In London’s (Off) West End 2019: GREY by Koko Brown at Ovalhouse
I should have a hot bath? Yeah, I’ll totally try that.
I should do a face mask? Yeah, I’ll totally try that.
I should listen to whale sounds? Yeah I’ll totally try that.
I should write my feelings down. Yeah I’ll totally try that
LONDON – Following her critically-acclaimed solo show WHITE, Koko Brown is back with the world premiere of GREY, the second instalment of her Colour Trilogy, as she stages it at Ovalhouse this summer. This autobiographical new show candidly explores depression and challenges the taboos that surround and obscure black women’s mental health. Yet, this is not a production about suffering from depression, but one about living with it.
Koko is a strong, independent, black woman with a roof over her head, food in her fridge and basically, lives a good life. But she’s also a little bit sad, a lot of the time and she doesn’t understand why. Numerous studies have found that black people are bearing the brunt of a global mental health crisis and GREY is an urgent piece of multidisciplinary theatre which opens its arms to comfort and our need to be comforted. Written in Koko’s lyrically powerful blend of spoken word and vocal looping, the show will also star Sapphire Joy onstage. The team also includes movement director Shelley Maxwell, and is also fully British Sign Language integrated, made creatively and theatrically integral to the performance.
Says Koko: “I started working with Ovalhouse in 2016 so I’m really excited to be doing GREY with them and to continue on that journey with them. It’s a venue that has become a second home for me and a place where I feel safe to explore new pieces of work. GREY is a fun story, full of colour, which follows my journey of dealing with mental health issues. It explores what it’s like before people ask for help, to get help and then what happens that, which I think can be glossed over into simple happy endings in mainstream media.”
As part of the run at Ovalhouse, there will be a discussion about Accessibility in Theatre, hosted by Georgia Dodsworth, with panellists made up of black, female industry professionals, as well as a poetry workshop led by poet and journalist Bridget Minamore. The Lost Kids Collective will also present a free, BSL interpreted night of performances with Sounds, Signs and Spoken Word which will feature live music and poetry. And for those curious about Koko’s previous show, WHITE, for one night only, both WHITE and GREY will be presented in a double bill matinee on Saturday, 13th July.
GREY plays from 27th June – 13th July 2019 at Ovalhouse, London. Tickets available here