Young Theatre Maker alum is Drama Inspiration

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Young Theatre Maker alum is Drama Inspiration

We have a wonderful team of freelancers at London Bubble who inspire children and young people across our projects, however, Russeni Fisher stands out as a force for engagement, encouragement, creativity and skill.

We first met Russeni as a 19-year-old taking part in our Young Theatre Makers programme. Since then he has been a pivotal member of our homegrown talent pool, always looking for opportunities to develop his practice. He is reflective, insightful and innovative. We are incredibly proud that he now stands as one of our most regular, long serving and requested Associate Artists. Many partners and stakeholders have chosen to rearrange project dates so that Russeni can be the practitioner.

His ability to develop relationships with children and young people who are considered ‘hard to engage’ is second to none. He is our first choice to deliver projects with care experienced young people, those with experience of the youth justice system and those at risk of serious youth violence as well as more general drama projects. Not only does Russeni ensure that every individual is able to express themselves and explore the stories that matter to them, he creates joyous, beautiful and moving theatre. Drawing on poetry, spoken word, music, movement, improvisation and forum theatre, the plays (and films) that he creates with children and young people are both socially relevant and entertaining. We see this when young people advocate for others to be involved in projects which Russeni leads:

“(I wish) others could experience this” – Playing Safe summer project participant

His manner is fun and fair. His laughter is infectious, and we always know that young people who work with Russeni will enjoy their time on the project whilst achieving the planned outcomes.

Russeni exemplifies pro-social modelling and leading by example. He shows young people what is expected of them. They are drawn to his warmth and find in him an emotionally regulated and consistent adult.

“… the people I was working with you could really tell they like their job, honestly. Them two boys*, they’re sick. They’re really good actors as well. Which make it like, you’re just engaged honestly. You’re just sitting there engaged. It’s good” – Way Intro Work participant (YJS)

He embraces responsibility as a Black male working in this field, acting as a role model and striving to pave the way for the next generation of underrepresented artists, tackling difficult conversations with honesty, integrity and sensitivity.

“Representation matters. Seeing that positive relationship between the two young Black male professionals is something they don’t often see. Seeing us challenge each other and talk things through in a positive, safe way…. Young people don’t always get that opportunity… seeing yourself represented – where you can see yourself in the leader – that makes them think like they could do it themselves – it is an opportunity to see themselves reflected in the professionals they are working with” ~Russeni

Russeni is a strong advocate for the power of youth voice. He listens and responds to children and young people, ensuring that their voices do not go unheard whilst also challenging negative thoughts and behaviours when necessary.

Young people often hang around at the end of sessions, trying to get extra time with Russeni however they can – he remains friendly and approachable whilst always maintaining professional boundaries.

As well as leading projects, Russeni is excellent when 1:1 support is required by a child with an autistic spectrum condition; another example of his commitment to making theatre accessible to all.

Russeni embodies London Bubble’s values of creativity, community and care. Outside of the sessions he leads, Russeni goes beyond expectations when supporting young people through difficult times in their lives. Inside the rehearsal room, he finds ways to navigate the needs of each and every young person so that they can be the best versions of themselves and gain as much from the project as physically possible.

After 10 years in community theatre, Russeni is now training to be a primary school teacher. We know that any child who meets him in their formative years will be all the richer for it! He is a truly special individual, impacting the lives of hundreds of children and young people through his work at London Bubble Theatre each year, and for that, we are delighted he is recognised with this award.

“Receiving the Drama Inspiration Award is a profound full-circle moment for me as both a facilitator and an artist. It symbolizes a decade of personal and professional growth—from my humble beginnings as a participant to now leading facilitator at London Bubble. I am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to inspire and collaborate with a diverse array of young people throughout London.” – Russeni Fisher

Russeni directed INFLUENCED, a brand new play by YTM cohort 19. Click here for tickets.

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