Ed Skrein - I wrote a Guardian piece on the actor resigning from a role he'd been offered in a Hollywood blockbuster. He's set a precedent for white actors and makers to be more conscious about casting decisions. Hurrah! NO to whitewashing and erasing people of colour. I appeared on Channel 4 to debate the issue of whether casting directors should be colour blind. I would argue for colour conscious casting. I had the pleasure of speaking alongside Angela Watercutter from WIRED (who name-checks me in her piece!) for BBC Radio Ulster's Art Show (16.46 in) and I'll be on BBC Breakfast Sunday Live this week.
June, July, August 2017
So! I have been revisiting my live art practice and showed a 45 min performance, Vera's Vacation, at Buzzcut Festival, Glasgow. Thanks to Greg Wohead and Rachel Mars who supported me through the process. They led a DIY LADA workshop in Strachur, Scotland and I was so lucky to work and play with immense artists from across the world.
I wrote and performed a new short story, Single, based on my experience of wondering what stands in the way of me hosting a refugee in my flat, at White Rabbit's Refugee Week fundraiser.
I filmed Collateral opposite a famous dude (John Simm) and got to hang with the fab Jacqui Boatswain, who I had gotten to know better when me and Mr Karl Collins hunted down Malaysian food in Liverpool!
I'm looking forward to working with experimental circus company, Circumference, and to learn from Malik Nashad Sharpe at my second DIY workshop this year. I'm also looking forward to working with Lee Simpson again, and I'm in talks with the incredibly thoughtful and strong, Christine Bacon of Ice and Fire, a theatre company that explores human rights stories through performance.
I am super excited to announce that I will be devising a new piece with Lee Simpson for Improbable, alongside Jess Mabel Jones , Anna-Maria Nabirye, and Steve Tiplady. Career goal, TICK!
I am very pleased to be an ambassador for Apple and Pears a volunteer-led charity that gives primary school children and their families wonderful opportunities to discover self-expression and confidence and community. They organise and fund educational, social and cultural activities.
The paperback version of The Good Immigrant launches 4th May! Preorder now! The audiobook is due to be released in May too.
I was very pleased to be commissioned by the Roundhouse to write a poem on truth, for young adults (16-21) on the Film Production Project to create a digital piece for. I was lucky to work with three gorgeous folk who found that my work, A cat may look at a king, resonated with them. This will be online to view as part of the #LastWord2017.
Acting - I'm preparing for a one woman play-reading, The Loophole, working with the gorgeous Anna Marsland and Alice Malin.
TOO MUCH EXCITING NEWS! Acting-wise, this month alone I'll be joining the cast of Tom Cruise's The Mummy, and you can watch me in award-winning comedy Chewing Gum on E4 before it hits Netflix internationally. I'll also be shooting a comedy short, Neckface, with Isy Suttie, Sian Harries and Nick Helm, and celebrating Russian revolutionary art at the Royal Academy with The New Factory of the Eccentric Actor. I also begin rehearsals for one woman new writing piece Loophole for Anna Marsland for an industry showing. I will be doing some more stand up in Bristol, too, and continue to film my comedy web series which will be out by summer.
Writing wise, you can read a pretty comprehensive interview of me in the beautiful Structo Magazine. It's my favourite interview to date and I discuss The Good Immigrant, performing comedy, fear, politics and belonging. Transect Magazine published me in their latest issue, and I have been commissioned to write two new pieces for The Roundhouse as part of The Last Word festival. I'm on the last leg of my writing MA after taking two years off to act, and I'm working on my first book. Recent poetry gigs include a reading at Spike Island in Bristol and Housmans in Kings Cross. February was super busy with comedy gigs (Anti-Slams, Worst Date Ever, etc. ) and I am looking forward to more this year!
A year filling up with comedy and writing! I appeared in episode 3 of award-winning comedy Chewing Gum, and Leroy, a joyous short film, a diverse, modern British Napoleon Dynamite of sorts, by Hazey Jane Productions, is in post-production! I'm very happy to announce that The Good Immigrant will be appearing in paperback format in May, and in audio book format soon, and further book events will be happening through the year. I will be writing a new piece to be performed at The Roundhouse in June, and doing more comedy and poetry appearances. See my Events page for dates. My work remains political which seems particularly important at this time.
The Good Immigrant beat Harry Potter and other bestsellers to win the Readers' Choice Award for Book of the Year at the Books Are My Bag awards! Thank you to everyone who voted! I have been recommissioned by Hakkasan Group to produce poems for their Chinese New Year celebrations, and have been invited to various literary events in 2017. Look out for upcoming dates!
The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays about race and immigration by writers of colour in the UK is published. I have a piece, Yellow, in the book, about being a "yellow"-skinned person in the UK. You can preorder the book by following this link and making a pledge. Read about JK Rowling's donation and support of the book in The Guardian here. I am pleased to say that I am due to read excerpts on 1 August at the Roundhouse in Camden, and on 16 October at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
I am very pleased to be performing in artist Lucy Pawlak's Whitstable Biennale show, Lost Beat Officer. Listed by The Guardian as one of the top five shows this week, with Lucy's work highlighted within the festival! Read the list here, and Frieze magazine's feature on the biennale here.
Super lovely to record a short audio drama for Sophie Caramigeas at the BBC as part of the BBC Radio Club. What a fantastic initiative to inspire staff.
Recorded the final episode of The Family Tree drama podcast, season 1. What a pleasure meeting the rest of the team and to spend the day improvising, performing and learning.
In pre-production for the short film screen adaptation of Mulan by Chris Thompson. I'm very happy to be reunited with Andrew Koji, who I performed this piece with at The Royal Court, and delighted to be directed by Daniel York and to work with producer Ismail Guluev for the first time. Watch the trailer to their current project, Hall of Mirrors, a film about body dismorphia,
Recorded the podcast The Family Tree for J Adamthwaite and Dave Pickering. A semi-scripted dramatic series to be broadcast in Autumn.
Returned to France to top up on comedy and performance making skills with Philippe Gaulier. Inspired to write and create a buffon piece looking at gender inequality and racial stereotypes.
In LA to visit a host of amazing writer friends, including Erik Patterson and Diana Ly. Was incredibly lucky to be able to meet up with Theodore Latty, who owns the largest collection of Brautigan ephemera outside Berkeley. Super to meet and exchange ideas with producer Arvind Ethan David of Ideate Media.
Winner of the Annual Oxford Anti-Slam, an internationally touring comedy and performance poetry event. Rebecca Yeo and I performed as duo #derangedpoetesses, making the final with a piece I wrote, inspired by Rebecca, The presentation and re-presentation of the foreign body, or, the Performativity of Self for the Oriental Woman, #Intersectionality, OR, MY WHITE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS. We went through to the final with a piece written on the spot, and won the championship.