Caro Meets Spoken Word Interview

Krystal Dockery: Hive City Legacy

By | Published on Monday 9 July 2018

A blooming brilliant looking new show is going up over at Roundhouse this week, and you know it’s going to be good for a number of reasons. Mainly, though, because it’s been put together by the team that brought you the excellent and TW-award winning Hot Brown Honey, and because it stars a number of extraordinarily talented London based femmes of colour…

To find out more about the show, I spoke to cast member Krystal Dockery, and also got to find out a bit about her rather interesting and eclectic career.

CM: Right, can we start with an overview of the show? What can audiences expect from it?
KD: The show is a burst of colour. Literally. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before in London. It’s a celebration of femmes of colour. There’s dancing, singing , comedy , rap, and so much more but I don’t want to give too much away. It’s an experience that should be experienced. It’s unapologetic!!!

It’s important to have black and brown stories and experiences at the forefront. I feel like a lot of shows play on stereotypes when it comes to black and brown women and this show breaks down that barrier. We are completely multifaceted and ‘Hive City Legacy’ totally represents that.

CM: What role do you take in the show? What kind of performance do you do?
KD: The whole show has been an extremely collaborative process which has been great. Getting to unearth deep stories and touch on sensitive subjects in such different creative ways. I won’t give too much away but you can see me twerking and unleashing a musical theatre/rap . #MoveOverHamilton

CM: Can you tell us a bit about your fellow performers, and what do they do?
KD: I love them, they are so fantastic in their own right. We have Farrell & Rebecca who are fantastic aerial artists. Koko who is a g on her loop station. Elsabet & Shakaiah, when they move it’s just magical. Dorcas who’s a great writer, Sherika is a musician – she has such a stunning voice, and lastly Aminita, who is also wonderful musically.

CM: Can you explain the process through which all the performers got involved in the show?
KD: There were two parts. Firstly we had to apply online: we had to send footage of ourselves and answer some questions, something along the lines of what does pollination, liberation and activation mean to you…? We then got to create a superhero and superhero name which was really fun. My superhero power was to twerk glitter into people’s eyes. There were two group auditions. I was group two but we both had similar experiences. We had to prepare a Maya Angelou poem, and learn a dance routine choreographed by the fab Yami Rowdy. A 1 min speed dating experience incorporating everything we could do. And we prepared a song to lipsync for our lives.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced an environment where each person wanted to see the other person win. There was a great sense of community even though we were all competing for the same spot. The amount of talent in the room was immense. From spoken word artists to drag kings and actresses and burlesque artists like myself.

CM: What attracted you to the opportunity?
KD: I randomly came across it on the Roundhouse website and I had heard of Hot Brown Honey and Rowdy and knew how fantastic they were. People also kept sending me the link too so it was basically a sign. It sounded like a great opportunity to work with them and nine other femmes of colour on a brand new show. I had no idea what was in store for me either. But it has definitely exceeded my expectations. I feel like I’ve met an extended family. We’ve shared, created, cried, laughed and everything else. It’s been beautiful

CM: Why do you you think you were successful in your bid to join the show?
KD: The audition was literally about being your true authentic self which is right up my street. I was slightly nervous about incorporating my assels, we had no idea what they were looking for, so being true to myself was the only thing I could do in this environment. I just gave my all in the audition, I enjoyed it as much as I could. There was no script to hide behind either, which made it more interesting. Being a performer, auditions come up all the time. But the important thing to remember is that each audition is another experience to learn from.

CM: It sounds like you have a pretty varied career, with lots of different elements – can you fill us in a bit on everything you do?
KD: Yes of course. I’m an actress. I was the first black Cinderella at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and the first ever ensemble member to take on a leading role. That was exciting, I’ve done a fair bit of stuff since then, and most recently won the people’s choice award at The Vaults for a play called ‘The internet Was Made For Adults’ . I have a unique voice too, so I’ve been told, so I also do voice overs  and reporting.

I also do burlesque under the alias Bunni Morretto for which I have been cited as ‘Twerk Extraordinaire’ due to my twerking skills and ass tassels (assels). It’s so much fun. I love it. I run a twerk workshop called ‘Werk Out Twerk Out’ where I teach people how to twerk and ’embrace their jiggly bits’. I’m a huge advocate for people loving and accepting themselves.

CM: How did you end up in this business? Did you always want to perform?
KD: With acting I had wanted to do it for years: I’d run around my living room putting on shows for my mum and I was always performing in all the school plays. It wasn’t until I got older I realised that little dream of being inside a TV and on stage could actually come true with LOTS of hard work. I’d write to casting directors and go to auditions I clearly wasn’t ready for, but it prepared me and got me into rooms with people I still work with today.

Burlesque is something that has been on my bucket list since the age of 18 but I was always too scared to do it because of the whole acting world, and I wasn’t sure what people would think of me: I had some people in my life that told me burlesque was ‘slutty’ and that I couldn’t do both. So I put an act together and I told them to watch me.

I have a brilliant agent who understands both worlds. With burlesque I wanted to do something different and add all the things I was good at and include some of my Jamaican culture. I’ve performed at the Underbelly Festival, which was a dream of mine, and I am currently making history as the first black female burlesque performer in the first ever Miss Burlesque UK. I’ve only been in the Burlesque world for eight months and I’m loving it.

CM: Where do you see yourself headed in the future? What ambitions do you have?
KD: I would like to carry on making art and performing. One special goal I have is to be the first black Glinda in Wicked. I’d love to do something like the female version of ‘The Inbetweeners’ – I love comedy so a sitcom would be great. I’d love to voice a Disney movie. I would like to teach more people to embrace their bodies through my Werk out Twerk Out Workshops and eventually have my own events centering queer people of colour.

CM: What’s coming up next for you after this?
KD: I’m expanding my Bunni Morretto workshops taking them across the UK. And I am performing at Burlesque Idol on 17 Aug and Miss Burlesque UK on 1 Sep. I’ve also just signed with an awesome new agent so watch this space.

‘Hive City Legacy’ is on at Roundhouse from 10-21 Jul, see this page here for more information and to book your tickets.

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