Man-made struc­tures and the best of na­ture ap­peal to this writer,

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - FRONT PAGE - writes Chanel Par­ratt Ben El­ton’s new play Gasp is pre­mier­ing in Aus­tralia and will be tour­ing Bris­bane and Perth from Oc­to­ber. See tick­

M ULTI-award win­ning nov­el­ist, play­wright, TV writer, screen­writer and lyri­cist Ben El­ton (pic­tured) was an in­te­gral part of the 1980s al­ter­na­tive com­edy move­ment in London.

He co-wrote cult tele­vi­sion se­ries Black­ad­der and The Young

Ones and penned the fa­mous exam episode of Mr Bean.

Cur­rently based in Fre­man­tle, Western Aus­tralia El­ton, his wife, Sophia, and their three daugh­ters split their time be­tween Aus­tralia and their sec­ond home in Sus­sex, UK.

If you had friends com­ing to visit you in Fre­man­tle, what three things would you in­sist they do?

BE: We had some Pommy friends vis­it­ing re­cently and we took them for a lovely bar­be­cue on a boat on the Swan River and also down south to Mar­garet River for a cou­ple of win­ery lunches. Sadly we didn’t get to Rot­tnest Is­land, which would have been next on my itin­er­ary. I love Rotto.

Favourite place to travel in Aus­tralia?

BE: Too many to count but we re­cently went with the kids to Kar­i­jini and ab­so­lutely loved it. Mar­garet River is very spe­cial to us, my wife has been vis­it­ing since she was a girl and I first went with her 27 years ago. Per­son­ally, for land­scape my favourite state is Tassie.

Favourite man-made struc­ture you’ve come across?

BE: In Aus­tralia, it would have to be the Syd­ney Har­bour Bridge, I love a rivet. It hails back to the days when en­gi­neer­ing still felt hu­man. Mod­ern en­gi­neer­ing al­ways looks like a com­puter de­signed it. In the UK, I’ll take St Paul’s Cathe­dral. It’s dwarfed by sky­scrapers now but to be inside that dome is still more ex­cit­ing and in­spir­ing than any steel-and-glass tower. And I’m also go­ing to give a shout out to some 4000-year-old bee­hive­like stone dwellings we vis­ited re­cently in Ire­land. Still stand­ing. Can you be­lieve it? If only stones could talk.

What’s the best the­atre pro­duc­tion you’ve ever seen?

BE: I have seen far too many won­der­ful shows to pick, but I re­cently saw Si­grid Thorn­ton in Black Swan State The­atre Company’s pro­duc­tion of

A Street­car Named De­sire here in Perth and she was ut­terly mes­meris­ing.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten while trav­el­ling?

BE: Pizza that my wife and I en­joyed on our hon­ey­moon in Italy. Wafer-thin bub­bling dough with just a scrape of po­modoro sauce and a sprin­kle of cheese.

Add wine, a vil­lage square on a balmy night and a re­cently mar­ried wife, and you’re in heaven.

Where was your last hol­i­day?

BE: Our last proper hol­i­day was ski­ing in Vic­to­ria. We went as a big gang with Sophie’s brother’s fam­ily. I adore the moun­tains of Vic­to­ria, we’ve been there three times now and I’d also love to go in sum­mer.

Where to next?

BE: We’re plan­ning a trip to Queens­land. We want to see the Reef and the rain­for­est and the kids are ex­cited about the theme parks.

Is there any­thing you can’t travel with­out?

BE: Pass­port. Ticket. Drinks trol­ley.

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