Presented by Royal Exchange Theatre, Contact + Word of Warning
Who would you rather pray to? Beyoncé or white Jesus?
A daring + unapologetic examination of religion, pop culture + Black representation.
Venue + Booking Details
Dates: were Thursday 19, Friday 20 + Saturday 21 March 2020, 7.30pm
Venue: was The Studio at Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7DH
Tickets: were £13/11/7 — they’ll be refunded by the RET as soon as possible, please don’t call their box office.
Box Office tel: 0161 833 9833 (Royal Exchange Theatre)
Age Advisory: 16+ (parental/guardian discretion).
Warnings: includes strong language, sexual references + full nudity; uses haze + flashing lights (not strobe); for specific content warnings please click here.
Duration: approximately 70 minutes (no interval).
Features: live spoken English + live music; candles + joss sticks are lit throughout the show.
Specific age + access info: please get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com or call 0161 232 6086 during weekday office hours.
Jamal grew up Catholic in a Caribbean household — but would rather light a candle and worship celebrities than white saints.
Combining African diasporic ritual, live music + storytelling, Idol is a spiritual journey that asks what happens when you don’t see yourself represented.
Featuring a host of celebrity appearances.
Who is he?
Jamal Gerald is a Leeds-based artist whose work is conversational, socially conscious, a celebration of individuality, and focuses on identity + lived experiences — mostly making the type of work that he wants to see, with the aim of taking up space as a Black queer person; trying to make sure that each piece he creates is a different form to the one he made before.
Jamal has made work for poetry slams, films, parties, cafes + theatres in many different forms — such as a solo show where he shares autobiographical stories about being Black + gay; to having one-to-one conversations about privilege; to stripping down to his underwear in the city centre of Leeds in a short film; to an interactive performance where he puts words in people’s mouths…
Starting his career with the creative writing + performance group Leeds Young Authors, Jamal’s first solo show FADoubleGOT toured nationally in 2016 (including to Contact); he co-devised + performed in the critically-acclaimed Putting Words in Your Mouth (devised + directed by Scottee); and his work has been shown at SPILL, Leeds Playhouse, Battersea Arts Centre + the Barbican.
What people have said about his work
★★★★ He is funny, smart and deeply likeable and isn’t afraid to leave some questions unanswered.
— LGBTQ Arts Review on Idol
This is performance at its greatest. We want more and then we want to know what more we can all do.
— Culture Vulture on Idol
Idol is pain and joy so beautifully delivered. Speaks so clearly of the importance of representation.
— Audience Response to Idol (at Transform19)
There’s a fresh, honest quality to Gerald’s performance. Jamal Gerald is, intensely, fiercely himself on stage.
— Exeunt on FADoubleGOT at Contact
Lead Artist: Jamal Gerald | Musicians/Performers: Pariss Elektra + Azizi Cole | Dramaturge: Maddy Costa | Outside Eye: Rachael Young | Movement Director: Akeim Toussaint Buck | Stage + Lighting Design: Ben Pacey | Costume: Hannah Wilson | Ritual Consultant: Christella Litras | Stage Manager: Charlotte Woods | Production Manager: Helen Mugridge | Producer: Transform | Image: The Other Richard
A Jamal Gerald, Transform + Theatre in the Mill co-production.
Seed commissioned by hÅb, STUN + Contact for Works Ahead.
Supported by Leeds Inspired (part of Leeds City Council) and using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.