‘…There was a girl
She was a Bubbly Black Girl
Her friends call her Bubbly
She's one of the good ones...’
Bubbly is a magical rollercoaster of a musical. When Kerry Michael approached me I was really excited and very curious. It was musically extraordinary.
A combination of Sondheim, Lemonade by Beyoncé, and the craziness of Glee club meets Hairspray it completely took me by surprise. Bubbly plots a journey of identity – who am I? What black child hasn’t woken up one day to understand they will never be the blond haired princess or prince… that darker girls don’t get picked before the lighter ones?
‘…You’re pathetic if you’re figuring that darker skin
Will ever help you win- you can be the court jester
The scullery maid or monster...’
Bubbly finds out that history is embarrassing and confusing; it catches us and trips us up. That following your dream isn’t just about race but gender too. Bubbly sugarcoats bitter ironies of identity. The façade of being happy black and not ‘an angry black’. And we as black people are often changing who we are to fit in. Being a chameleon!
Early childhood negative images of being a black is bad verses a white is good. Everyday racism dogged by police indoctrination as black men are always trouble - these issues are British as well as American. Universal and at the same time specific. Today’s dilemmas and hopes.
‘…There are just too many black people out there
Who want to call you names, and too many white people
Who want to blow you up – I think I’ll take a nap!...’
We all have a Bubbly inside of us. A part of us that does not want to believe the world can be so terrible, a part of us not want to accept that racism is never quite over, a part of us determined to follow our hearts no matter what life throws at us. A part of us that screams 'This is me!! Get over it!'.
Josette Bushell-Mingo, Director