Kali SOLOS

About
We commissioned and created Kali SOLOS, 15 short films written by Kali writers in response to the Covid-19 crisis. The full Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter series of SOLOS were performed and recorded in isolation by Kali actors.

Featured SOLOS

Me and Ed by Atiha Sen Gupta

This gripping monologue explores the significance of the statue of Edward Colston being torn down by Black Lives Matter demonstrators through the eyes of an Indo-Caribbean woman. Me and Ed is published in THIRTY our book of monologues and duologues for South Asian actors. THIRTY is available to buy from the Kali Script Shop.

 

The Last Clap by Nessah Muthy

Programmed as part of The Space UK’s 2020 online festival of new work, this short film charts the first ten weeks of lockdown and follows an actor from the last round of applause from her theatre audience to the last Thursday clap for care workers after she crosses the frontline to work in a care home.

 

‘I am proud to have been able to commission 15 incredible writers across this time – women with different personal and professional experience, who have responded to the world around us in unique and heartfelt ways. The 15 SOLOS speak to us all, revealing the personal along with the universal, holding a mirror to the times we are living through.’
Helena Bell, Artistic Director, Kali Theatre and Artistic Director of SOLOS.

 

The four series features monologues written by Rukhsana Ahmad, Satinder Chohan, Martha Pothen, Shelley Silas, Miriam Babooram, Alia Bano, Kiran Benawra, Sharmila Chauhan, Veronica Dewan, Bettina Gracias, Emteaz Hussain, Sarah Isaac, Sayan Kent, Nessah Muthy, and Atiha Sen Gupta.

Spring

COVID-19 temporarily changed the way we make and experience theatre, but we were still committed to supporting our writers and actors to create it, and make it available to our audiences.  So we commissioned Kali SOLOS a mini series of monologues, written by Kali writers in response to the current crisis, and performed and recorded in isolation by Kali actors.

Watch Jakinta, the first of our Kali SOLOS below:

Jakinta
Writer – Bettina Gracias
Performer – Sakuntala Ramanee
Director – Helena Bell
Watch Walking With Jelly Babies

Uncle Madhu returns!
The beloved character from My Big Fat Cowpat Wedding is back again to talk about that eventful country reception and more importantly…his favourite sweet!
Walking With Jelly Babies
Writer – Sayan Kent
Performer – Aaron Virdee
Director – Helena Bell
Watch Last Thursday

Powerful and passionate, tender and funny, Last Thursday catches a glimpse into the life of a key worker.
Last Thursday
Writer – Rukhsana Ahmad
Performer – Suzanne Ahmet
Director – Helena Bell
Watch The Last Clap

Beginning from the last round of applause from theatre audiences to the last Thursday clap for care workers and the NHS, The Last Clap follows the journey of a young woman navigating a transition from centre stage as an actress to the frontline as a care worker.

Writer Nessah Muthy fuses heartwarming resilience with poignant reality to document the sudden and stark changes of life in lockdown.

Writer – Nessah Muthy
Performer – Mona Goodwin
Director – Helena Bell
Summer

We launched a call out for writers to contribute their monologues to our Summer series. We were overwhelmed with responses and some difficult decisions were made.

We are so pleased to kickstart the series with Dear Joe by Miriam Babooram.

Part virtual love letter, part confession, Dear Joe offers an entertaining and realistic glimpse into the challenges (and guilty pleasures!) that come with adjusting to family life in lockdown.

Writer: Miriam Babooram

Performed by: Yasmin Wilde

Director: Helena Bell

 

Deeply moving and sensitive, On Hold depicts the brutal reality of living with existing mental health issues in lockdown.

Writer: Veronica Dewan

Performed by: Aasiya Shah

Directed by: Helena Bell

 

If you have been affected by the themes of this monologue, please do consider reaching out for help. Below are some suggestions for organisations to contact:

Mind: The Mental Health Charity. Helpline 9am-6pm Monday to Friday 0300 123 3393

Shout: Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere

Samaritans: 24/7 urgent help. Phone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network: Home of the largest community of Counsellors and Psychotherapists of Black, African, Asian and Caribbean Heritage in the UK

 

The Three Ps is a student’s impassioned speech which tackles race, politics and contemporary living in Britain.

This dynamic monologue reevaluates the way in which history is told and emphasises the importance of giving individuals a platform to speak their truth.

Written by: Kiran Benawra

Performed by: Komal Amin

Directed by: Helena Bell

 

Shelley King delivers a heartfelt, honest performance from the perspective of a family of doctors working on the frontline. The Tribe pays tribute to the sacrifice, dedication and determination of NHS workers whilst focusing on the people behind the profession.

 

Written by: Sarah Isaac

Performed by: Shelley King

Directed by: Helena Bell

Autumn

To mark the end of Black History Month we released Cheek to Cheek.

Featuring a British South Asian woman as she prepares to join a Black Lives Matter march, this SOLO gives an honest and unflinching insight into racial hierarchy, privilege and anti-blackness through the lens of interracial relationships and family ties.

Writer: Sharmila Chauhan

Performed by: Shalini Peiris

Director: Natasha Kathi-Chandra

Our next SOLO is Educating Britain by Alia Bano.

Humorous and poignant, Educating Britain takes a no holds barred look at the realities of modern-day teaching, its challenges, and its restrictions within a system where teachers are expected to do more than teach.

Writer: Alia Bano

Performed by: Mariam Haque

Director: Helena Bell

Me and Ed explores the significance of the statue of Edward Colston being torn down by Black Lives Matter demonstrators through the eyes of an Indo-Caribbean woman.

Skilfully told through childhood memories and adult realisations, the statue becomes more than just a physical attribute of the environment, but a reminder of the cultural and racial prejudices experienced by a member of the Bristol community it presides over.

Writer: Atiha Sen Gupta

Performed by: Komal Amin

Director: Helena Bell

 

 

Combining humour and adolescent honesty, Social Distancing explores the growing pains of childhood friendships and teenage tiffs, and how the need to fit in with the cool kids often comes at a price.

 

Writer: Emteaz Hussain

Performed by: Ashna Rabheru

Director: Helena Bell

Winter

In the aftermath of a sudden heartbreak and betrayal, a young woman wrestles with her conscience. Combining bleak humour and raw honesty, Exposed explores how the desire for love and connection often comes at a cost.

Writer: Martha Pothen
Performer: Sheena Bhattessa
Director: Natasha Kathi-Chandra
Produced by Kali Theatre

 

Watch Mum-Bai!

Amelia is out of work, out of money and almost out of options.

Fortunately, Amelia’s best friends are on hand to help steer her in the right direction…or will they?

Mixing playful humour and quick-witted dialogue, Mum-Bai! captures the anticipation and anxiety! that comes with making life decisions.

 

Writer: Shelley Silas
Performer: Stephanie Street
Director: Helena Bell
Produced by Kali Theatre

 

Farmer Jhansi Kaur is living on the edge of loss: of her family, her livelihood, and her agricultural ancestry. Her courage is all she has left. Set amidst the roar of the farmers’ protests in India, Kisan examines how defiant resilience can yield community.

Performer: Goldy Notay
Written by Satinder Chohan

Directed by Poonam Brah

Produced by Kali Theatre

 

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