Interview with Bob Bickerton

Q. What is your name?

A. Robert Henry Bickerton

Q. Do you have a nickname?

A. Well there’s lots really, but I have been called Bob Biscuit-tin and even Bob Bits-of-skin! My nicknames are variations on my surname which is Bickerton, and that, apparently, is old English for bee-keeper. Maybe that’s why I’m a busy-bee?

Q. What is your family history?

A. Well I was the middle child of a family of five, but when I was 19, which is a very long time ago, I decided to move to Aotearoa and so most of my life I have lived in this beautiful mountain rich land.

Q. What training/ experiences led you to performance?

A. I was always interested in listening to music, but unfortunately, when I was at school, which is a very, very long time ago, music classes were really quite boring and in fact I never got to even touch an instrument at school, which was sad. I didn’t start playing music until I was 21 and because some people think that is too late to start playing music, I didn’t think I’d ever be much good at it. But what I’ve learnt is that it’s never too late to play music and anyone can do it! For me music is fun, but it also takes me, and hopefully the people listening to my music, to new and exciting places in their imaginations!

Q. Did you climb mountains as a child?

A. When I was a kid living in Birmingham in England, which is a very, very big city, we were lucky to live on the city’s edge, quite close to some wooded hills. Of course, they were tiny compared to the spectacular mountains of Aotearoa, but we often walked over the hills and that gave me a real taste for the outdoors and tramping.

Q. What are your thoughts about 'voice'?

A. Our voice is the most special instrument we have. It can make music and tell stories. Sometimes, when someone tells a story with their voice, the listener can actually imagine aspects of the story. It can make people sad, happy or angry, and sometimes it can send us off to sleep! So the voice is very powerful, it really is magic!


Q. What are your thoughts on the world?

A. We live on a wonderful planet and I think we’re really, really lucky to be here. But it’s the only home we have, so it’s really, really important that we look after it.

Q. What does live performance mean to you?

A. Any performance, whether it is a play, a show or a concert is about taking an audience on a journey. We, the performers, are on an exciting journey discovering and exploring ideas in the play and we hope you, the listeners, will join us on this journey too! 

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