How To Keep Up With The Kardashians
How To Keep Up With The Kardashians’ is a collectively devised theatre performance that was first performed in March 2020 and was essentially the birth of So La Flair. The performance is a dance party protest and fearless expression of being who you are, actively challenging the need to keep up with unrealistic templates AND suffocating expectations.
How To Keep Up With The Kardashians
WHO ARE WE
So La Flair are an intersectional feminist art collective who aim to build a creative space that provides a variety of young emerging artists with the platform and community to collaborate. So La Flair's practice, structure and work interweaves art, community and activism, taking inspiration from feminist working methods.
The nature of our company comes down to two main purposes - pushing boundaries and seeking emotional and artistic growth. First and foremost, SLF supports projects that push the boundaries of storytelling in the hope to disrupt and dismantle dominant discourses of race, gender, sexuality and class. We strive to create work that is political, powerful and grounded in truth. We aim to deconstruct traditional hierarchies in creative spaces with collaboration at the forefront of our process. This ensures our rehearsal rooms are empowering spaces where our creatives feel seen and heard and they are aware that they can be vulnerable, supported and contribute their ideas to a collective creation.
Secondly, when it comes to our projects - process is as important as the product. We believe in the personal growth of artists. We focus on ensuring each project’s rehearsal and preparation space provides our artists with a framework to experiment, learn and feel comfortable to grow, facilitating artistic discussions, debates, workshops, imaginings and celebrations.
How To Keep Up With The Kardashians, is a collectively devised theatre performance that was first performed in March 2020 and was essentially the birth of So La Flair. So La Flair’s Co-Founders Lucy Laverty and Scarlett Spicer designed workshops over an 8 week period that lead to the development of the script and co-directed the show as a part of the Manchester In Fringe Theatre Awards. The play won best show, best ensemble, best movement and more including multiple awards for individual performances and Judges Commendation for Sound editing.
HTKUWTK focuses on the harmful effects of advertisements that promote the concept of the ‘perfect body’ on our mental and physical health. The project aims to perform a celebratory rebellion against the templates women are suffocated with, and instead celebrate how each individual woman has something no one can keep up with. Part of our initial research for this project was conducting 50 interviews with female identifying individuals across the UK. The interviews ask women about their relationship to their body and how this affects their life and health. We mapped the ideas and themes significant in these interviews and collectively created a performance that explores the connection between ‘keeping up’ culture and mental health in a true, honest and humorous way. The performance takes inspiration from these recordings as well as the personal experiences of those in the cast. The performance discusses mental health, body dysmorphia, disordered eating, race representation and its entanglement in our everyday existence.
Multiple people in our cast, creative team and our recorded interviews are creatives of colour, creatives from the LGBTQ+ community and working-class creatives. As a diverse company, race, sexuality and class are central aspects to our exploration of the many different shared experiences of Western beauty standards on women’s mental health. All of which are explored and dealt with sensitively in HTKUWTK. The idea for this performance follows a cabaret structure with the overarching narrative taking the audience on the journey of a night out. The show includes the original recorded interviews, movement, verbatim, dance, sketches and monologues. It is a dance party protest and fearless expression that demands you not to keep up with anyone else, but rather open up; the community, solidarity and honesty that is built in this project is more powerful than any Kardashian will ever be.
The show is now in its R&D phase which will use the first version of the show to build on and update through a series of workshops redesigned by Lucy and Scarlett before we take it around the UK to various festivals and theatre spaces in 2022. This is why we are reaching out to you all!
WHY ARE WE FUNDRAISING
As we are a brand-new creative company, we have big plans but our access to funds is currently limited. That’s why we are turning to our lovely friends, family and supporters to ask for a donation to kickstart our journey.
We are currently organising our first fundraiser event that will be an evening of cabaret and arts as we create a space for a range of performance artists as well as a dance party (a must for any So La Flair event!). It will be a night to raise money for our project, meet our beautiful team and give us an opportunity to share our vision for the company and the show.
We are asking for £2,500. This money will be put towards funding our cabaret fundraiser event and creating a fund for us to book rehearsal spaces across Manchester for our devising workshops which begin very soon. Following these costs we hope to have accumulated a funding pot that we can use to support us with the cost of the venues for our spring showcase of the project, tech and travel costs. The more money we raise the greater chance we have of investing in our show, making it as incredible as we know it can be as well as being able to fairly pay our creative team and cast.
MEET THE TEAM
Lucy Laverty - Co- Director
Lucy is a director, performer, writer, producer, workshop facilitator and maker. She co-founded So La Flair with Scarlett when they created HTKUWTK. Lucy created So La Flair in the hope of constructing an artistic space that explores alternative feminist working methods and enacts the radical restructuring needed in the mainstream arts industry in order to progress towards equality and empowerment both on and off stage. She wants to make a space where artists can collaborate, support and nourish each other.
Scarlett Spicer - Co-Director
Central to our vision for So La Flair is to bring creative together to connect, collaborate, and exist within a community that nourishes our artists creatively and holistically. I wish for So La Flair to become a force of social change and celebrate extraordinary people.
The heart of my practise is movement; exploring how our bodies exist within different space, how they interact with one another and how e can use them to communicate to the world. I am inspired by the the evolving work of Intimacy Direction and how this practise is being used to make the arts spaces safer by deconstructing power dynamics in the rehearsals room. I am excited to explore this within our community of artists and beyond.
