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Centre Stage with… Jessica Russell


What do you hope people take away from your show?

Exploring genetic modification as a maker means we have this great, artistic playground in front of us. What was science-fiction is now hitting closer to home and we’ve got to start making some tough choices as a collective species. So we’re looking to incite some (friendly) debate. Nothing would make me happier than to come out to the bar and hear people’s thoughts on where we go from here. The work isn’t a statement, it’s the beginning of a discussion.

What was your first experience with theatre?

My Dad took me to see We Will Rock You when it first came to Perth, I was maybe eleven? A long love affair with Queen and theatre was born.

What kinds of works are you most drawn to?

Works that mess with their form, that draw on different disciplines. And not as a statement or accessory, but because it’s integral. Theatre, for me, is inherently collaborative.

What’s the best show you’ve ever seen?

Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More was my first experience with a “different” style of theatre. At the time I don’t think I had any idea what to make of it, but looking back I’m in awe of how rich the work is. The attention to detail on such a grand scale, and now knowing more of Punchdrunk’s process – it’s spectacular. I got slammed up against a wall by one performer and narrowly missed being tackled on a pool table by another. Good fun.

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do?

That I get to walk on stage and look at an idea bigger than myself, to tell someone’s story, that’s a huge privilege.


Find out more about Blueprint here.

Image by Marshall Stay.