Tag Archives: michaela coel

BLURRED LINES (The Shed, National Theatre)

16 Jan

Okay,

I’ll keep it brief because it’s 7 minutes to midnight, I’ve just consumed a LOT of biscuits and I’m curling over my laptop as we speak wondering why I’m  browsing the internet with crumbs falling into my keypad instead of curling into my bed.

I’m in a play, it’s a devised play under the leadership of two wonderful people; the magnificent director Carrie Cracknell (Doll’s House, Young Vic/West End) and brilliant writer Nick Payne (Constellations, Royal Court), our movement director is Ann Yee (The Colour Purple) she’s incredible too!

It’s called BLURRED LINES, and yes, it’s in …. honour of Robin Thicke and his apparent big …song that sold millions of records, a song about a girl who he is smoothly trying to convince that ‘she knows she wants it’…a song in which T.I later kindly offers to split her arse in two, Pharell sophisticatedly singing about how much he hates the blurred lines (of sexual consent) all the while.

I kinda like this song, I also kinda hate it when I think about it. The same way I kinda like this society but also kinda hate it when I really think about it. The sense of power and control of the opportunities you have become few and far between when you’re working class, elderly. a shade other than white, a woman, overweight, too short too tall, the list goes on.

We’ve been creating this play full time for 5 weeks now. Heavily inspired by novelist Kat Banyard’s THE EQUALITY ILLUSION. It’s been a challenge… partly because rather than my race and class being intertwined with my gender, over the last few weeks I’ve often felt like I was betraying my race/class by concerning myself with gender issues; the race angel going “OI! We were slaves, negro!” and the angel of poverty going “MATE! FEMINISM DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH OUR COUNCIL FLAT!” … and then on Sunday I saw 12 Years A Slave and flippin’ heck did it make me question why the hell I was opening my mouth to even tell someone the time.

But I guess when I watch the beautiful Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years A Slave and look at what has become of a generation of females so closely linked to a tangled mess of slavery rape and violence (the blood ties are strong; the last DOCUMENTED race led lynching was in 1981, 7 years before I was born) I cannot help but think maybe I can open my mouth a fraction?

Kat Banyard says the definition of beauty for our modern world is a young white woman with big boobs and no pubic hair,  looking at our current society (including myself) I can see the…pardon me… the mess we women have made of ourselves… with our weave and our contact lenses and our choice of black female idols. We’ve made a real mess…and before it goes any further I, Michaela Coel am taking out my weave, my contact lenses, my deeply rooted desire to be someone so physically distant from myself ; I’m tangling them up and throwing them down the stairs with the stupidly high heels, oops, they all broke. GOOD (you’ll get the stairs thing when you see the show!). And it’s not that I CAN’T wear them…I guess what makes them unhealthy for me is the ideology that they make me look ‘better’…why? Why? Argh! *Slams-digestive-bisucits-into-forehead*

In the rehearsals and in the play itself I keep hearing this notion of being ‘objectified’ by men… I think we’re in a different phase now…now we also objectify ourselves. We ‘complain‘ that rappers don’t make us the centre point of their over sexualised music videos, we complain that we’ve been replaced by the Latino girl with the big boobs or the white girl with the oversized arse, and we are upset that we are no longer being objectified by the media…what a strange starting point…that it is a GOOD thing to be publicly sexualised? To want to appear as nothing more than a hairless, pale body of  innocence (and yet experience) with a hole at the bottom of the torso? Bloody hell.

And that’s just the surface, the last month or so we’ve explored image, the media and its reinforcement of stereotypes and inequality, the family, work, relationships…we’ve gone all over the shop and it’s been “‘mazing” but it’s now half midnight so I’ll jump ahead.

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I hear it’s all relative; that we have a right to be dissatisfied, and furthermore a right to complain, regardless of how much we have, if we can’t get it all, we have a right. I’m still not sure. I’m still not sure how I feel about this. One of the beautiful things about the rehearsal process for this play is that there is almost NO conclusion, there is no fence to sit on and there are no sides…or too many sides, no blacks or whites, it’s just millions of bloody greys and I still don’t know! In other parts of the world women are having their genitals mutilated while others are being stoned to death for having mobile phones…should we be devising plays about gender inequality in a society where we have the right to vote, to have iPADS, to wear what we want, to insert into and remove what we want from our bodies, fly planes, be millionaires?

If the building (the flat, workplace, whatever)  you’re sitting in as you read this started to flood, and before you knew it you were knee deep in ice cold water would you just sit there and continue reading this blog or would you want something done about it? For those who would sit there and say “other people in the world are drowning as we speak, I should be grateful that I only have mild pneumonia and it’s only a dog, other people have lost children” then there’s a possibility you won’t see  the necessity of this play…you might hate the things that slightly aggrieve some of us and you’ll probably scoff at the things that we find kinda funny…for those of you who think “shit it’s cold, crap, my dog’s dead…I want this fixed” then I guess I’ll see you at The Shed for a piece of work that maybe you’ll find a little bit important in a non-wanky genuinely important for this generation kinda way.

See you there…the show runs in The Shed Theatre from the 16th January till the 23rd February

Book HERE

Erm… can you bring Steve McQueen with you? ….Just saying…I wouldn’t be against that?

