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Malakaï Sargeant is a theatre-maker, though they typically identify as a writer first and foremost. They started acting from a young age and was only fifteen years old when they started producing events and opened their own theatre company The S+K Project where they were the Artistic Director until last year!

Malakaï Sargeant is a theatre-maker, though they typically identify as a writer first and foremost. They started acting from a young age and  was only fifteen years old when they started producing events and opened their own theatre company The S+K Project where they were the Artistic Director until last year!

Who We Are - The S+K Project

Malakaï’s success:

In the recent years, their long list of achievements includes collaborations with Soho Theatre,SOAS, Battersea Arts Centre,Royal Exchange,Bush Theatre and the Royal Court. Their work primarily focuses on queer intimacy, notions of black masculinity, gentrification, social cleansing and black British identity using a range of mediums. The long-term aim is to use theatre and other art forms to free art programmes to provide community developments with a larger impact and sustainability.

Malakaï is a very astute, politically aware and keen to address the racial imbalances in the world. They claim that “theatre is traditionally a white linear way of storytelling” and thus Malakaï uses artistry as a medium to create impactful change that we don’t often see. Despite success, they remain true to their vision and are relentlessly authentic, constantly thinking about the power they have and who they work with.

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Our conversation with Malakaï ranges from their future ambitions to the current problems with theatre and its gatekeepers. Evidently passionate about their  identity – race being a huge facet alongside queerness- we were able to have in-depth conversations about the problems they have encountered in their career.

Malakaï is no stranger to micro-aggressions in the industry, yet they use this experience to influence their voices as a facilitator of the arts, Director, Producer, Writer and Performer. As black people are“historically subjected by the dominant culture”, they address this imbalance by selectively collaborating on projects with high importance, or with black people to explore unheard voices and promote diversity. 

Malakaï is, admittedly, in “a position of gatekeeping” where they wants to “create opportunities and invite people into spaces” they found difficult to enter. Despite the power imbalance prevalent in society, this is not a deterrent nor does this negate their plans.  “Being a majority in the world and minority in this country really makes you feel like you’re not entitled.”

What advice do they offer to those interested in the arts?

“Refine your craft. (Don’t expect to be published if you don’t redraft your poems.)

Don’t write for an audience, write for yourself – no one can tell you that your experience is wrong.

Utilise being under twenty-five!

Show up to places! Go to previews, press nights and network.

Accumulate a portfolio, often through volunteering projects

Write every day

Expose yourself to different styles of writing and refine your practise. If you’re writing, you need to be reading twice as much.”

“For people that didn’t go to university, you’re just as valid as people that did.”

Malakaï also recommends reading Bell Hooks’ ‘The Will to Change’, and checking out Olivia Douglass, Karim Parkins-Brown, Caleb Femi, Theresa Lola to name a few. They are genuinely talented and passionate about developing projects for black communities which lead to sustainable futures, not just encouraging an interest in the arts.

Upcoming projects:

Malakaï is working on multiple projects, each brilliantly diverse and engaging. These are the ones to look out for:

Palm as Portal by Olivia Douglass, exploring self-acceptance and queer intimacy.

Do nitties live forever? by Kareem Parkins-Brown, focusing on an estate, its residents and the love-hate relationship within it.

Spine Festival with a host of free spoken-word and arts activities in Brent libraries.

Peckham Previews Festival at Peckham Theatre.

If interested in the work Malakaï is doing, look here  https://www.Malakaï sargeant.com

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