Grime Culture Takes Centre Stage in Wales Millennium Centre’s ‘The Making of a Monster’

Wales Millennium Centre’s next production, The Making of a Monster (9-19 November) is a visceral, autobiographical grime-theatre mash-up, written and performed by Children’s Laureate Wales Connor Allen.

Too black for his white friends, but too white for his Black friends. Growing up mixed race in Newport, Connor fell into a cloud of grey.

Absent Black father, ducking the police, working out what it means to be a man. He was struggling to find his place in the world and in danger of spiralling out of control. Then one moment changed his life.

Created from grime culture and inspired by Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Skepta and Kano, The Making of a Monster is Connor’s story.

Connor said: “Growing up, identity is a crucial factor for everyone and for me personally, being mixed race and without a father, that identity wasn’t clear. In my search for an identity I went down a destructive path; that’s the story arc of this piece. By sharing my story with audiences I hope it can resonate with other Connors out there with similar questions about the world, themselves and the big question of ‘where do I fit in?’.”

WMC Artistic Director Graeme Farrow said: “Connor Allen makes an exceptionally bold move with this show, as he shares his most tender memories of a tumultuous time in his life. It’s honest and sometimes difficult to watch, but ultimately it’s an extraordinarily mature reflection on second chances; something our society doesn’t always offer. Wales Millennium Centre are very proud to bring Connor’s distinctive voice and story to the stage.”

An audio production of The Making of a Monster was performed on BBC Radio 4 in June 2022 and is available here.