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Behind the curtain: An Interview with Heart writer Jade Anouka

Photo Credit: Kim Hardy


After an acclaimed run at Edinburgh Fringe, Jade Anouka is taking her debut play HEART to Brixton House. This captivating production presents a raw and intimate exploration of the realities of complex relationships, and navigates love, loss and self-discovery through mesmerising storytelling and music. Told through a blend of poetry and electronic music, HEART is a fresh and inspiring piece of gig theatre that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.

I got the chance to speak to writer and cast member Jade Anouka, about HEART.

Photo Credit: Jaime Prada

What is HEART about? 

It’s a about a women grappling with the end of a marriage and trying to find out who she really is, while coming to terms with a whole new chapter in her life all while having to deal with her inner beast. Told through poetry it’s one persons journey of their heart. The strive to live authentically.

What was the inspiration behind the show?

My life! And my first why of expressing my feelings on paper was through poetry.

What are the key themes and messages of the show? And who is your target audience?

Follow your heart not your head. Inner demons don’t just disappear if you look the other way. Communication is key. Queer joy, black joy! This is for anyone who has every felt othered. I see you.

What is it like performing in and writing your own show? 

Wild. Brilliant. Stressful.

What was the easiest and hardest part of incorporating poetry and electronic music?

I wouldn’t even say incorporating poetry. It was always poetry. It began with poetry. And I always imagined it performed with music. The hardest part is the music is so good you could just listen to it as album and it’d tell you a story. But the words are there for a reason too. The music and the words are both telling the heart of the story. So the words have to do some heavy lifting too. This is a play that you feel. Easiest part is knowing if you connect more with the music at moments and the words at other times that that’s still great you’ll still get the story.

How did having beatboxing / electronic backing track enhance the show?

The music can help carry you to the next feeling or try and stop you. Music is so powerful and emotive it gives the words a helping hand.

What are 3 major takeaways you want the audience to learn after seeing the show?

Love poetry

Love music

Love queer stories

Why did you choose the style of Gig theatre to perform the show? And why do you think this style of theatre works in this case? 

The play is basically one long poem so it was never going to be a conventional style. It should feel raw, two-planks-and-a-passion vibes. It’s about the words and how they make you feel. 

Has anything changed from the last time the show was staged either from New York or Edinburgh Fringe? 

It's a completely different production to New York. It's the same production as Edinburgh pretty much. 

Describe the show in one sentence.

I invite you to feel

Feel the rhythms

Of your own heartbeat

As I tell you a story

My story

Photo Credit: Jaime Prada

HEART was first shown in New York, at The Minetta Lane Theatre in July 2022, before finding critical acclaim at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is now transferring to London. This ground-breaking collaboration seamlessly enhances Anouka and Savage’s award-winning creative talent.

With a narrative that navigates the uplifting and heart-wrenching moments with hypnotic live musical accompaniment, HEART is a must-see for all the misfits, and for all those who have ever felt ‘other’.

Photo Credit: Jaime Prada


23rd January – 3rd February 2024

Brixton House

Age Guidance 12+

Content Warnings Contains swearing.

Tickets are available at:

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