After five years in Melbourne, Jessi Lewis is happy to return to his hometown of Brisbane for his latest multidisciplinary work ‘Return’.
“[Audiences] can expect something really visual. It’s really stylised, there’s elements of film woven in between, something like 38 prop cues. There’s amazing lighting, I’m operating the lighting myself as well, so basically they’re walking into a studio space but walking into a world which is really, really idiosyncratic and centralised around the pivotal scenes. There’s dance, physical theatre, you name it — it’s all interwoven into one, and electro, there is a lot of electro,” Lewis says.
Written between Melbourne and Brisbane, the work is inspired by late nights in Melbourne but also draws upon childhood memories of Brisbane at night, the EKKA Ferris Wheel, and fireworks on the river. “It was lots of late nights in Melbourne and having to walk home seedy as fuck. Something about the night time, nightclubs, just getting wasted and going out, but then having to deal with the next morning when you feel like shit. Then from those sort of like moments, really drawing upon them and those emotions to build something I think a lot of people could relate to,” he says.
“It’s all about personal reflection but it’s a double entendre of story lines whereby there’s a double metaphor played out on stage so it’s really quite interesting. It’s conceptual more than narrative-driven piece and it’s very dynamic, it’s epic, it’s huge.”
Lewis hopes that through the show he can offer a brief moment of pause from the pressure everyone’s going through at the moment. “It’s my first work back in Brisbane after five years in Melbourne and I’m really happy to be back and just exploring it, and also at a time where there are so many issues with government which is forcing a lot of social change and arts reform. I think this show, and the company Metamorphis Theatre Co., are all about creating art out of times of challenge and adversity so this is our response to what’s happening up here at the moment.”
‘Return’ runs from Friday July 13 to Saturday July 14 at The Judith Wright Centre.