On Wednesday 16 October I went to see the performance Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model by Bryony Kimmings at SOHO theatre in London.
After squeezing into our seats in the sold out theatre, we focus in on the young girl skipping about in a presized half circle on stage, created by the rope that her older opponent has attached to her. We are taken into the world of this nine year old tween, who is a big Jessie J fan. The girl and young woman, who look alike, start dancing to the song Domino of Jessie J in which the young woman completely loses herself to the beat. Here we see the first differences on interpreting the song and its meanings to the both of them. We start to wonder if it is appropriate for the nine year old.
Bryony and Taylor (Bryony’s actual niece) take turns talking to the audience of what they think about each other. Taylor tells about what she thinks about her aunty who is a dinosaur that drinks too much and is unhappy in love. Bryony talks about the journey she took over the last year by diving into her nieces world. Soon she found herself looking for other or new role models than the ones mass media presented her with. She calls her niece little deer and tries to protect her from the sinister grownup world by all means she knows: earplugs, fighting moves, gun use and when that doesn’t seem to help she pulls out her nieces eyes.
This is certainly not where the story ends, on the contrary! Taylor becomes Bryony’s manager in real life after they develope the character Catherine Bennet, who is the first new role model created by Taylor. It’s not before long that we find ourselfs dancing to their self made hit song Animal Kingdom. Could there still be a way to change this harsh indifferent world for young girls?
The identical costumes and set design (David Curtis Ring & Stephanie Turner) have a traditional and stereotyped look that serves, according to Bryony, to create a place of comfort and fun on stage for her niece. The idyllic surface of it becomes layered through the lighting (Marty Langthorne) and deafening music and sound scapes (Tom Parkinson). Bryony becomes more bare, vulnerable and disarmed by the minute, whereas Taylor keeps on growing rapidly into womanhood. When we come out of the theatre into the real world, we are left to wonder where do we go from here?
For information and dates click here
For trailer click here
For hit song click here