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JOHN & JEN A reflective musical journey

John & Jen
is a two-person musical that tells the story of a brother and sister, and then, a mother and son, over 30 years of life. Employing a minimalist set with few props, the play is centred around the two lead actors Jessica Clancy and Nick Mayer, and explores issues such as proximity, support, the Vietnam War, the American political system, and most importantly, relationships between them. With music and words by American composer Andrew Lippa and author Tom Greenwald, this unique addition to Fringe World from Lyré Productions is showing nightly at Lounge at Astor Theatre from Wednesday, January 27 until Saturday, January 30 (get more info and tickets here). MICHAEL HOLLICK spoke to lead actor Jessica Clancy to find out how the show’s timeless messages continue to reveal themselves in new ways to both performers and audiences alike. 

How would you describe your show in your own words?

John & Jen is a heartwarming story exploring the relationship of a brother and sister, and mother and son. The actors stand bare, employing minimal props and set throughout this winding piece. 

Thinking about John & Jen, what aspect of the show are you most proud about?

Starting up Perth-based production company, Lyré Productions to facilitate the performance of John & Jen the musical as well as many shows we plan to produce for WA audiences in the future. 

What do you think differentiates John & Jen from other Fringe 2021 shows?

This is the first time John & Jen has ever been performed at Fringe World. The musical first ran Off-Broadway at the Lamb’s Theatre from June 1 until October 1, 1995 and then again at the Clurman Theatre in Theatre Row from February 26 until April 4, 2015. We are thrilled to bring the show to Australia and are eager to explore the history of American politics, which feature heavily in the piece, in the context of global events that have recently unfolded. 

And finally, what fruit is your show most like? And why?

A lime. It goes with everything but it might make your eyes water. Also…it tastes great with gin. 


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