Have a good day: Grey @Ovalhouse theatre
Koko Brown is a strong, independent, Black woman. She’s written one show, and she now has another called Grey playing at Ovalhouse Theatre. A fantastic performer who uses spoken word, live vocal looping and multimedia to tell her stories, she has so many exciting and fabulous thing in her life. What could be wrong? But she’s also a little sad. And this starts the story and journey exploring in mental illness and having an elusive good day.
Similar to the exploration of labels and names explored in her first work, White, Brown uses Grey to tell a story about mental health and discovering who she is and as a black woman in modern Britain.
Candid, honest and provocative. It's also funny. And it’s moving how Brown, as the character Woman, depicts her journey as she struggles to cope with everyday life before seeking help. Then after help the unexpected side effects and consequences of drugs on her body, while still trying to be everything everyone expects her to be. Alongside her is Her (played be Sapphire Joy), who signs in British Sign Language. This is integral to the performance where sometimes words can't express all the emotions and feelings.
The production consists of a grey set with lights and projections. It underscores the story and changes in mood in a simple yet effective way. Brown demonstrates she has a unique gift for using singing, looping, spoken word and multimedia to craft a personal and challenging story.
Directed by Nicholai La Barrie, Grey is at Ovalhouse Theatre until 13 July. There will also be an opportunity to see the first part of what is to become her Colour Trilogy, White with a double bill matinee on 13 July as well.
Photos by Mariana Feijó