The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin


'A hearty, and heart-warming bit of #BlackGirlMagic'
Time Out

'Humour vies for space with sly social commentary... grapples with what it means to be black and a woman'
Evening Standard

'First-rate choreography... witty, vivacious, inventive... it’s a lively show, has something to say and is excellently directed, with many witty touches, by Josette Bushell-Mingo'
The Guardian

'Child’s presents a coming of age tale that relates to all no matter your race or gender'

'Under Josette Bushell-Mingo’s skilful direction, Mykal Rand’s stunning choreography and a number of lightning-quick costume changes, the cast evoke a turbulent and exciting time in US history.'
Newham Recorder

'Don’t miss the opportunity of seeing this musical production, not only to support the talent and creative efforts of our sisters, but to witness a truly classy coming of age story, well told.'

'Elicits whoops of delight from the audience'
The Reviews Hub

'Exhilarating... what gives Kirsten Childs' musical its own distinctive, confident and authentic flavour is the fact that it is partly autobiographical and ruthlessly honest in its portrayal of a black woman's rites of passage towards personal acceptance'
The Stage

'A powerful look at self-identity and loss which speaks clearly to our time'
Musical Theatre Review

‘Funny, poignant and honest...  issues are brought to the audience in a bubbly smile of music, dance, comedy and care.’
The British Blacklist

‘Both laugh-out-loud funny and movingly poignant’

Come and see the European premiere of this rollercoaster of a musical that wowed audiences and won awards off-Broadway.

What black child hasn’t woken up one day to realise they won’t ever be the blond eyed princess or prince? In a world where black is always trouble –  that smiling and fitting in costs – so you become a chameleon – changing who you are to fit others!

Meet Viveca – a young African American girl who dreams of becoming a dancer. We follow her journey from school in 1960s LA through to auditions on Broadway. Growing up during the civil rights movement, Viveca chooses to face the realities of racism and sexism with optimism and faith and discovers her own self-worth.

This cheeky and satirical coming-of-age story looks at how women have been defined by others and themselves from the 1960s to present day, with an original score fusing Motown, pop and R&B – think Sondheim meets Beyoncé!

‘Sharp and tasty... funny, poignant... captivating new musical’ 
The New York Times

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes including a 20 minute interval
Suitable for ages 13+

9 Mar 7.30pm
Captioned 10 Mar 7.30pm
Audio described 11 Mar 2.30pm

POST SHOW TALK​ (free to those with a ticket for that evening's performance)
Thursday 9 March: TRSE Artistic Director Kerry Michael chairs a Q&A with members of the Bubbly company. This evening's performance and talk will be signed.

Student Ticket Sponsor

Cast and Creatives

Book, music and lyrics: Kirsten Childs
Director: Josette Bushell-Mingo
Designer: Rosa Maggiora
Choreographer: Mykal Rand
Video Designer: Tim Reid (Video attributions)
Lighting Designer: Chris Davey
Musical Director and Orchestrator: Jordan Li-Smith
Sound Designer: Andrew Johnson
Associate Director: Susan Lawson-Reynolds

Drums/Percussion Tristan Butler
Musical Director/Keys 1 Jordan Li-Smith
Guitar/Keys 2 Gareth Lieske
Bass Martin Ludenbach


Matt Dempsey 
plays Director Bob/Policeman. His recent theatre credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Boyfriend (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Enron (Noel Coward Theatre /Chichester Festival Theatre), The Witches Of Eastwick (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and Peter Pan (Palace Manchester).  Television credits include The Trip, Family Affairs, Paradise Heights and Rhona. Film credits include Muppets Most Wanted, Dark Shadows, Alice In Wonderland, The Duchess, Gulliver’s Travels, Allied, Delovely, Sweeney Todd, Alice Through The Looking Glass and Great Expectations.

Llandyll Gove 
plays Cosmic/Prince.  His recent theatre credits include American Idiot (Arts Theatre, London and UK tour), Saturday Night Fever (UK tour), 20th Century Boy: The Marc Bolan Musical (UK tour), Grease (UK tour and Cork Opera House), Dancing Queen (UK tour), Aladdin (Cork Opera House and Millfield Arts Centre), Beauty and the BeastSnow White and Cinderella (Glasgow’s SECC).  Film credits include Walking on Sunshine.

