Q&A with Jenna Russell who tells us more about the European Premiere of ‘Steve’ at the launch of Seven Dials Playhouse

Opening on 8th February 2022, the European premiere of Steve will be running at the launch of the new London venue, Seven Dials Playhouse, until 19th March. Starring Tony Award nominee and Olivier Award-winner Jenna Russell opposite Holby City’s David Ames, Steve seamlessly integrates the highs and lows of getting older, long-term friendships, monogamy, saying goodbye and being alive.

As the years go by and their favourite musicals have long since closed, for Steven, things aren’t exactly coming up roses. Staring into the bottom of yet another Vodka Stinger, Steven grapples to find his place in a younger society that doesn’t want to put him in the spotlight anymore.

The 100-seat venue is set to be the only studio receiving house in the West End, presenting a year-round programme of world-class quality theatre consisting of contemporary text-based plays and musicals, as well as an Associated Programme of events which respond directly to the themes of each production.

Jenna Russell answers our questions for this exciting Broadway play, that is coming to London’s West End!

Jenna Russell (Photo courtesy of Seven Dials Playhouse)

Are you expecting ‘Steve’ to be received differently in its European premier? If so, in what ways? 

I don’t expect the play to be received that differently over here – from how it was received in New York – the theatre references and jokes are pretty universal! I’d say the topics in the play are universal too – we all live with long friendships and relationships, growing up, and losing people that are irreplaceable to us. 

How do you think Steve is relevant today? 

I honestly think it will ring true to all audience old…and new. As I say, I think these are things that everyone can relate to, even if they haven’t lived through them.

How do you personally feel about getting older as a performing artist in theatre? 

Ageing as a performer, it’s an interesting question!  I’ve been a professional actor since I was 14. So I’ve been a kid, teenager, ingenue, mother and I’m finally moving into the thing I’ve always wanted to be, a Character Actress.  I’m used to my casting changing as the years go by! I have friends who left this world too early, so I see ageing as an absolute privilege. Inside, I’m about 25.

How do you feel about launching the Seven Dials Playhouse with the European premiere of Steve

It’s very exciting to be launching Seven Dials Playhouse with this play. The team here are wonderful – launching a new venue during a pandemic and putting on a show like Steve! –  I can’t wait to see what they do next. I’m also a massive fan of a studio space. I love the intimacy of it. 

What makes this story so special and compelling for you?

I read Steve and knew by the first ten pages that I wanted to do it. By the end of the play I had laughed out loud so many times, and, I didn’t see it coming, but I cried too. It’s beautiful writing. Mark Gerrard has a brilliant eye for comedy and writing characters that you fall in love with. As I get older I [am] more aware you’re only as good as the writing. Writing is everything. Mark has given us actors a gift. Hopefully we wrap it up well for him.

Find out more and book your tickets here.