Wes­ley Enoch

Life has much to teach us if we’re pre­pared to lis­ten, says this di­rec­tor

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - Words El­iz­a­beth Fortes­cue More Syd­ney Fes­ti­val, Jan­uary 6-28, 2018, syd­neyfes­ti­val.org.au

Apor­trait of ac­tor Deb­o­rah Mail­man in the­atri­cal make-up takes pride of place in the cosy Surry Hills home of Syd­ney Fes­ti­val artis­tic di­rec­tor Wes­ley Enoch.

“Deb­o­rah and I went to univer­sity to­gether, and we did a show called The Seven Stages Of Griev­ing,” Wes­ley says.

The pair co-wrote the show and Deb­o­rah Mail­man was its sole cast mem­ber.

“It toured the world and it was the be­gin­ning of my di­rect­ing ca­reer, re­ally,” Wes­ley says.

The pho­to­graph by Ju­lian Watt is on the liv­ing room wall, and sums up an im­por­tant pe­riod of Wes­ley’s ex­tra­or­di­nary life.

Now that he con­stantly trav­els, Wes­ley is grate­ful to live near the train sta­tion, with easy ac­cess to the air­port.

“I just did three over­seas trips in seven weeks,” he says. “I ar­rived back about two weeks ago and I’ve done four in­ter­state trips (since then). That’s the na­ture of my job and the na­ture of my life.”

Wes­ley’s part­ner is The Aus­tralian Bal­let artis­tic di­rec­tor David McAl­lis­ter, who is based in Mel­bourne with the bal­let com­pany.

The pair share the Surry Hills flat when David is in Syd­ney. They also have a Mel­bourne home, plus Wes­ley has another base in Bris­bane.

But Surry Hills is Wes­ley’s main home. Its open-plan de­sign and ab­sence of in­ter­nal doors, ex­cept for the glass doors open­ing on to the long bal­cony, en­hances the sense of space.

A huge tree di­rectly in front of the bal­cony fil­ters sun­light into the flat and cre­ates a feel­ing of pri­vacy that is so im­por­tant in the city.

Wes­ley is try­ing to de-clut­ter by “be­ing a lit­tle bit more tech savvy”. In­stead of his 2500-strong DVD col­lec­tion, he now down­loads films.

“You try to live with things that have mean­ing in your life, that have a les­son to teach you,” he says. “Be­cause hav­ing ob­jects is not just about ac­cu­mu­lat­ing ma­te­rial pos­ses­sions.”

My found chair

I got this chair from scrap in Bris­bane. I kept promis­ing I’d get it fixed and even­tu­ally got it re­uphol­stered. So of­ten things are dis­carded. But if you think about it, you can cre­ate value from it.

Teacup and saucer

I bought this on my first trip to Ja­pan. I thought it cost $28 but it was $280. I was so in­tim­i­dated by it. But I gave it to a friend. Sadly, she died of can­cer. She left me the cup and saucer in her will. The mes­sage was, beau­ti­ful things need to be used.

My par­ents, Doug and Lyn

Mum and Dad got mar­ried 50 years ago. I look like both of them in so many ways. Dad died three years ago. At 68 mum is a great-grand­mother.

Head­dress My wa­ter­proof ra­dio

I lis­ten to ra­dio and I change chan­nels and dip in and out of things. We spend too much time lis­ten­ing to our­selves and lis­ten­ing to peo­ple like us and feel­ing quite smug about it all. I talk to cab driv­ers or peo­ple on pub­lic transport, to get a sense of the world that isn’t the arts bub­ble.


This is a lit­tle shrine to my fa­ther. Th­ese are the clap­sticks with which we sung to bury him. Th­ese were his own per­sonal clap­sticks with my clap­sticks. Dad is buried on Strad­broke Is­land where the fam­ily comes from. This is a tra­di­tional head­dress from the Lardil mob from Morn­ing­ton Is­land. I used to do dance classes in Bris­bane with some peo­ple from Morn­ing­ton. I never thought I’d wear it, but it’s a lovely re­minder of a dif­fer­ent kind of cer­e­mony.

Cut glass knob

I stole this from the Queens­land Theatre Com­pany when I was 15. I was a poor kid grow­ing up in Woodridge, and I thought it was the most beau­ti­ful thing. We did a tour of the stor­age area and that’s where I swiped it. I was on schol­ar­ship there at the time. I like to think of it as the top of a cane, but it could be a door knob.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.