April 2023 — June 2023
STARSby Mojisola Adebayo
A Tamasha and Institute of Contemporary Arts Co-Production
An Afrofuturist Space Odyssey
★★★★★ The Stage
★★★★★ All That Dazzles
★★★★★ to do list
★★★★★ Lost in Theatreland
★★★★★ West End Best Friend
★★★★★ Stage Talk Magazine
★★★★ The Times
★★★★ Reviews Hubs
★★★★ Sardines Magazine
★★★★ North West End
Meet Mrs: an old lady who goes into outer space… in search of her own orgasm. Isn’t that where all orgasms go?
Her quest is sparked by three encounters: a young neighbour who discloses a secret, an old friend who reveals she is intersex, and a would-be lesbian lover in a launderette who offers Mrs two drops of her own pressed lavender and a smile that says, ‘I handle delicates with care’.
STARS is a hilarious and moving mix of celebratory Black queer empowerment and arousal.
Performed by one woman and a live DJ, with projected animations, we join in an old woman’s search for her lost orgasm, spanning across outer space, with dustings of African mythology and folklore in an unabashedly queer, feminist rallying call. STARS is a sensitive and joyful show about desire, touch and reclaiming your pleasure. Featuring music by Sun Ra, Jamila Woods, Floating Points, and more. And on two late nights in London, the space transforms into a celebratory club night after the show, with multiple DJs and accessible for all.
A ‘concept album on stage’, the experimental and expansive STARS is written by internationally acclaimed theatremaker, artist and Alfred Fagon award-winner Mojisola Adebayo (Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey (Lyric Hammersmith), Muhammad Ali and Me (Ovalhouse), Oranges and Stones (Ashtar Theatre, Ramallah), Desert Boy (Albany Theatre), The Listeners (Pegasus Theatre), I Stand Corrected (Artscape, South Africa), The Interrogation of Sandra Bland (Bush Theatre), Wind / Rush Generation(s) (National Theatre) and Nothello (Coventry Belgrade)).
With direction by Gail Babb and S. Ama Wray, musical direction by Debo Adebayo, projected animation by Candice Purwin, design by Miriam Nabarro, creative captioning by Stephen Lloyd and lighting design by Nao Nagai.
Age Guidance: 14+ (18+ for all Saturday performances and club nights at the ICA, London)
Please note: Contains strong language, sexual content and loud music.
Access: All performances are creatively captioned as part of the projected visuals. Listen to the pre-show audio description
We are grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund for supporting the outreach work associated with STARS.
Artwork illustration by Candice Purwin
DJ Michael Manners
Writer Mojisola Adebayo
Directors Gail Babb and S. Ama Wray
Designer Miriam Nabarro
Lighting Designer Nao Nagai
Animation Artist Candice Purwin
Music Direction + DJ Mixes Debo Adebayo
Creative Captions Stephen Lloyd
Video Consultant Gillian Tan
Costume Associate Maariyah Sharjil
Production Therapist Dawn Estefan
Community Workshop Facilitators Sue Mayo and Shanika Warren-Markland
R&D 2018 Director Rikki Beadle-Blair
R&D 2021 Matthew Xia
R&D 2021 Design Rajha Shakiry
R&D Intersex Consultant Valentino Vecchietti
R&D FGM Consultants FORWARD
Production Manager James Dawson
Production Manager (cover) Josephine Tremelling
Company Stage Manager (on the book) Alison Pottinger
Technical Stage Manager (ICA) & Production Manager (Tour) Stuart Glover
Technical Stage Manager (Tour) Simon Perkins
Set Construction Top Show
Production Photography Ali Wright
Production Filming Darius Shu
"Thoughtful and taut"
- The Stage
"A gold-plated, Afrofuturist barnstormer"
- to do list
"A crucially important piece of theatre"
- West End Best Friend
"STARS sets itself apart by being a true marriage of multiple mediums"
- All That Dazzles
"Rest assured, you have not seen a show like this ever before in your life"
- Stage Talk Magazine
"I cannot recommend this show highly enough"
- Lost in Theatreland
"a joy: funny, imaginative, pointedly political about female sexual pleasure and empowerment, great to listen to and look at, & grounded by Debra Michaels’s triumphal central performance"
- The Times
"Debra Michaels as Mrs... a tour de force"
- Sardines Magazine
"A thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre"
- North West End
"a story that deserves to be told"
- Adventures in Theatreland
- The Reviews Hubs
“I want people to really feel exhilarated. I want people to not just cheer on the central character, but for themselves to go wherever the pleasure is. Enjoy it.”
Mojisola Adebayo sits down with GUAP Magazine