. He had studied at NIDA in 1968 and ’69 (the course lasted two years, not three, in those days), taught there himself after graduating, directed at the Nimrod St. Theatre, then Sydney’s most exciting venue; and subsequently was to go on to become artistic director of the Queensland Theatre Co. in Brisbane and the Playbox in Melbourne. In late 2004 he took up what may very well be the world’s most prized position in performing arts education, the directorship of NIDA.
But it isn’t only these formidable achievements, as impressive as they are, that drew, and continue to draw me, to his amazing work. Aubrey is one of the few directors in the world, and possibly the only one in Australia, who has artistically and aesthetically assimilated the conventions, codes and messages of Asian theatre, particularly Japanese theatre, into his art. It makes no sense to talk about influences in his work, because his view of theatre—and the way he practices it—is a total enmeshing of traditions and forms, ancient and contemporary, from Australian indigenous ritual to noh, from the British rhetorical tradition and the American Method to Indian Yakshagana.
I met with Aubrey Mellor in the offices of the Japan Foundation in Tokyo on 25 May 2005, on the eve of his departure back to Sydney after a hectic week-long visit.
Here is what he had to say. (Interview by Roger Pulvers)