In Conversation with Jub Clerc

Nyul Nyul/Yawuru playwright Jub Clerc showcased her incredibly moving play The Fever and the Fret at the 2018 National Play Festival in March. This November The Fever and the Fret will have a reading at the Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. We asked Jub some questions about how this beautiful ode to love and memory and of one family’s tale of resilience, has changed.

What is your play about?

My play is about different types of loss and how one family navigates it way through it.

What I like about my play is…

What I like about my play is its intimacy.

The National Play Festival was exciting because…

I get to catch up with friends and colleagues and attend amazing workshops and see new works in progress. I also got to see my play come back to life, which is always nice to be reacquainted with old friends.

How has the play changed from when you first developed this play and then at the National Play Festival in 2018?

This play was eked out during the brainstorming process before I even put pen to paper. Stevie Rodgers, my dramaturge, was instrumental in drawing the story out of me through gentle prodding and share personal experiences. Various workshops with the Goolarri Writers Group and Yellamundie helped shape it into a full scale production for the the Yirra Yaakin 2015 Premiere. During the 2018 National Play Festival I was able to make subtle changes in both text and stage direction so of course the ripple effect was quite dramatic. The nuances of meaning, expression and sound, changed rhythms and relationships.

Did you view the play differently following the National Play Festival?

I do view it differently following the 2018 Play Festival. I was asked to direct it and was lucky enough to secure the same actors, Irma Woods, Kelton Pell and Ebony McGuire, who performed it at the Yirra Yaakin Premiere in 2015. Their intimacy with the characters and the story, allowed us to delve deeper into the text. As the writer and director i had a personal connection to the script that allowed the actors to tap into a different journey with higher stakes. It was great to see how different creative voices call bring out equally interesting performances. I am really looking forward to what the divine ms Ursula Yovich will bring to this story. As an amazing artist and personal friend i know she will create a spectacular version of this story.

Who are your playwriting heroes?

Anyone who has ever tried to write a play.

Don’t miss The Fever and the Fret by Jub Clerc
Saturday, 17 November at 12:30pm
Ensemble Theatre
Directed by Ursula Yovich

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