PJ Cunningham – Producer
PJ is currently a third year student at University Of Manchester studying BA Drama and Film. As a creative she specialises in Producing, Writing, Project Facilitating and occasionally performing! PJ came to be a part of SLF through producing the first production of HTKUWTK. Pj states that from the rehearsals to the performances this show was everything and more to be a part of as a creative. The creative process and artists involved were incredibly inspiring and enabled me to grow not only as an artist but as a person. The experience and energy was truly invaluable! PJ is very excited to continue this journey with SLF.
Sophia Rosen-Fouladi - Producer
Sophia is a Creative Producer, Actor, Director and Facilitator. She is currently working as a Creative Facilitator for Changing Ground, a company that works with Migrant Women in Southeast London to create community and promote political issues that affect the lives of its participants. Sophia first encountered So La Flair’s work during the creation of their first project HTKUWTK. She was amazed by the collaborative and celebratory environment that Lucy and Scarlet created through their facilitation. The ethos of the company and the important work they produce is what drew her to join the creative team and she can’t wait to see what lies ahead!
Lae Carbon Wilson
Lae is a creative practitioner, producer, campaigner and performer who became involved with So La Flair during the devised show, HTKUWTK. Lae is interested in working across disciplines to reshape our cultural landscape as a crucial site of collective care and political warfare. From facilitating theatre workshops in prison, to designing participation strategies for public arts festivals, democratising the arts is deeply entrenched in everything they do.
Imogen is an actor, writer, performer and collaborative creator. She joined So La Flair through her involvement with the first HTKUWTK production. Imogen cherishes the work she carries out with So La Flair for the space it creates to flourish as an individual in a collective space. For her, this collaborative approach is what defines her involvement with the project.
Eliza is an actor, singer and film producer. So La Flair was introduced to Eliza through the sparkling creation of the production HTKUWTK. As a performer, this devised piece of theatre tested her comedic, inventive and physical capabilities. Yet as a human being, HTKUWTK was responsible for the strengthening of her self-confidence, energy and passion for artistic methods of healing. Eliza feels that So La Flair provides the beautiful and artistic opportunity for physical and mental communication, a precious and rare freedom.
Eleanor is currently in her third year at the University of Manchester doing Drama and English Literature. She is an actress, writer and dancer. Eleanor became involved in So La Flair through the first production of HTKUWTK. For Eleanor it was a new and enriching experience that she never forgot and is super proud of. Her involvement in So La Flair is dedicated to creating similar types of projects filled with purpose, movement and momentum for conversations starters and social change.
Rosa Hallam Fryer
Rosa is and Actor and Director and loves anything remotely creative. She loves theatre that engages an audience and makes them feel something whatever that may be. So La Flair took Rosa under their wing when she was cast in HTKUWTK. Rosa reflects on her involvement in the show as a time when she grew and blossomed as not only a creative but also a person. The show rocked her world, and she can't wait to do it all over again.
Millie Loveday Inglis
Millie is a visual and participatory artist, performer, curator and theatre producer based in Manchester. Millie is part of the HTKUWTK cast and continues to work with So La Flair in their creative projects. Her creative practices are driven by the desire to dismantle the cultural hierarchy within the arts. She believes that the value of art should be measured by impact: What does it say, who does it speak to and how loud? Art is for everyone and Millie explores this through her own visual practice and by facilitating individual talent and community projects. This theatre company is special to Millie because the work it produces urges you to dig deep, be vulnerable and have a lot of fun in the process.
Montana Rose Aguelo De Guero Barrera
Montana is a Spanish and Argentinian performer and creator who recently graduated from the University of Manchester. Montana was involved with So La Flair’s collaboratively devised piece, HTKUWTK. For Montana, being a part of this play was a wonderful experience as it was one of the first times she had the opportunity to access a platform upon which she could celebrate her lived experience as a curvy Latin woman; especially given the way that they are caricatured, exoticised, and typecast in mainstream media. Montana has taught theatre in underprivileged schools and prisons and from that she has seen how theatre unites people who might never have had any reason to associate and that is what she loves about art and theatre. Montana can’t wait to see what this year brings for So La Flair.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Investing in us now will be an investment in So La Flair to grow as a company and create a very needed space in the UK theatre scene for intersectional creatives to come together and collaborate. We want to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about the company and our vision for the future so that you understand what we hope we will become with your help.
As an interdisciplinary and intersectional creative collective, we hope to be a company that facilitates a range of creative projects and promotes the work of exceptional artists. We want So La Flair to challenge the current working norms within theatre and the arts that create work in hierarchical ways. We believe collaboration and accessibility is the future of the arts and this won’t come without active change in how we approach making and producing art – we hope to be that change. As soon as you work on a project with So La Flair you gain access to an ever-growing creative community that uplifts and supports all participants and creates an accessible networking force to call on throughout your career.
HTKUWTK is our first major project and we feel that it has been created in a way that completely represents who we are as a company. Everyone has contributed to what it exists as today and continues to change it as the project grows. We feel it should and must be seen by as many people as we can travel it too, and we hope that it allows the company’s name and mission to be heard and circulated.
Alongside the performance of HTKUWTK, we plan to develop a series of workshops for girls in secondary schools and universities to support conversations on body image and mental health. We would love to develop different versions of these workshops to cater for specific community groups.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to who we are and what we hope to do. If you can donate any amount of money we will be forever grateful, it is only with your support that we can continue to keep this project going. If you aren’t in a position to support us financially then we cannot thank you enough for still taking the time to get to know us and we hope that you can get involved in the journey through either keeping up to date with the project on social media and sharing our work with your friends or coming to see us in a theatre near you in 2022!