Scottee - Bravado
Scottee’s Bravado is performed in masculine spaces. This is because the show deals with men, violence, toxic masculinity, abuse and assault. It packs a powerful punch, and the back-drop of a boxing gym, a locker room or a strip club serves to enhance that. We were hosted by the Croydon Boxing Academy in the town centre.
The brochure copy warns “This show is not for the weak hearted – it includes graphic accounts of violence, abuse, assault and sex.” This message was repeated on signs blue-tacked to the walls. Even before this however, anyone buying a tickets is told: “this show may not be suitable for those still processing abuse”. The message is clear.
Bravado is divided into sections that include blood, sweat and tears. Oasis songs play out and the audience are invited to sing along – they do. Scottee is a LGBT activist and theatre maker and this monologue is his personal memoir of growing up on a council estate in Kentish Town during the 1980s. His work is characterised by a searing honestly and a desire to tell painful truths often ignored – Bravado is no different. We learn about his family, who loved him but also let alcohol turn to violence. We learn about the boys on the estate who are at first friends but then turn abusers. Finally we learn about the revenge that Scottee would like to serve back to his peers. It’s brutal, but we understand why. It doesn’t sound like a very good night out, but it is.
Review by Anna Arthur