Sunday, 16 February 2020

Idol - 13-15 Mar, MAC Birmingham

Jamal Gerald, Transform and Theatre in the Mill present:


A daring and unapologetic examination of Black representation in religion and pop culture with a healthy dose of Beyoncé

Written by Jamal Gerald

UK Tour 11 February – 23 May 2020

13-15 Mar, MAC Birmingham

“This is performance at its greatest” – Culture Vulture (on Idol)

@JamiBoii | #Idol |

@Transform_Leeds |

When you’re Black, queer and Catholic in a Caribbean household, which higher order do you bow down to: Queen Bey or white Jesus? Jamal Gerald would rather light a candle and worship celebrities than white saints, namely his idol: patron saint of empowerment, BeyoncĂ©. Combining African diasporic ritual, storytelling, movement and live music played by singer-songwriter Pariss Elektra and percussionist Azizi Cole, Idol is a spiritual journey that asks what happens when you don't see yourself represented.

Creator and performer Jamal Gerald said, “I’m so happy to have the chance to perform Idol again. It’s a piece that I’m very proud of, and I look forward to seeing how the work sits in different parts of the nation. I’m intrigued to know how Black people outside of the Yorkshire region will react to the show.”

Idol was commissioned by Transform and was a highlight of Transform 19 in Leeds, a festival of powerful, international performance that brought together world and UK premieres from across the North of England and the world and saw audiences travel to iconic venues and hidden spaces across the city. The show is a co-production with Bradford based Theatre in the Mill.

Amy Letman, Director of Transform said, “It’s been an extraordinary privilege to see Idol evolve and for Transform to play a part in Jamal’s exciting trajectory. This national tour, supported by a brilliant range of partners, will now ensure the conversation around this urgent, vivid work continues.”

The work of Leeds-based artist Jamal Gerald focuses on identity, lived experiences and celebrating individuality. He started his career with Leeds Young Authors, with which he has competed in poetry slam competitions nationally and in the USA. Jamal has made work in many forms, from an autobiographical solo show about being Black and gay, to having one to one conversations about privilege, to stripping down to his underwear in the city centre of Leeds for a short film. In 2016 Jamal embarked on a national tour of his solo show FADoubleGOT and was a co-devisor and performer in Putting Words in Your Mouth by Scottee, which premiered at the Roundhouse Jamal has presented work at SPILL Festival of Performance, Leeds Playhouse, Battersea Arts Centre and the Barbican.

Established in 2015, Transform is an engine room for urgent, of the moment theatre in Leeds. The company creates the biennial Transform festivals, citywide takeovers of powerful performance by local and international artists. Focused on reimagining what theatre can look like and what it can do, they present theatre works everywhere from arts venues across Leeds, to city sites and outdoor spaces. They have been responsible for commissioning some of the most urgent new performance by Northern based creatives in recent years, including the Fringe First Award Winning The Believers Are But Brothers by Javaad Alipoor and The Darkest Corners by RashDash.

Running Time: 70 mins (no interval) | Suitable for ages 16+

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