January 24, 2020

We are thrilled that Jamal Gerald’s Idol, which had its world premiere at Transform 19, is to embark on an exciting national tour.

Idol is a daring examination of religion, pop culture and Black representation. Combining African diasporic ritual, music and storytelling, Idol asks what happens when you don’t see yourself represented.

This powerful, unapologetic work evolved through a commissioning and development process with Transform, and will now embark on a seven-venue tour produced by Transform. A co-production with our Bradford based collaborators Theatre in the Mill, the show will now head to The Yard Theatre, London, as part of their radical season of work NOW 20, before travelling to Derby Theatre, MAC Birmingham, Royal Exchange Theatre (co-presented with Contact and Word of Warning), Sheffield Theatres and Cambridge Junction. The tour will wrap up on home turf in Leeds at the newly unveiled Bramall Rock Void, Leeds Playhouse, in May.

Lead Artist Jamal Gerald says:

“I’m so happy to have the chance to perform Idol again. It’s a piece that I’m very proud of, and I look forward to seeing how the work sits in different parts of the nation. I’m intrigued to know how Black people outside of the Yorkshire region will react to the show.” 

Transform Creative Director Amy Letman says:

“It’s been an extraordinary privilege to see Idol evolve and for Transform to play a part in Jamal’s exciting trajectory. This national tour, supported by a brilliant range of partners, will now ensure the conversation around this urgent, vivid work continues.”


The Yard Theatre, London
11 – 15 February
As part of NOW 20

Derby Theatre, Derby
28 February

Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham
13 – 14 March

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
19 – 21 March

Studio, Sheffield Theatres
8 – 9 April 

Cambridge Junction
7 May

Leeds Playhouse, Leeds
22 – 23 May





Jamal Gerald is a Leeds based artist whose work is conversational, socially conscious, a celebration of individuality and focused on identity and lived experiences. Jamal mostly makes the type of work that he wants to see, with the aim of taking up space as a Black queer person. He has made work for poetry slams, films, parties, cafes and theatres. His work has been shown at Kampnagel (Hamburg), SPILL Festival of Performance, Leeds Playhouse, Battersea Arts Centre and the Barbican. For Idol, Jamal has assembled together a stunning team of collaborators, including Dramaturge Maddy Costa, Outside Eyes Rachael Young and Akeim Buck, Designer Ben Pacey and Performers Pariss Elektra and Azizi Cole. –

Idol is a Jamal Gerald, Transform and Theatre in the Mill Co-Production. Seed commissioned by hÅb, STUN and Contact for Works Ahead. Supported by Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council and using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Tour Produced by Transform.


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