An interview with Rowena Russell, London Bubble Youth Theatre Member. This interview took place in October 2003, and Rowena has since participated in several Bubble projects and worked as a steward on the summer parks tour.
How were you first aware of the Bubble Youth Theatre?
I noticed an advertisement in the programme for the Christmas pantomime, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
Once you were aware of the youth theatre how did you go about joining it?
I called the Bubble and spoke to Louise Owen (the Marketing Officer) and started the workshop the next week.
What were your first impressions of the Youth Theatre group?
Everybody was really friendly and straight away I was told about a show that I would be involved in, which was really exciting.
Since joining what projects have you been involved in?
Straight after joining I was involved in a show called A Man I Call Dad
In the summer I was then involved in a huge summer tour of Punchkin, Enchanter.
Punchkin, Enchanter was a huge project for the Bubble. What was it like for you?
It was a really good experience to work alongside professional actors as well as young people my age. It was different as all the performances were outside and the location changed every few shows. It felt good when other cast members complimented me on my performance.
Did the fact that it was such a big cast make it harder?
Sometimes as there were around 100 cast members but when we all pulled together the result was really good.
How was it, being in a cast with such a wide age range, (8-older adults)?
It was different and it was a unique experience.
Why do you think this project was so successful?
Because it was a different show and not an average theatre production, as it was outside at various locations. It was an original idea and that made people want to come and see it.
Would you like to be involved with a project of this nature again?
Yes I would definitely do it again as it was such a good experience.
Do you think that the age group is right for the Older Youth Theatre? It is currently 14 to about 18.
Yes I do because it allows for a variation of ideas and thoughts without being unsuitable.
Is there anything that you think London Bubble could do to change the way in which their workshops are run?
I think that they should continue doing regular performances. Ask us what issues we would like to work on and then devise the term around that if they think that it’s suitable.
How would you like to see more young people involved in the Bubble?
The Bubble already has lots of workshops for young people and I don’t think that they need to involve anymore.
There are currently around 15 people in the Older Youth Theatre workshop on a Monday. Is this group the right size? Would it be better if it were smaller or bigger?
This group size is good as you get to work with different people and not be overcrowded.
Have you felt that your skills as an actor have improved since attending these workshops?
Especially through Punchkin I did noticed improvement in my skill – in particular projection of my voice.
Are the facilities at the current premises big enough to hold all of the different workshops?
There is only one rehearsal room but at the moment that is all that is needed for the amount of workshops running.
Is there anything else that you would like to say about the Youth Theatre or the Bubble?
I think the Bubble is a really good organisation to be part of if you are interested in theatre.