The Tamasha theatre company and Institute of Contemporary Arts have aimed for the stars in their first ever co-production
BY KRYSTA MCKENZIE, IMAGE BY CANDICE PURWIN
STARS: An Afrofuturist Space Odyssey, is an experimental play that tells the story of an old woman who ventures into outer space in search of her own orgasm. The old woman, called Mrs, has encounters with three people on her journey: a young neighbour who discloses a secret; an old friend who reveals she is intersex; and a would-be lesbian lover in a launderette.
If this isn’t enough to entice you – the play will not only be told through the character Mrs, but also a live DJ and projected animation, with creative captioning by Stephen Lloyd to ensure accessibility for all. It is presented as a “concept album on stage”, and after the performances on 22 and 29 April, the play will transform into a celebratory club night with guest DJs and characters from the show.
Mojisola Adebayo is the brilliant writer of STARS, and she has been making theatre across the globe for 30 years now. She has a history of creating impressive work – including her play Family Tree which was a winner of the Alfred Fagon Award.
Mojisola commented on the development of STARS, “I realised how many people struggle with sex and how millions of women all over the world are cut off from the possibility of pleasure because they go through traditional harmful surgeries as girls”, she said. “Connecting with FORWARD and intersex activists, I reflected on the shared roots of FGM and non-consensual surgeries faced by intersex children (including in Britain) – two issues rarely talked about on the same page… With amazing drawings from Candice Purwin and a live DJ throughout, the show climaxes in a fantastic Afrofuturist club night – the earth moves at last… I see STARS!”
Her passion in bringing this story to the stage is evident in how she speaks about the play. Pooja Ghai, the Artistic Director of Tamasha shared her admiration of Mojisola: “Mojisola is an outstanding artist who has been inspiring and challenging perceptions of African diasporic histories through her work. Experimental in form, STARS is bold – in its fusion of music, ‘Afriquia’ theatre and animation, in its exploration of LGBTQI+ themes, and in its celebration of African mythology and folklore.”
The UK tour of STARS will begin from 9 May 2023 including: Contact Theatre, Manchester; Bristol Old Vic; The Old Rep, Birmingham; Northern Stage, Newcastle; Liverpool Everyman. Visit https://tamasha.org.uk/projects/stars/ to book your ticket!
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