He's Dead by Marikiscrycrycry at BAC 2022 Credit Anne Tetzlaff

Interview: Marikiscrycrycry on 2Pac inspired ‘He’s Dead’ at Battersea Arts Centre

We caught up with Marikiscrycrycry (Malik Nashad Sharpe) to talk about their latest show, ‘He’s Dead’, inspired by the frustrating lack of discussion around 2Pac’s possible depression. 

The show is coming to Battersea Arts Centre in March 2022 and we’re impressed with the venue’s commitment to inclusion from pricing to a sensory adapted performance.

Main image: He’s Dead by Marikiscrycrycry at BAC 2022. Image shows 2 performers waving Tupac flags. Photo Credit Anne Tetzlaff

He’s Dead | Battersea Arts Centre | 16 Mar-2 Apr | Pay What You Can | See the access information

Tell us about ‘He’s Dead’. What should you expect to see?

He’s Dead is a dark fantasy choreography. I wanted to combat and triumph over the stain of dehumanisation with a lot of hardcore dancing, symbolism, song, and aggression. It is a complex piece with emotional resonances. All of my works build big journeys for the audience. I am interested in feeling and affect. This isn’t a Tupac biopic. It is really about combatting dehumanisation on an aesthetic scale. 

He's Dead by Marikiscrycrycry at BAC 2022 - Four performers are suspended in the air with their arms back. Credit Anne Tetzlaf
He’s Dead by Marikiscrycrycry at BAC 2022 Credit Anne Tetzlaf

What does the legacy of Tupac mean to you?

He was one of the saddest poets out there and he wrote from a Black perspective. From being a n*gga in this world. He made melancholia something productive, turning sadness into something non-fatal. He usually spoke from a really emotional place. 

Who or what inspires you to make your work?

I usually start working from a place of necessity. My practice has been rooted in trying to understand ontology, the study of being, what it means to be–from the perspective of marginalisation. The traces of things that are left on the body, on the mind, and on the heart. I notoriously do not watch a lot of dance because I am not inspired by the conventions as much as I am in live possibility–How can choreography shape an emotionally resonant experience for witnessing, and realising. 

Jas Lin - photo by Andrew Thomas Huang
Jas Lin – photo by Andrew Thomas Huang

Which other artists would you recommend people check out?

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, NWAKKE, Jas Lin, Yummy Online, Eve Stainton, Aisha Sasha John, Manwigs, Ebun Sodipo, Travis Alabanza, Bianca Scout, Blue Makwana, nineishuman, Hasznat, Kumbirai Makumbe, so many others…

Interview: Marikiscrycrycry on 2Pac inspired 'He's Dead' at Battersea Arts Centre 1
He’s Dead by Marikiscrycrycry at BAC 2022 Credit Anne Tetzlaff

What advice would you give aspiring artists who may feel different?

Difference is an asset–Use it to light your own path. Stick to your guns, die by your beliefs. Elevate your feelings. Trust them, too.

Interview: Marikiscrycrycry on 2Pac inspired 'He's Dead' at Battersea Arts Centre 2
He’s Dead featuring and created by Marikiscrycrycry Credit Elise Rose

What are your favourite London haunts? (To eat, to party, to see shows)

 All the best parties in London are secret and illegal. 

The Yard Theatre, Somerset House Studios, Harlesden High Street, Auto Italia East, Ugly Duck, 180 The Strand, VO Curations, arebyte, to see good shit.

To eat, I like Xi’an Impression in Holloway, BunBunBun in Hoxton, Gokyuzu in Chingford, Padella in Shoreditch, Kokeb in Islington. 

He’s Dead – Accessibility Information

  • He’s Dead is at Battersea Arts Centre from 16 March – 2 April. All tickets are Pay What You Can. bac.org.uk 
  • Every performance is Relaxed. At BAC this means you can move, make noise or take breaks, visit our ‘chill out’ room, and wear our ear defenders, if you need to.
  • Thursday 31 March, 7.30pm – Sensory Adapted performance: at BAC this means loud sounds & intense lighting, including flashing lights, will be softened and the audience will not be in the dark
  • Friday 1 April, 7.30pm – Captioned performance: at BAC this means there will be a screen showing text which describes the performance, including dialogue