Q&A: Jo Turner

Date posted: 20 Jul 2012Author: STC


Please describe yourself as an artist in one sentence.

An actor, writer, director, maker of new work who loves to collaborate on the rehearsal floor.

Theatre is…
Life on steroids.

What is your favourite book?
O come on! One book? I always have three on the go. Books are a relationship, sometimes you love the thing and then you have a falling out. Then you come back to it later and have a great make-up read. No one book stays my favourite. I've never read the same book twice. I can't stand it.

What is your favourite play? Favourite playwright?
O come on! One play? Ok, The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Hence Brecht. Because it's mad, theatrical, nonsensical, cruel, funny, moving and utterly human.

If you weren't an actor/director/writer, what would you be?
A postman. Less stress.

What is your favourite way to indulge?
I love to cook and share the proceeds. It's delicious, creative, relaxing, sensual and people really like you if it's good.

If you could be anyone from throughout time, who would you be?
O come on! One person? I like Simon McBurney's life (Artistic Director of Theatre de Complicite). Charles Darwin is a hero, a brilliant innovative thinker who used observation to find the truth. David Attenborough, gets to observe, study and film extraordinary natural beauty, AND be on TV!

What inspires you?
Inspiration. In people.

When/why/how did you get your start in theatre?
I played the rear end of a pantomime donkey in the Kenton Youth Theatre production of Puss in Bootswhen I was 10. My mum made me go. The director noticed my talent.
What do you do to unwind on weekends?
Cook, read, fish.

Who would you love to work with (dead or alive)?
Simon McBurney (see above), Brecht, Robert Lepage.

If you had an unlimited budget for a creative pursuit, what would you do with it?
I would create new devised work with an ensemble of gifted creative actors, designers and musicians. On show every two years.

Do you ever get sick of theatre?

Last meal on Earth?
Beef Burgundy, with a French burgundy then two soft and two hard cheeses. Or La Grande Bouffe. Eat until death.

What was your favourite STC show?
The Lost Echo. Breathtakingly bold.