Darkie Armo Girl

by Karine Bedrossian

Tuesday, 14 June – Saturday, 9 July 2022

“My name is Karen. I’m eight and half years old and I hate myself already.”

The world premiere

★★★★★ Five Stars, The Reviews Hub
★★★★★ Five Stars, Time and Leisure
★★★★ Four Stars, North West End
★★★★ Four Stars, The Stage

A true story.

1974. An Armenian family fleeing a civil war, arrive in the UK with £35, a suitcase and the address of a relative. But that’s nothing new for them. They’ve already had to flee a genocide.

1976. One careless mistake. Nine months and one near fatal C-section later, Karen Mary Bedrossian is born into a perfectly fine life and grows up in a perfectly fine house in Richmond, Surrey. But inside her lies a secret deep, dark pain that rips her to shreds on a daily basis…

1994. Karen’s 18, homeless, penniless, and her only friends are a couple of heroin addicts and criminals. The solution? Start again. Become a famous pop star. Then everyone would love and admire her and she’d be whole.

Wouldn’t she?

Developed with the Finborough Theatre, Darkie Armo Girl is a new solo play from British-Armenian writer and performer Karine Bedrossian about surviving life with the innocence of a child, but the destructive self-abandon of a suicide bomber.

On Wednesday, 22 June and Wednesday, 29 June there will be a Q&A session after the performance of Darkie Armo Girl, free to ticketholders for those performances, featuring writer and performer Karine Bedrossian and director Anastasia Bunce.

COVID SAFE
As one of the most intimate theatre venues in London, we are taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of performers, staff, and audience members during the current pandemic.
Audience members may be temperature-checked upon their arrival at the theatre, and we strongly recommend wearing a face mask at all times, including during the performance.
In order to ensure that the Finborough Theatre is still accessible for those who are CEV (Clinically Extremely Vulnerable) or those who would just prefer it, all Sunday matinee performances are Covid Pass Sundays when we will ask for proof of vaccination as well as mask wearing.
We have reduced our audience capacity to 85% and adjusted our ticket prices to reflect this. We have been reviewing these protocols every month and will lift them as soon as it is safe to do so.
For full information, please see our full Covid-19 policy here.

About Playwright and Performer Karine Bedrossian

Playwright and Performer Karine Bedrossian is an actress, writer and film-maker, born in the UK to Armenian parents. She began her career as a recording artist, signed to Telstar Records. She later went on to work as an actress, playing the lead in Hole In The Heart (Teatro Technis) where she was reviewed in The Guardian  as “one to watch”; the female lead in Richard Kalinoski’s Beast On The Moon, directed by Giles Croft (Nottingham Playhouse), TV dramas and independent British and international cinema. Karine recently wrote her first feature length screenplay, Stripped,  and adapted it into a short film which she produced, directed and edited on an iPhone and which won ‘Best Lockdown Film’ in the Earl’s Court Film Festival 2020.

About Director Anastasia Bunce

Director Anastasia Bunce trained in Theatre Directing at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, graduating in 2020. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Patch Plays, a company devoted to staging new work that explores animal ethics and sustainability. Direction includes OffFest nominated one woman show, Meat Cute (Chiswick Playhouse, Hen and Chickens Theatre and Bread and Roses Theatre), Patch Plays Scratch Night (Greenhouse Theatre), REDACTED (Mountview Catalyst Festival), Di and Viv and Rose (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts), Summer and Smoke (Exeter Phoenix) and Plucked (Edinburgh Festival and Exeter Phoenix). Assistant Direction at the Finborough Theatre includes Not Quite Jerusalem. She is currently developing a new drama, Blood On Your Hands, for Cockpit Theatre in June 2022, and a Children’s musical with Patch Plays for Harrow Arts Centre in April 2022.

The Press on Director Anastasia Bunce

“Inspired directing.” ★★★★★ Five Stars, London Theatre 1 on Patch Plays

“Funny, engaging and utterly thought-provoking...Meat Cute provides deliciously crafted, beautifully balanced food for thought.” ★★★★★ Five Stars, West End Best Friend on Meat Cute

“Anastasia Bunce’s direction celebrates the farcical aspects of the piece…ensuring we never lose the energy that powers this fast paced play.” ★★★★ Four Stars, View from the Outside on Meat Cute

“To think the company, Patch Plays (formed by Anastasia Bunce and Maria Majewska) were founded in 2020 is incredible and I look forward to seeing more of their work.” ★★★★ Four Stars, London Pub Theatre on Meat Cute

“Bunce’s directorial style is one of the most memorable elements of this retelling.” Exeposé on Summer and Smoke

Content Warnings for Darkie Armo Girl - Contains Spoilers

Loud sounds of warfare
Discussion of eating disorders and other mental illness
Discussion of sexual assault
Discussion of self-harm
Discussion of grooming and manipulative behaviours
Discussion of domestic abuse
Discussion of addiction
Use of recreational drugs
Suicide ideation
Discussion of abortion

If you feel uncertain about how the production may affect you but would still like to attend then please speak to a member of the Front of House team and they can ensure you are seated in a position where you are able to leave the theatre discreetly if necessary.