Michaela xxx

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God Bless the Child

9 May

Morning and Yo!

I was actually holding off on this blog because I thought the postman would arrive at 1pm, but he arrived at 7.30am instead! No better way to write a blog than with an unwashed mouth and yesterday’s make up so with poor grammar and a groggy head to compliment the former I may as well crack on.

Today, Chewing Gum Dreams begins to place it’s bubble butt bottom on book shelves all around the UK, and all over the world through the power of Amazon and Amazon Kindle. If I never bothered saying it before- I got a publishing deal with Oberon Books. Continue reading

Chewing Gum Dreams – Alfred Fagon Award – 2012.

24 Nov

Hello Everyone!

I haven’t blogged here in such a long time I’ve kind of forgotten how to do it so forgive me if this babble lacks whatever usually keeps your attention on this site.

I’m used to only having little bits of good news that would pale in comparison to my sad life unless I big it up by magnifying it times five on every social medium available. Right now I’m thankful to have a lot of good news, although a bit baffed as to what to do with it all.

In August I submitted Chewing Gum Dreams for the Alfred Fagon Award, I am pleased to say I found out 2 weeks ago I won it. I was presented the award by Doreen Lawrence OBE (Stephen Lawrence’s beautiful Mother). She was lovely; humble, with that same quiet strength we have been distant witnesses of for so many years. Continue reading

CHEWING GUM DREAMS @ THE YARD THEATRE 2012

3 Jun

Remember when we were younger…? Kano, Craig David, D-Dark, Sizzla, Sweet Female Attitude, Purple Haze and Shola Ama…remember the fights on the back of the bus; house parties because we had no idea how to get fake ID’s for raves; Chinese print leggings and hoodie to match; the first wave of New Era Caps, Air Rifts and Pink Timberland’s; wearing dummies for fashion, gelling baby hair on our foreheads, jamming outside Dalston Shopping Centre or Hackney Town Hall waiting…for anything. Remember the babies born by girls just in time for GCSE’s; remember the babies lost to kitchen knives dripping with revenge and the need for acceptance…

If you remember, if you’ve forgotten, if you never knew, keep reading… Continue reading

Michaela Coel plays Lysistrata at The Albany (DSD Part 41)

29 Apr

Hey Guys!

Really excited to tell you about what will be my FINAL play at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

We will be performing the Greek play Lysistrata and I’m very excited to be cast as her! Lysistrata is the strongest woman in Athens with an even stronger sense of individual responsibility; by taking matters into her own hands and convincing every woman in Greece to withhold sex from their husbands she attempts to end the interminable Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta…
It’s a classic war of the sexes, filled with testosterone, oestrogen, great debate, beautiful women and 10.5 inch ceramic erections.
Yep… seriously

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It’ll be on at The Albany and YOU as the audience will be in for many surprises! The seats are seriously LIMITED! There are only 106 seats and they are selling FAST– I’m not playing- I warned you with Chewing Gum Dreams and I’m hoping those of you who were too late and missed that play have learned your lesson in time for this next one.  Do NOT miss one of these performances:
Lysistrata
Directed by Owen Horsley (Associate Director of Cheek By Jowl)
Showing at 7.30pm on the following dates
Monday 14th of May – Thursday 17th of May
also showing at 2pm on the following dates
Tuesday 15th May & Thursday 17th May
For Tickets:

CHEWING GUM DREAMS (My First Play- DSD pt 38)

17 Jan

The 67 bus, friendship, violence, Lindon Estate, sex, friendship, UK garage, school, music, teachers, friendship, periods, emergency contraceptive, arse and tits, friendship, raves, tampons, white boys, mum and dad, God, money. Friendship.Image
Tracey Gordon is the school girl shouting at the back of the bus, who insults a teacher so acutely they cry in their office during lunch break, who bullies those as unfortunate as herself, who raves in house parties from Hackney to Tottenham, who once wanted more from life than looking after her mother, who had dreams once, but killed them in exchange for a 1st Generation iPod. And found love, and resolution in unexpected places.

Boisterous, sharp, and moving. Chewing Gum Dreams is a coming of age one-girl play that recalls four consecutive days in Tracey Gordon’s life that lead to the onset of her adulthood.

*posh grown up voice* I hereby invite you to CHEWING GUM DREAMS, my FIRST EVER PLAY!! I’m so happy and so proud to be able to post this because I’ve been working bloomin’ hard the last few months, so hard that I’ve neglected you! I’m so sorry! I think the details of this post will make up for it!Image

It’s part of a show called ‘One.‘ alongside three one-man plays (written by Jherad Alleyne, Kevin Phelan, and SImon Blackhall).9th FEBRUARY 6PM
10th FEBRUARY 2PM and 6PM

♥ Admission is FREE but spaces are very LIMITED (seriously)

♥ To reserve your place email one.guestlist@live.com with your
Full Name
Date / Time

YOU MUST AWAIT A CONFIRMATION. If you don’t get a confirmation email your name is NOT DOWN !

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SEE YOU THERE…It’s gonna be revolutionary.

MICHAELA SUPPORTING OMAR! (THE OMAR!)

14 Dec
Hey Guys!
Yeah… been ages in it? I’ll explain that later there is more important news at hand:
OMARwill be live in London on the

22nd DECEMBER Continue reading

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