Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

No tags yet.

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin


It's been a while since I went to the Theatre. The last play I saw was either at the Barbican "The Return", or maybe it was "Soul" - the life of Marvin Gaye in Hackney Empire - one my brother treated me to. I think it was just after summer of 16.

I love stage culture and would watch any stage performance. However, I am not massive on big productions, I like the smaller Indie productions - lots of truths to take home and why not patronise them? Keep the funding going in your local community too.

I have club membership with the Barbican, I get discounts on everything but theatre. LOL..So as a woman in the Arts, I spend a lot of my 'arty farty' time there. But I have now discovered my amazing local theatre has got 'game' too so I am looking forward to seeing more plays and musicals there.

Anyway, my lovely friend, Donna had a couple of tickets she got at discounted rates to go to Theatre Royal, Stratford East to see the ''The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin". She asked me to come. It's local to both of us as we are E15/10 girls.

It was my first time there. I seem to be having lots of 'firsts' in 2017.

I thought it was one of the classiest theatres I have ever been to. The interior was a traditional Victorian style building with triple level seating. It has an ornate proscenium arch that compliments a luxurious rouge and gold decor. The production team, visibly based in the basement and the top level gallery.

I had heard about the bar and the Caribbean restaurant there from a few people complimenting the services. The bar was cosy and the staff were very warm, welcoming and full of smiles and flirt.

The musical - ''The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin" by Kirsten Childs.

Because the title is a mouth and word full, I will refer to the musical as 'Bubbly' a nickname adopted by the lead female character, Viveca.

Bubbly was set in the early 1960s where a young black girl, Viveca Stanton, not very unusual, had dreams of being the 'perfect blond and blue eyed white girl' trying to become a well-adjusted girl in Southern Los Angeles. It demonstrates her life as a little girl, to a teenage girl and advances to her life and her dream chasing career for fame and career satisfaction in Broadway, New York.

This musical had been historically performed in Broadway in 2000 or so and was an award-winner 'wowing' lots of its audiences.

It's now been replayed, European style premiered in Theatre Royal for the very first time.

Viveca is portrayed as a self-confident and intelligent, young lady, proud of who she is and her heritage, facing the conflicts of the civil rights era in America with optimism rather than anger.

Her friends refer to her as an 'Oreo', deluded about her position in her community. She accepts this position with grace almost as a compliment of emphasis on her 'superiority' over other black people when she says (paraphrasing) -What's wrong with being an Oreo, it's a damn too good cookie...

Encouraged by her parents, she believes that the Police wouldn't randomly arrest African-American men without evidence, that the best dancer in ballet class should get the lead role rather than the lightest-skinned ones and that children of all ethnic backgrounds can get along. She is indoctrinated to believe the black communities who are violently abused by the law are way too different from her.

Viveca demonstrated that even within the black communities, there can still exist a class differential.

She picks up 'white culture' in form of ballet dances, builds relationships with white men, had a white doll growing up, heads to Wall Street to take up an administrative position in a cooperate firm and eventually desperately pursues a place i