Karis Jack 
plays Young Viveca. Her recent theatre credits include Baddies: The Musical (Unicorn Theatre), Hairspray (Leicester Curve & UK tour), Little Shop Of Horrors (Salisbury Playhouse & Mercury Theatre Colchester) and Urinetown: The Musical (Apollo Theatre & St James Theatre).

Ashley Joseph 
plays Lucas. Theatre credits include Robin Hood (Theatre Royal Stratford East), 5's A Crowd (The Dugdale Centre), Aladdin (DeMontfort Hall Leicester), The Warriors LDN (The Barbican), Look Black in Laughter (Hackney Empire),  Aladdin (The Broadway Barking), Look to the sky (Half Moon Theatre UK tour) and Twelfth Night (Nottingham Playhouse). TV and Film include All About the McKenzies (ITV2), Laur and Disorder (KP Productions), Lenny Henry’s Funny Black Singles (Leopard Films, BBC Comedy), EastEnders (BBC) and Strapped (Central Films). Ashley is also a commisioned writer and presenter.

Sophia Mackay 
plays Older Viveca. Her  recent theatre credits include Leader Of The Pack, (Waterloo East Theatre), Muscovado (Burnt Out Theatre), and Earth Makes No Sound (Filament Theatre). Film credits include, Hush 2- End The Silence and Chrissy.

Jay Marsh 
plays Gregory. His recent theatre credits include, SideShow (Southwark Playhouse), Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre), Porgy And Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Fences (Duchess Theatre), Reflection Day (Theatre503), Desert Boy (Birmingham Rep), Life On The Stairs (Oxford House), Rat Pack Live At Las Vegas (Wyndham’s Theatre), Ash Girl (Embassy Theatre), Christmas With The Rat Pack (national and international tour/London Palladium). Television credits include, Brothers With No Game.

Jessica Pardoe plays Chitty Chatty/Scarlett/dance teachers. Having recently graduated from Mountview, this production is Jessica’s professional debut. Recent theatre credits include Paper Hearts (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Magic of The Musicals (Royal Albert Hall) and Kiss Me Kate (Mountview).

Trevor A Toussaint
returns to Theatre Royal Stratford East to play Daddy. He previously appeared in The Harder They Come and Aladdin. Other theatre credits include Fences (Duchess Theatre), 125th Street (Shaftesbury Theatre), Grace and the One Don (Arts Theatre), I Can Get It For You Wholesale (Arcola Theatre), Le Blancs (National Theatre), Palace in the Sky (Hackney Empire) and Lost in the Stars (Battersea Arts Centre). Television credits include, Death in Paradise, Sinister Ministers, Crisis Control, Obsession- Dark Desires and Marriage of Reason and Squalor. Film credits include London Fields, Life Sentence and Karma.

Sharon Wattis
 plays Mommy. Her recent theatre includes Love Me Tender (UK tour), The Kingmaker (St James Theatre), The Pajama Game (Shaftesbury Theatre), Hairspray (Leicester Curve), The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Broadway Theatre), The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre), and The Wizard of Oz (Birmingham Rep and West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Shelley Williams 
returns to Theatre Royal Stratford East to play Granny/Yolanda/Nilda and credits for the company include Take Away, and Wah! Wah! Girls. Other theatre credits include Up Against The Wall, (Bolton Octagon), Jack and The Beanstalk, (Barbican), Daddy Cool, (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Poison, Annowans Song (Tricycle Theatre). Film credits includes Ballast and Minds. Williams was also Associate Director of Sinbad The Sailor.


Access performances

Signed 9 Mar 7.30pm
Captioned 10 Mar 7.30pm
Audio described 11 Mar 2.30pm

Find out more about access at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Post Show Talks

POST SHOW TALKS​ (free to those with a ticket for that evening's performance)

Friday 10 February: Theatre Critic Mark Shenton chairs a discussion about this new musical with a panel that includes TRSE Musical Theatre New Writing Manager Fadi Tavoukdjian, Writer Kirsten Childs, Choreographer Mykal Rand, James Hadley (Musical Theatre Network) and Victoria Saxton (Mercury Musical Developments).

Saturday 11 February: Bonnie Greer leads a discussion about the themes of the show with Writer Kirsten Childs, Actress and Twerk Innovator Kelechi Okafor and Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway (Founder & Managing Director of Artistic Directors of the Future).

Thursday 9 March: TRSE Artistic Director Kerry Michael chairs a Q&A with members of the Bubbly company. This evening's performance and talk will be signed.






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