MY PERFECT ITALIAN PIZZA
Man-made structures and the best of nature appeal to this writer,
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.