Jessica Messenger has written and directed several productions in WA. This week her latest play, “Multiverse Theory in D” opens at the Blue Room Theatre.
Jessica wrote the script as well as directing this unique piece of theatre.
“It’s all about alternate universes, physics and jazz music!” Jessica told us.
Read on for our latest interview in our ‘Questions Over Coffee’ section….
‘Multiverse Theory in D’ is on at The Blue Room Theatre from the 17th of November to the 5th of December 2015.
(Ticket link at the bottom of this article.)
Hi Jessica, Congratulations on the new show.
Can you please tell us about your play “Multiverse Theory in D”
Sure. The play is about ‘what ifs?’ Those questions that we ask ourselves, like, what if I had been a boy? What if I’d moved to America when I was 18? What if I’d never dated that guy? What if I’d never broken up with that guy? What if I’d had a baby? What if I hadn’t had a baby?
All those questions and imaginary moments. Apparently we spend between 15 – 50% of our life daydreaming and I think a lot of that daydreaming is playing out scenarios in our heads. We’ve all had that moment where we wished we’d said something or done something in a certain situation.
Our brain is constantly putting alternate scenarios into our heads and that’s what I wanted to write about: getting almost obsessed with that. The main character, Naomi, (played by Erin Hutchison ) is going through somewhat of a depression and she maybe is not aware of it and certainly no one in her life is aware of it and it is manifesting as an intense obsession with ‘what if things were different?’ And in the play there is a cataclysmic event which happens and she begins to experience three different versions of her life, but unlike Sliding Doors she is completely aware that it is happening.
It makes for some really funny situational comedy, it’s a bit like the “Thank God you’re here” type craziness where she is just walking into different scenarios and having to figure out the rules and having to figure out what is happening to her.
There’s 3 different realities and movement, music, dance and several characters and then there’s different versions of the same character. There’s a lot of balls in the air.
It sounds like the music plays a large role, can you please tell us a bit more about the music?
Yes, it’s all live music. There is a double bass on stage which is played by our musical director Suzanne Kasowitz, it’s a lot about reimagined 90s ballads with pop / rock songs but they’re all done as an acapella jazz soundtrack. We have all the big band sounds which are all provided by the actors. The music is fantastic. I feel you could just come for the music and survive the play although I think people will love the play too. Suzanne did all the vocal arrangements and she coached and taught the actors but then she’s also on stage playing the double bass which is different and challenging but she’s doing an amazing job.
How did you come up with the name for the play?
I wanted a name that would sound like a physics lecture, and also we do talk about multiverse theory in the play. But the reason I called it Multiverse theory in D is that I also wanted it to sound like a symphony or orchestra piece.
Can you please tell us a bit about your background?
I’m from Newman and also from Mandurah. But I moved to Perth when I was 19 so I’ve been here for 10 years. But like my main character I am about to turn 30. I actually wrote this play when I was 27 so it’s been a work in progress for a while.
I’ve been working in theatre for about 10 years. I’m also an actor but most people would see me as a writer and director. I do a show called ‘Sense and Spontaneity’ which is a Jane Austen impro show. We are doing it at Fringe next year but we have also done it in festivals and performing arts centres all over the place. Each show is different because what we do is we ask the audience for a love story and then we do it in a Jane Austen style. It’s a lot of fun and quite ridiculous.
As for the plays I’ve written, I’ve had about 25 of my scripts performed. But this is my first time directing for the Blue Room. It’s great because you get so much support from the Blue Room. It’s been a fantastic learning curve.
What are your thoughts on the current state of theatre in Perth?
I feel it’s an exciting time. It’s been a scary few years in terms of a few major theatre companies closing but for independent theatre in Perth, it’s exciting. The rise of Fringe is amazing, I think we’re the 3rd or 4th biggest Fringe in the world which is fantastic. It’s all very well supported and the audiences are really enjoying it which is great.
Also, venues like the Blue Room really give us a chance to make good theatre and experimental theatre. People have said it’s difficult to have a career in the arts in Perth but I think that’s becoming increasingly untrue. I also think it’s becoming more and more possible to have a national or even international career here. There is some awesome work coming out of Perth.
I love Perth, it’s so beautiful and there’s lots of space. But the city itself is small, it’s a boutique city.
“Perth looks like it was made to be put under a snowdome. You can get on a hill and look at it. I like that.
It’s kind of like the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz.” Jessica Messenger.
I’m really passionate about West Australian stories and West Australian voices. There are some great stories to be told. Especially the urban stories, the city stories. There is a lot left to say about us.
And lastly, your favourite season and why?
I think I probably like Autumn the best. Around April. I love the heat and swimming and going to the beach. I hate being cold but I love summer rain. I love hot and rainy!
I don’t really like Spring. Every September and October I go through a bit of an existential crisis. I think because it’s coming up to the end of the year maybe and the change in seasons.
I love camping and outdoor activities so I would have to say Autumn is definitely my favourite.
‘Multiverse Theory in D’ runs from the 17th November to the 5th of December 2015.
For more info and to buy tickets please click this link:
The Blue Room Theatre
Thank you Jessica for your time. We can’t wait to see this show.