A Quick Chat With Steve Francis

After Dinner, Andrew Bovell’s light comedy, is currently making audiences laugh at Sydney Theatre Company. We sent some questions to composer and sound designer Steve Francis, to see what makes him – and the production – tick.

If you had to describe your career in five words, which five words would you use?

Guitarist from Adelaide gets lucky.

What was your first job in the industry?

My first Theatre show as composer/sound designer was “Box the Pony”.

Who or what are your biggest influences in your work as a composer? 

Steve Francis.
Steve Francis.

Gustavo Santaolalla, Jerry Goldsmith, Keith Richards.

What’s your current obsession?


What’s your life motto?


What makes you immeasurably happy?

Buying another old guitar.

What makes you immeasurably frustrated?

Not being able to afford another old guitar.

Whose advice do you always take?

Anyone saying “ turn it up, Steve.”

Who is your career hero?

Tom Petty.

Which artist do you wish more people knew about?

Olafur Arnalds.

What worries you the most about the Australian theatre industry?

The lack of new faces in our industry.

What excites you the most about it?

Great new Australian work.

What would you most like to check off your bucket list?

Playing Wembley.

What’s your best party trick?

No-one noticing I’ve left.

What has been your favourite moment in the theatre as an audience member?

Mojo’s first preview….Eamon, I’m looking at you.

What has been your most fulfilling work experience?

Most recent one was the writing the score for Switzerland.

You’re collaborating again with director Imara Savage and designer Verity Hampson (after last year’s Machinal). How would you describe the collaborative partnership between the three of you?

Creative and fun.

Tell us about After Dinner.

A lot of really funny stuff leading up to an awesome 80’s cover band.

Are there any unique challenges you found when you started working on the play?

Forming the cover band to play and record the songs in Andrew’s script.

What excites you about the play?

Seeing this fabulous cast in action.

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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