On the Couch with Jean Tong

Jean Tong - photo by Lachlan Woods PhotographyWho is Jean Tong?
I’m directing satirical lesbian musical Romeo Is Not The Only Fruit, which I also wrote the book and lyrics for. It’s inter-textual, wry, meta, furiously funny, and has some dance moves that’d rival a 90s-themed club at 1.00am – everything I wish I could be in everyday life.

What would you do di?erently to what you do now?
Sleep more, spend more time immersing myself in art that isn’t theatre.

Who inspires you and why?
Women who get harassed and assaulted in public and still wake up every day ready to head out into the world and do incredible work building their communities up – there are too many femme, queer, women-of-colour working in the arts to be able to name them. Their resilience takes my breath away.

What would you do to make a di?erence in the world?
Support people with grander, more compassionate visions of the world. I suspect they need logistical support; someone needs sort the admin out.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Any beach with my phone on airplane mode and someone else’s dog.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Four Pillars Gin Distillery and then any of the many festivals Melbourne happens to be playing host to while they’re in town: the former because gin, and the latter because after the gin, any random festival will be a good time.

What are you currently reading?
Han Kang’s The Vegetarian.

What are you currently listening to?
Yeo’s new album Desire Path, and Nicki Minaj for lyrical inspiration.

Happiness is?
Sunset, booze, and bad puns with good people.

What does the future hold for you?
After Romeo Is Not The Only Fruit, I’ll be working on finishing Hungry Ghosts for MTC in 2018, and then completing my Masters in Writing for Performance at the VCA. And then maybe just a little bit of time off.

Romeo Is Not The Only Fruit plays at The Butterfly Club: 14 – 26 November as part of the 2017 Poppy Seed Theatre Festival. For more information, visit: www.poppyseedfestival.com for details.

Image: Jean Tong – photo by Lachlan Woods Photography