You can also email our General Manager ahead of time: generalmanager@finboroughtheatre.co.uk

The Press on Darkie Armo Girl

★★★★★ Five Stars, The Reviews Hub
★★★★★ Five Stars, Time and Leisure
★★★★ Four Stars, North West End
★★★★ Four Stars, The Stage

“A tour de force.” Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub

“Karine Bedrossian’s life story has many lurid ingredients (domestic violence, overnight success, eating disorders, a pervert therapist, debauched music executives, stripping, abortions, betrayal, rehab, toxic relationships, homelessness…). The one part she does not play is the victim. She tells her tale with dark humour.” Jenny Booth, Time and Leisure

“Karine Bedrossian stuns in her fast-paced one-woman play.” Riana Howarth, North West End

“High-energy and fast-paced.” Olivia Rook, The Stage

“Emotionally raw and engaging.” Riana Howarth, North West End

“An unrelenting, true account of a troubled life.” Olivia Rook, The Stage

“Everything feels spontaneous, immediate and fresh. It is only in retrospect we can see the skillful structure of the piece.” Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub

“Bedrossian’s writing is excellent with witty dialogue, dark humour, and a strong narrative thread. It is almost like reading a diary, with its intimacy and unabashed truthfulness.” Riana Howarth, North West End

“She has used her anger and her dark humour to shape a challenging statement – about herself, about women, about the treatment of Armenians, about relations between the sexes – with the same fearlessness as she seems to have lived the rest of her life.” Jenny Booth, Time and Leisure

“Bedrossian’s accounts of sexual abuse…are unnerving and thought-provoking.” Olivia Rook, The Stage

“Sharply observant.” Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub

“A deeply personal story that grabs the audience’s attention and empathy.” Srabani Sen, London Pub Theatres

“Bedrossian as writer mines her own extraordinary rollercoaster of a life without fear.” Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub

“Swift, sassy and ironic.” Jenny Booth, Time and Leisure

“Exciting and dizzying to watch.” Riana Howarth, North West End

“Wildly funny.” Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub

“Bedrossian is a fascinating playwright/performer, who powerfully brings her story of struggle and strife to the stage.” Olivia Rook, The Stage

“If this sounds an improbable trajectory, it isn’t. This is what really happened to Bedrossian herself. But what allows us to enjoy the ride is her mature playwright’s gaze, her lack of self-pity, her devastating wit. Beyond this is her mesmerising performance. All of these elements, together with Anastasia Bunce’s immaculate direction, makes Darkie Armo Girl a play to remember.” Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub

“There is an honesty and concentration in her performance as herself as well as conveying animated depictions of the other people in her life.” Riana Howarth, North West End

“Deeply relatable.” Jenny Booth, Time and Leisure

“Bedrossian as actor grabs our attention from the moment she appears on stage, spiky and energetic, and we are held spellbound throughout.” Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub

“A defiant presence who at the same time creates a bond of intimacy and warmth with the audience.” Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub

“Bedrossian’s instinctive and unique performance as well as the educational and psychological aspects of the piece are deeply moving.” Riana Howarth, North West End

“She also offers snapshots of other people in her story…skilfully juggling multiple accents.” Olivia Rook, The Stage

“Bedrossian brings energy and a larger-than-life presence to the role.” Srabani Sen, London Pub Theatres

“Her glorious impersonations of an extraordinary series of odd balls she meets are a constant delight.” Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub

“Bedrossian’s portrayal of habitual emotional agony is believable. It is also incredibly brave.” Jenny Booth, Time and Leisure

“Talented direction from Anastasia Bunce.” Riana Howarth, North West End

“Andy Wright’s sharp sound design.” Riana Howarth, North West End

“She comes to accept the chaos and imperfection of her life, which is cleverly echoed in Mim Houghton’s set design.” Olivia Rook, The Stage

Tuesday, 14 June – Saturday, 9 July 2022

Weeks 1 and 2

Prices until 26 June 2022

Tickets £20, £18 Concessions

Concession Details

Tickets £20, £18 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats. Previews (14 and 15 June) £15 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£15 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 18 June 2022 at 7.30pm when booked online only.
Pre-bookable concessions are available for the following groups:
Children aged 16 and under
Students in full-time education
Jobseeker’s Allowance and low income benefits claimants
Disability Benefit claimants
Senior Citizens aged 60+
and Equity, BECTU, MU and other entertainment union members in full benefit on Sunday matinees only.

Weeks 3 and 4

Prices from 28 June 2022

Tickets £23, £20 Concessions

Concession Details

Tickets £23, £20 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £20 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £23 all seats.
Group Bookings for all performances – 1 free ticket in every 10 purchased.
Performance Length: Approximately 75 minutes.
Pre-bookable concessions are available for the following groups:
Children aged 16 and under
Students in full-time education
Jobseeker’s Allowance and low income benefits claimants
Disability Benefit claimants
Senior Citizens aged 60+
and Equity, BECTU, MU and other entertainment union members in full benefit on Sunday matinees only.

For details of our Returns Policy for sold out performances, please click here

PLEASE NOTE THAT LATECOMERS CANNOT BE ADMITTED AND TICKETS CANNOT BE EXCHANGED OR REFUNDED.

Tickets and Times

Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 7:30pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 3:00pm
7:30pm
Sunday 3:00pm

Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

This performance contains discussion of dark themes, including mental illness, violence, and sexual assault.

If you wish to view the full list of content warnings in more detail please click the drop box at the bottom of the page. Please be aware this contains spoilers for the show.