Satellite of Love Open Mic and Headliner

Malaika Kegode May 22nd 2024

Malakia Kegode

Malaika Kegode is an award-winning writer, performer, creative producer and Associate Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth. She is based in Bristol and Plymouth. Her work is focused on uplifting and celebrating the overlooked and misunderstood. Beginning her arts career as a performance poet in 2014, Malaika has since developed her practice to encompass theatre, radio and film writing. She is a vocal advocate for creativity as a tool for healing and connection. 

Winner of the Kevin Elyot Award (2022) and shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Poetry Award (2019), Malaika has also been included in the BME Power List, celebrating Bristol’s most influential Black & minority ethnic people, and was a 2021 recipient of the Apples & Snakes Jerwood Arts Poetry in Performance Award. She has performed around the UK at a number of celebrated venues, festivals and literary events, including The 100 Club, WOMAD and Hay Festival, and has worked with a wide-range of organisations as a writer, teacher and performer.

Malaika has been performing with folk-inspired prog-rock band Jakabol since 2018. Together they have performed at music and theatre venues alike – bringing a unique, exciting blend of poetry and music to diverse audiences. In 2021, Malaika and Jakabol collaborated on Outlier, which became the first piece of new writing produced for Bristol Old Vic’s main stage in 2021. Directed by Jenny Davies, Outlier fuses spoken word, original music and digital projection by Christopher Harrisson to tell Malaika’s autobiographical coming-of-age story of friendship, isolation and addiction in rural Devon. The show received critical success and fantastic audience reaction, and returned for a second run at Bristol Old Vic in 2022. The playtext for Outlier is published by Salamander Street.

Tackling themes as wide ranging as incel culture and identity in the internet age to millennial queerness and dinosaurs, Malaika’s writing has been performed around the country, including at Lyric Hammersmith, Watford Pumphouse, and Barbican Theatre Plymouth. She is an associate artist for Bristol Old Vic, part of the 2023 English Touring Theatre Nationwide Voices cohort and the current writer-in-residence at University of Bristol Theatre Collection.

As a workshop leader and mentor, Malaika has worked with organisations such as Arvon, Synergy Theatre Company and Narcotics Anonymous. As a trauma informed facilitator, she has specialised in running workshops with young and/or vulnerable people to help them realise the value of their stories. Many of the individuals Malaika has mentored have gone on to forge exciting and fulfilling careers in the arts.

Malaika has also worked film, and was the 2021 recipient of the the Eslpeth Kydd Memorial Prize for her screenwriting portfolio. She has been a curational associate for Watershed, a resident artist for Encounters Film Festival, and programme selector for a number of film festivals including Queer Vision and Tallinn Black Nights.

In 2015, Malaika founded, and continues to be artistic director and host of, Milk Poetry, an organisation that produces innovative spoken word gigs and workshops in a supportive environment across the South West, with monthly events at The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol.

Other projects as writer and/or producer include:
Rot. (tiata fahodzi); Field Notes (BBC Radio 4); Hear Her Voice (Neoteric Dance Company); Own Skin (Random Acts); The Best Ones (Inn Crowd); SheSpoke (Strike a Light); Level Up (Blahblahblah); Gloucester Slam Heats (Roundhouse); Finding Queerness in Kenya (Modern Queers); We are Not All Each Other (Black Ballad); Return to Form (Loud Poets); and her poetry collections Requite, Thalassic and Body Buffet.

Current projects include: The Colour of Dinosaurs (OTIC, Bristol Old Vic & Polka Theatre); The Combe (English Touring Theatre); Ruby, Baby (with thanks to the Kevin Elyot archive at University of Bristol Theatre Collection).

On the John Sebastian Lightship

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