Stellar Quine of the Month: Lu Kemp

How would you describe your current role and what do you like best about it?

Part-producer-part-creative-part-administrator-part-writer. Or at least that’s how I am feeling this morning. What makes me feel extraordinarily lucky to be able to make a living out of this is the breadth of people I get to meet and work with. My job is to explore with others the world we live in, and that’s a privilege.

What was your first ever job?

Plucking turkeys. Cold Christmas. Aged 12, having just become a vegetarian.

What made you want to work within theatre?

Sheer luck. I didn’t think the work being made at the university theatre was interesting. I met (the now playwright) Robert Evans while working on box office at the Traverse, and – when we weren’t selling tickets or answering phones – we sent bits of writing back and forth between us.

Has there been a particular person or an opportunity that you feel has made the most difference to your career?

Randall Stevenson, my lecturer at university. He bothered to turn up to see the shows I made as a student. And, he was a brilliant lecturer who made me think that stories could really change the way we live.

What piece of theatre, performance or artist has had the most impact on you?

My sisters are a lot older than me, and the youngest of the two took me to see Robert Leplage’s Midsummer Night’s Dream when it came to London. I was blown away by it: the clarity of the visual metaphors he created on stage made me realize that stories don’t need to be told in words. I sat pouring over the programme and told my sister I was going to design programmes one day.

What advice would you give emerging female directors in theatre?

Only make work you think is necessary.

Who would your Stellar Quine of the month be and why?

Lucy Jane Parkinson, aka LoUis Cypher, a young woman who performs as a drag king and has recently found her way into acting (she played Joan by Milk Productions at the Edinburgh Fringe this year). I’ve never seen anyone work so hard in a rehearsal room, so selflessly, and with such courage. And I admire her politics – she makes me think again.

SQ of the Month