Mia Jerome is the Artistic Director for Blouse and Skirt and also writer and director of The Instrumentals at Little Angel Theatre.
When Belle is feeling down she slips into her grandfather’s basement and discovers his old dusty instruments. But far from being junk, The Instrumentals are pure funk, and they teach Belle to ‘get down’ in a whole new way.
Bursting to life with brilliant puppetry and bold music, the Instrumentals is full of love and laughter, about the memories we hold and how we celebrate life. This is a show for all children with characters, story & inspiration from the African-Caribbean diaspora. It’s full of uplifting original music with soulful sounds and seventies grooves.
Combined with innovative puppetry and lots of comedy, this fun musical journey will have audiences dancing in the aisles!
The Instrumentals is at Little Angel Theatre 10 February–16 April 2023.
You’re bringing The Instrumentals to Little Angel Theatre, what can you tell us about the show?
The Instrumentals is about a little girl called Belle who is at the wake of her Grandpa. Feeling sad and confused, she slips down into the basement to hide from everyone – and there she meets all of her grandpas old Instruments. They teach her all about his life and help her honour his memory.
What inspired you to write The Instrumentals?
Firstly, it is inspired by my own experience at my Grandads funeral. In the Caribbean, we celebrate those who have passed over. At the time, this was really difficult for me to understand because I missed him so much. Secondly, I started to think about this during the pandemic, when so many children were forced to think about death and what that means. Sometimes we don’t have the difficult conversations with children until we are forced to. I think The Instrumentals is a joyous celebration of love and legacy.
You’re also directing and co-producing, how are you balancing out each of your roles?
I wrote it too! But I’m also an actress…. I wear many hats and I think I am just used to it now. It’s the freelance life. It’s easier when you’re passionate about what you do.
Tell us a little about how music plays a role in the production
Music plays a huge role. Belle’s Grandpa was in a band so when she meets The Instrumentals – the best way for them to communicate is through music! I have been blessed to have an amazing team working with me. Cal-I Jonel & Féz have been ‘Instrumental’ in creating some incredible music. They are a talented bunch and I think people will be singing the songs long after they have left the theatre!
What do you think will be the biggest challenge in staging this production?
The challenges come with having two performers and lots of puppets! It can be a bit tricky logistically – but we have two phenomenal performers, Elliot Liburd and Maya Manuel and they are doing an excellent job of telling the story.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see The Instrumentalists?
Don’t think! Just grab a ticket and come on down. It’s a story with real heart, it’s joyful and it’s going to have you dancing in the aisles!