MPavilion (24 01 24)

5 Minutes With: Susan Bamford, MPavilion Front of House

MPavilion 10, photo by Marie-Luise Skibbe

Those who have visited MPavilion 10 this season may recall chatting to Susan Bamford. Having joined our Front of House team for MPavilion 10, Susan has been warmly welcoming guests into the pavilion all season long.

This week, we caught up with Susan to see how she spends her summer weekends.

Tell us about your own experiences of MPavilion – do you have any defining memories over the past 10 years?

My initial experience of MPavilion was in 2014 when Deborah Cheetham borrowed the Federation Handbells from the program that I ran at Museum Victoria for (what I think was) the inaugural performance of her beautiful Wominjeka Song Cycle.

However, my most recent memory is of MPavilion 10, and the first weekend that we offered the wonderful Greyscale ice-creams. I have never filled so many ice-cream cones!

Walk us through your ideal Melbourne weekend. Where are you eating, drinking, visiting?

Pellegrini’s for a granita, a ride on a tandem bike along the Yarra (stopping in Birrarung Marr to listen to the Federation Bells), and a picnic with green grapes, Jarlsberg cheese and prosecco from the Queen Victoria Market. Definitely some live theatre at either La Mama Theatre or 45Downstairs to finish the day.

What’s your favourite building in Melbourne?

Apart from MPavilion, of course, my favourite building Melbourne is La Mama Theatre in Faraday Street, Carlton, where dreams are played out and stars are born. Some of the best theatre makers, writers, actors, stage-managers, designers, directors, poet and musicians have trod those old and now newly built (since the fire in 2018) stage floors.

What are your recommendations for people exploring the MPavilion program?

It has been great to attend some events by choice, but others that I’ve attended by chance have been great mind expanders. The MTalks program, many of which are shared online through the MPavilion Podcast, and the MMusic program (including the DJ 101 workshops and the ANAM concerts) have been excellent.

I recommend people to look at the program, but also to just swing by if they can and see what’s on. I’m looking forward to the ice-creams coming again.

MPavilion 2023 designed by Tadao Ando, photo by Michael Pham

MPavilion 10, image by Michael Pham

What’s the most fulfilling part of your job?

I love the variety of conversations that I have had with a wide range of people. There are so many brilliant stories to hear about.

Right now, I’m listening to, watching, reading…

I have just moved house so all I’m really watching and reading are labels on boxes, but I’m listening to heaps of things including Brian Eno, Dame Janet Baker, Aurora, Hunters and Collectors, Joan La Barbara, Chris Theile, Radio National and the birds of the Birrarung.

If I didn’t live in Melbourne, I’d live…

On Phillip Island but the exact locale is a secret because it is so beautiful.

One thing I do every weekend is…

Vocal Combat Training.

The MPavilion 10 season runs until 28 March 2024. Explore the program now.

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Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which MPavilion stands. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present – and recognise they have been creating, telling stories and caring for Country for thousands of generations.

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