Temporary at Sydney Fringe Festival
Rosie spoke with one of the many talented artists creating exciting new works for the Sydney Fringe Festival, Katie Lees. Katie is the writer and star of the one-woman show 'Temporary', opening next week at Blood Moon Theatre in Kings Cross.
What exactly is Temporary, and why have you chosen to bring this piece to Sydney Fringe?
Temporary is a one woman show that I wrote based on a series of dead end temp jobs I had worked and found myself fascinated by how office work places function. It uses the corporate office setting to examine expectations we put on ourselves and on others. Described as Bridget Jones meets the office, it comments on routines, personalities and systems that anyone who had ever worked in an office would understand and hopefully find amusing! I have chosen to bring this particular piece to the Sydney Fringe because I feel it is relatable to a wider audience than usual theatre goers. I am hoping to reach out to young corporates, work friends or teams who may not necessarily think theatre is something they could enjoy. The play started as a development in London, based on a short monologue that was actually written whilst I was at the reception desk of a temp job.
It's great to see so many all-female creative teams this year! What kind of dynamic do you think this brings to Temporary?
It’s so exciting! I think having an all female creative team for a show like Temporary is really important because it is told from the experience of a young woman in a man’s world. It allows for the female character’s voice to be stronger and clearer.
I also made specific creative choices such as making her boss female in the story because I think it’s important that we continue to challenge where female voices can be heard and how female characters are represented on stages and screen.
In a show with multiple cast members, you often feel you've got this safety net with the other actors, that they will help you tell this story. As a performer, what creative techniques do you find yourself relying on in a one-woman show?
It’s very different! Apart from long monologues, I’ve never done a one woman show before. It’s slightly daunting to think that there is no one else on stage with me to draw energy from or help if things go wrong. However is has really encouraged me to become more aware of how I can use the space, the audience, my body and my voice to tell the story. I have had to examine each character's story arc and journey and think about where they are all at in each scene, not just the protagonist. The most rewarding thing has been learning to trust myself and my ability to share this story with the audience.
Being a multi-disciplinary artist, how does your experience with the work change, especially when performing something you've written yourself?
This is my first time performing my own work and it’s been really interesting to do script and character analysis on something I know so well. When you are performing someone else’s work, you are doing your own or your director’s interpretation of the work. Since this story is so close to me and it is so clear in my mind, it was vital for me to find a director to bring it out of myself and into the world in a way that it will connect with others. My director Nisrine has been incredible at keeping my voice yet encouraging a storyline that is strong and has drive.
I sometimes feel I have to be very clear to myself when I am wearing the ‘writer’, ‘editor’ or ‘actor’ hat. It’s not helpful when I find myself editing when I am supposed to be line learning!
Why should audiences come to see this show? What can they expect?
They should come if they feel like a night off from the 9-5 and have a laugh. There is office politics, passive aggressive signs and physical comedy. They will very much feel part of the protagonist Amy’s world and will hopefully find her struggle to be herself in a corporate landscape relatable.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
Favourite production you have ever seen?
“People, places and things” By Duncan MacMillan
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
South America with a backpack for at least 6 months
Dream role in any show to perform?
Fleabag in Phoebe Waller-Bridges ‘Fleabag’ or Emma in People Pleaces and Things.
Plays or musicals?
Is it lame to say both?
A hobby you have beyond the theatre?
Painting, reading and a new found love of aqua aerobics!
What’s next for you after this show?
I am hoping to continue with Temporary and potentially turn it into a webseries or continue developing it for theatre.
Temporary is playing at the Blood Moon Theatre in Kings Cross from September 11 to 15. You can get your tickets here.
Writer and performer Katie Lees