A Quick Chat With Maggie Scott

Who doesn’t love a black comedy? Insomniac Theatre is bringing one to Balmain in the form of Rick Cleveland’s Jerry and Tom. We caught up with director Maggie Scott to find out more about her, and about the play, in the Q&A below.

How would you describe your job to an alien?
A director is a human who helps tell a story using another human’s words and other humans’ voices so that some other humans want to come and watch them.

Insomniac Theatre's Jerry and Tom. Photo by GiGee Photography
Insomniac Theatre’s Jerry and Tom. Photo by GiGee Photography

How would you describe it to a regular person?
A director brings to life an author’s vision, through bringing out the best in a diverse team of actors and crew.

What does a producer ‘do’?
A producer deals with all the “boring bits” – the finances, venue hire, licensing etc, and the all-important marketing which brings precious customers into the theatre.

How did you get started producing?
When I founded my own company Insomniac Theatre, I decided I had the best motivation possible for working all the crazy hours that producing demanded.

What made you want to be a director?
After years of working as an actor I began to want to be the one who has a finger in every creative pie and pulls everything else together.

Who are some of your director role models?
I love the self-devised stuff of directors like Mike Leigh.

What is the most exciting thing about Australian independent theatre?
That companies stage the work they want to do, with little funding but lots of love and commitment.

What’s the most challenging thing about it?
The huge amount of competition for the same bums on seats. You need to build a reputation for quality.

Tell us about Insomniac Theatre.
Founded in 2004, performing successfully in pubs in the Inner West ever since, with a range of work from English, Irish, American and Australian writers, some of which have been Australian premieres.

If you could direct any play in the world, what would it be?
Jerry and Tom.

What are you reading at the moment?
See How Small by Scott Blackwood.

What are you watching at the moment?
Series 5 of The Walking Dead.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Eat your greens.

Do you believe in theatre superstitions? If so, which ones?
No. Though I have encountered a theatre ghost.

Insomnica Theatre's Jerry and Tom. Photo by GiGee Photography
Insomnica Theatre’s Jerry and Tom. Photo by GiGee Photography

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Not a hitman.

What inspires you?
Other people’s courage.

What is Jerry and Tom about?
The everyday life of a couple of guys with good solid family values who just happen to be hitmen. Played by Boris Brkic, Steve Maresca and Andrew Mead.

What do you think makes a black comedy successful?
The power to surprise you into laughing at outrageously dark material. This play has that power.

How would you describe the play – in five words or less?
Black, violent, criminally comic.

Where and when can we see Jerry and Tom?
The Craftsman’s Bar, The Exchange Hotel, Balmain. April 9 – 30. Bookings at www.trybooking.com/116838.

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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