Just a Little Too Much
Directed by: Thomas Richards
Assistant director: Jessica Losilla-Hébrail
With and by: Kei Franklin
A woman embarks on an ardent quest to find her true home. Raised in various settings where her privilege was intertwined with her being part of a minority, she yearns for a moment of belonging among an unfound "people." Just a Little Too Much is a profoundly introspective exploration on privilege, race, inclusion, belonging, and the enigmatic pursuit of identity. As we accompany this complex character, we're taken on a rollercoaster ride of poetry, introspection, and contradiction. She unravels and reconstructs herself with breathtaking speed, compelling us to confront our own inclination to categorise and alienate in our quest for self-definition. This powerful narrative raises essential and timely questions about identity while exposing the pitfalls of seeking definitive answers.
This was an astonishingly brave performance, raising taboo issues with honesty and style. I found it so thought provoking and life enhancing.
- Richard Shannon
Playwright and Director, Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London
It navigates identity and race paradoxes through evocative poetry and haunting melodies, leaving the audience exhilarated, reflective, and confronted with enduring questions.
- Melisa Basol
PhD, Psychologist, Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge
Time passed differently. I swam in memories, dwelled in song and experienced an inner expansion in the poetry of it all. Just a Little Too Much is sublime.
- Jemima Yong
Independent Performance Maker
- Thomas Richards
As a young person of mixed Black and White heritage growing up in 1960s and 70s New York City, a question of identity arose within me. I felt the disconcerting unease that can be born from a lack of inclusion based on identity. Now, nearly five decades later, we find ourselves in a society still teeming with questions about inclusivity, identity, respect, and the pursuit of selfhood. Meeting the artist Kei Franklin, one word resonated with me: "quest." Just A Little Too Much encapsulates precisely that.
Standing in front of an elevator on a sunny afternoon with some of my predominantly White friends at our predominately Jewish high school, the question was posed to me: “are you White or are you Black?” Those were the options. Our human need to differentiate, situate, and categorise as we attempt to “understand” the other was frightfully apparent.
For those of us who have felt marginalised or excluded for whatever reason, the journey toward inclusion and self-discovery is fraught with challenges. We must grapple with the myriad differences that set us apart from others, navigating the intricacies of personal identity versus group identity. I don't believe the danger lies in asking questions about our identity; it's when we start to have the answers that things can take a perilous turn.
The quest to understand one's own identity can be treacherous as well. As we adopt a label, a group, walls rise, and fences divide. To have an "us," we create a "them."
In contrast, as a young man, I began to discern a kind of grace that seemed to stem from holding an ambiguous position concerning racial identity. I started to feel that there may be a deeper, human quest for identity that might transcend mere appearances, races, and nations.
In Just a Little Too Much, we are introduced to a White woman searching for her place in the world. Raised in various corners of the globe, from New Mexico to Senegal, Swaziland, and Singapore, she has always found herself in situations where her privilege was accompanied by being part of a minority. Her voice resonates with profound depth and complexity, confronting problematic aspects of human nature I once began to identify within myself as a young man striving to belong.
Just a Little Too Much
Ironically, her privilege may lie in her inability to fully belong. Her isolation grants her a space for introspection about her humanity. This may, in turn, encourage us to listen and receive her message beyond prejudice and our natural, albeit regrettable, tendency to classify ourselves and others into groups to find solace in collective identities. Her voice stands out.
Join us on this forceful journey of questions, one that is, by its very nature, "just a little too much."
– Thomas Richards