guest post: inside the rehearsal room with nathan bryon
#ICYMI a couple of weeks ago, dream duo Natalie Ibu and Nathan Bryon teamed up for the next stage of development on mixed brain, our brand new show about what it means to be mixed race in Britain today.
Following a week of bants, boomerangs and boring jumpers, #tfhq caught up with Nathan to hear how it all went. Disclaimer: Nathan wrote this on the plane to Spain to film season 10 of ITV’s Benidorm – we’re chuffed to know that we’re on his mind even in the sky. *thumbs up emoji*
“So I’m currently filming season 10 of the ITV sitcom Benidorm and I took a break to come back to London and work on my one man show mixed brain.
(Every sesh starts with a jetty selfie because, let’s be real, we’re in the arts for the “likes” hahahahaha. I play…or do I?)
So, day one, I’ve written a first draft of a play, and I’m thinking we’re going to do a read-through of what I have written and start blocking it, right?
Natalie and George (Co-Artistic Director of Paines Plough) thought the draft was cool…it’s good…but we’ve got more experimenting to do. Old school Nathan would be in some sunken place full of insecurity, wondering if what he had written was a bag of swag, but this time round Natalie re-assured me that what I’d written was fly, there were just other roads to explore.
Now let’s take a moment to talk about the directing don of dons – Natalie Ibu. It’s rare to meet humans in the world who you just immediately know you’ll need in your life for the longevity of it. Natalie is beyond woke, she is the wokest and so iconic she lives in “Iconia” (a mythical world for iconic individuals). Natalie understands the importance of a boujee existence which is how I live – she is a genius, a vanguard and there is no other human being in the world I could make this show with.
It was a great week – it was actually really nice to put my draft to one side, forget about it and say let’s create something brand fucking new – let’s devise. Natalie and I deconstructed everything in my life – from my love life, to designer clothes to the Netflix series Dear White People. We made a lit playlist for our week. We also looked at what it meant to be a young black person living in England today. It was amazing.
Sounds from behind the scenes:
Wannabe – Spice Girls
Goldigger – Kanye West
Positive Vibration – Bob Marley
Little Bit – Lykke Li
You Alright Yh? – Don-E ft. Nado
Pine and Ginger – Amindi K. Frost, Tessilated, Valleyz
Israelites – Desmond Dekker
You Can Get it if You Really Want – Desmond Dekker
Jamming – Bob Marley
Is This Love – Bob Marley
We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus
I Follow Rivers – Lykke Li
Are You Satisfied? – The Slaves
I feel so honoured to be working with such dons. I’m seeing this one man show as my first album, finally realising all the things I’ve had sleepless nights over – there is no-one I trust more than Natalie and George. If they say jump I say ‘how high?’.
I decided to get my DNA tested through ancestry.com / theymakeyoupaybareforpostage.com. I won’t say too about the results as they end up in the show but let’s just say my life deffo changed after getting them back.
Whilst we were working, the tickets for mixed brain officially went on sale on the Edfringe website. I wanted to freak the fuck out, but I was chill, I’m actually a tiny bit excited. I’m flying back to Spain now to carry on shooting Benidorm till July and then I come back to the UK to scratch mixed brain in August.
I’ve wanted to do a one man show since forever and I finally think I have something to talk about. I hope you guys enjoy it, and if you don’t, lie – I’m trying not to hear the haters hahahaha.”
Want to see how the Spice Girls make it into the show? Get your tickets for mixed brain which will be at Paines Plough’s Roundabout from 17-19 August.