How did the idea for Lesbian Space Crime come about?
RS The idea came about after a brief back-and-forth with my good friend pal boy Robbie Taylor Hunt over WhatsApp, and we knew we wanted to make some super dumb, super silly musical comedy.
RTH We just felt being "queer" is so "space" and being in "space" is so "crime" - it all fit together beautifully. We wanted to be able to make some raucous ridiculousness but have a bit of a meaningful undercurrent and so honed it all into a bonkers world that would allow us to do that.
Sherina and Jack met up to talk about Jack’s experience working in the David Glass Ensemble in the ground-breaking production of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’…
S: Can you tell us a little bit about the run up and the whole audition process?
J: Sure. So the first thing that happened, how I first found out about it,
was it was actually Russell Actors’ very own Robbie Taylor Hunt who got me
into the room, and that was a very important moment: a moment that I've never forgotten.
So for the audition I read two scenes. I performed with the director, and we had a little bit of a chat about what we thought about Samuel Beckett, which was a scary moment as well, because you don't quite know what they what they wanna hear.
Sherina chatted with Siôn from Russell Actors about the joys and challenges of theatre-creation over the last few months…
Sherina: How did you find the early stages of devising?
Siôn: My experience early on was like collectively trying to wrestle an analogous blob to the ground. The initial concept came quickly (the blob), what needed working out was how to turn the blob into a play. Our group is made up of people who all have great ideas that they feel strongly about which - while being far better than the alternative of few ideas - can lead to some slightly intense discussions! However, I feel very lucky that our group quickly united in our belief in our original concept and our desire to turn it into an entertaining piece of theatre.
Sherina: What have been your influences?
S: So, Amanda, it’s so lovely to meet you here at Starbucks, near Warren street- just around the corner from The Old Diorama Arts Centre, thank you for joining me.
A: Happy to be here. Hehe!
S: I am really interested to know how your poetry is going generally.
A: Yeah, really well! I've got an event coming up, my second live event at the Bush Theatre, really excited, and that is called ‘Poetry & Me’, where I interview other poets from different walks of life, and they tell me about their poetry, what brought them to poetry, and they get to share some live poetry for a live audience.
S: Amazing. And turning that back to you: What brought you to poetry?
A: It was therapy, in a sense. So I started journaling at 14 on the back of grief.
And I didn't know it was poetry at the time. It was just journal entries.
And then I came across death Jam, spoken word poetry, and then I realized there were similarities in the flows of what I was writing in comparison to all
I was hearing, so I then just…went with it!
S: A natural segue?
'If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear..."
What a magical summer! We couldn't have chosen a better year to put on Shakespeare's best loved comedy. We rehearsed for a week in the stunning vicar's garden at St Mary Abbots and then were invited to perform in St John's Church in Notting Hill, twice in the garden at St Mary Abbots Centre, and then again in Gloucestershire- every one with a standing ovation! (Maybe something to do with the fact that it was a promenade show so most of the audience were on their feet for the whole show but we'll take it as high praise!)
I adore working with and directing teenagers and young adults, I feel constantly inspired by Shakespeare, I'm a sucker for the sunshine, and promenade theatre has become my favourite form over the years...so creating A Midsummer Night's Dream this August was honestly a recipe for heaven in my eyes! I was choked up with pride on the final performance. The energy that the team threw at every moment was electric!
Thank you to a beautiful cast and to everyone in the audiences. One of the ladies in the audience said it was even more engaging than the last RSC production she'd seen. Not that we're ones to blow our own trumpets! (Although Kitty did a very good job in the show ;)