Do You Get Your Hair Permed? A musical exploration of the black voice

Thursday 21 October 2021

As part of the University of Wolverhampton’s Black History Month celebrations, we are delighted to announce a performance of Reece McKenzie’s solo show, Do You Get Your Hair Permed? at the Arena Theatre, 21 October 2021, 7.30pm.


Reece’s show draws on a broad variety of music, including powerful performances of songs from musical theatre like ‘Make Them Hear You’, Dave’s ‘Black’, Black traditional spirituals, and a powerful rendition of J Rosamond Johnson’s ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing’.

Do You Get Your Hair Permed? is directed by Esme Sears (Associated Studios) with music director Dan Williams and supported by the University of Wolverhampton.

Tickets are priced at £5. The cabaret contains strong language.

Reece graduated from the BA (hons) Musical Theatre program at the University of Wolverhampton in 2018, and went on to Associate Studios Musical Theatre postgraduate course, validated by the University of Wolverhampton.

Head of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Wolverhampton, Dr Sarah Browne, said ‘I’m delighted that we are able to celebrate Reece’s voice and achievements in this evening of song and performance. Reece was an exceptional graduate of the School of Performing Arts and it’s a real pleasure to see him progress to advanced postgraduate training with one of our partners, Associated Studios. I have no doubt that we will see Reece on the West End very soon.’

About the show:

Most people spend their lives searching for themselves, in a world where victims defy racism and others deny racism. What does it really mean to be “Black”?

Join me, Reece McKenzie, for a night where I explore some of the most powerful messages in recent history that can be found in today’s most diverse and expressive medium, music.

Take this journey with me to see if I may discover what a mixed race boy from Wolverhampton has left to learn about his own blackness (contains strong language).

About Reece Mackenzie (performer):

Reece trained at Associated Studios. Theatre credits whilst training include Woof in Hair (Playground Theatre); Anatoly in Chess (Arena Theatre); Pablo in Sister Act (Arena Theatre) Theatre credits include Fame (The Grand Theatre) Twitter – @ReeceXander

About Esme Sears (director): Esmetrained at Drama Studio London (Acting) & Associated Studios (Musical Theatre). Her credits include: Much Ado About Nothing (1623 Shakespeare Theatre Company), The Wizard of Oz (Leeds Playhouse), The Jungle Book (Derby Theatre), Return of the Soldier (Hope Aria Productions), and Zelda: A Post Modern Musical (The Other Palace), A Little Night Music (Storyhouse Theatre). Esme recently sang at London’s famous Wigmore Hall for the launch of the book: ‘An inconvenient Black History of British Musical Theatre 1900-1950’ by Sean Mayes and Dr Sarah K. Whitfield.

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