Umbrella Talk with playwright Ben Noble

Welcome to this week's Umbrella Talk with playwright Ben Noble. Ben is originally from Australia and is currently based in Toronto. Ben talks about always adding different ingredients to his writing; being inspired by the stupidness of mankind and what a melodramatic play about his life would be like.

A bit about Ben Noble

Ben is a actor, playwright and the Creative Producer of Fairly Lucid Productions. A graduate of the 2002 St Martin's Performance Ensemble in Melbourne Australia, Ben trained with the Atlantic Theater Company in New York. As a playwright, Ben's first play "Pick A Card" won 3rd prize in the St Martins Playwriting Competition in 2002. In 2004 he was commissioned to write "Short Trip" for St Martins' as part of the Scattergun Project, which took out St Martin's Best Play that year. "Go, Fish" was short listed for St Martin's Play of the Year in 2005. Also in 2005, he was one of the few Australian delegates at World Interplay – an International Playwrights festival. He was recently commissioned by Riverland Theatre Company to cowrite and dramaturge "HOONS". Ben's work has also been performed and workshopped throughout Australia and in New York "interrogation' his award winning piece for the 2004 Melbourne International Fringe Festival is being translated into Spanish and adapted to a short film to be shot in Mexico and will be seen in an updated version on Toronto's stage in the new year.
As a producer, Ben was the co-curator for the Melbourne Fringe Festival at St Martins Youth Arts Centre in Australia, and has directed his staged readings within Australia and Canada. He also coaches actors across Canada with John Robert Powers Academy.
As an actor he took out the Peer and Audience awards in St Martin's 2002 Season of New International Work and received an "Honourable Mention" for his performance in the 2004 Melbourne International Fringe Festival. Recent credits: Binary (White Raven Productions), Something from Nothing (Cascade Theatre) Tessa King's One Last (Summerworks) Romeo & Juliet (Company X), The Scattergun Project (St Martin's), Phaedra's Love (Organised Chaos), interrogation (Fairly Lucid). Ben has appeared in numerous short films both in Canada and Australia and will be seen next in the feature film, Buck Wild.
Upcoming: Ben will also be assistant directing a production of "The Curative" in Montreal and performing in "Scrooge" for Stage West.

Umbrella Talk with Ben Noble

What do you drink on opening night?
Pre show it's usually water. I'm usually a little beside myself for anything else. Then intermission i'm usually onto the alcohol after the nerves have settled down.

Who would direct the coolest production of one of your plays?

I'm always up for interesting productions. There are so many directors out there bringing their own interpretation into the mix. I'm going to go with a random but cinematic name - Pedro Almodovar would be pretty cool.

What scares you? What can't you write about?

What scares me is that no one will come to my show that I paid lots of money to produce. And if they do they'll hate it. Good times. In regards to what i can or can't write. I guess that's the question I always ask myself and I'm still discovering the answer to that one so I'll get back to you.

What do you want to write about that you haven't yet?
There's so many idea's and subjects out there. I guess you just go with the most important one at the time. I feel like the chef that always has pots on the boil but it takes me forever to finish cooking the meal because I'm always adding different ingredients.
If someone was to write a play about your life, what genre would it be? (eg. comedy, tragedy, melodrama, horror)
Definitely Melodrama. With Musical Numbers, interpretative dance segments and puppets.

How do you deal with praise? With criticism?
Crawl in a hole and cry. Obsess over it for weeks. I'm more into the criticism then the praise thing. While praise is definitely appreciated I pay more attention to the criticism.

Where would you like your work to be produced?
Canada. New York. London. Anywhere?

Where do you write? Pen or keyboard?
Have to say it's a bit of both. I write down idea's, stories, lines of dialogue in notebooks and scraps of paper but when i actually start to write a play, usually it's all keyboard.

What would you like academics to write about your work in 50 years?
A classic but misunderstood genius.

What inspires you?
The stupidness of mankind. The need to be the storyteller.

Thanks again for reading this week's Umbrella Talk. Next week we will be talking with playwright Brendan Gall. If you are a playwright who has work produced here in Canada or elsewhere, and would like to talk to us, please drop us a line at