On the Couch with Lucy Clements

Lucy Clements Arts Review On the CouchWho is Lucy Clements?
I am a 22 year-old theatre maker, originally from Western Australia but now living in Sydney. I currently devote my time making new Australian theatre through the roles of writer, director and producer.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Nothing. I feel incredibly grateful for the position I currently hold in Sydney’s art community. I have been given the platform at the Old Fitz Theatre to show audiences my writing, and I have been given the privilege of producing and directing it. Yes, I would love to have more works lined up in the future, to have more funding, or more time. I dream of being part of a larger theatre company, being commissioned to create works full time. But my freelance style also leaves me absolutely without restrictions on what I create and whom I create it for – and that’s a privilege I constantly have to remind myself of.

Who inspires you and why?
As much as there are many established, international writers and directors whom I am in constant awe of, my biggest inspirations are much closer to home. The women in my family are all artists – my mother a visual artist and my two sisters a musician and costume/set designer. My father, although first and foremost a civil engineer, also is a talented musician and is part of several local choirs. My family has therefore majorly influenced the way I view art, and of course supported me in every step of my own career so far. My partner in life and crime, Brandon McClelland, has also been one of my largest inspirations over the last year. Learning to fall in love, and all of the hardships, joys and vulnerabilities that come along with this has completely reshaped my voice as a writer and my eye as a director. His enormous talent as a performer has guided me through developments and into the rehearsal room of Fracture – as has the rest of the cast and creatives of this production. It has been an incredibly collaborative effort and would not be a different work without them.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Get the Liberal party out of government… and, while I’m at it, Donald Trump and reverse Brexit.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I was lucky enough to spend six weeks studying abroad in Singapore at the Intercultural Theatre Institute in 2015. It was a truly incredible period of time, training 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and immersing myself in a culture so different to my own. During this time Singapore became a second home to be, with my classmates like a second family. If I was to choose a place to have a week’s getaway to, it would be here to revisit those roots that I still now carry with me.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
My production aside, truthfully I’m such a big fan of the Old Fitz! The theatre is connected to a wonderful pub with a great vibe, great food, and cheap drinks that you can enjoy before or after catching one of their wonderful shows. Their late night shows in particular are quirky, cheap (only 25 bucks!) and usually only an hour in length, making it a great time even for people who aren’t usually theatre goers. I’m so excited to have my own show here.

What are you currently reading?
I’m in between reads at the moment, but I’m in the process of ordering 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog and A Bright New Boise by Samuel D. Hunter. The Old Fitz 2016 season got me acquainted with these writers through their phenomenal main stage productions, The Whale and Belleville. I found these plays very inspiring to my own work and what I want to be creating and I’m really looking forward to read more from them.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve recently re-found my obsession to Kate Miller-Heidke. She is such a wonderful storyteller, I love listening to her when trying to get into a creative headspace. Same goes for Kate Bush. Must be a Kate thing…

Happiness is?
Something we sometimes need the courage to reach out for and seek support to find. Mental health affects one in five Australian’s every year and there is a strong cultural stigma, particularly in Australian men, that stops them seeking help. This is a potent theme in our production, and something we would like our audiences to take away with them.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m working on my second script, Mimesis at the moment. Written in a similar psychological drama genre, this play takes a deeper look into the terrifying reality of domestic violence in Australia. It’s been great to explore powerful female characters in this new work, while also devastating to be simultaneously watching real stories on this issue playing out all over Australia.

While I’ve had to put it aside for the rehearsal period of Fracture, I am looking forward to picking it back up with fresh eyes in mid-August. It’s a work I’ve been slowly moulding over the last year, and I hope to premiere it in 2017 – but we will have to wait and see for that!

Written and directed by Lucy Clements, Fracture at the Old Fitz Theatre: 2 – 12 August 2016, marks the Sydney debut of New Ghosts Theatre Company. For more information, visit: www.oldfitztheatre.com for details.

Image: Lucy Clements