Darkie Armo Girl: Interview with writer/ performer Karine Bedrossian

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

“1915. The Armenian Genocide. Families are marched across the Syrian desert to their death. Those who survive are scattered around the world.


1974. An Armenian family fleeing a civil war, arrive in the UK with £35, a suitcase and the address of a relative.


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. By eighteen, she’s 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?”



The world premiere of Darkie Armo Girl, written and performed by Karine Bedrossian, is currently running at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season. We caught up with Karine to find out more about the play, her writing process, and the journey to getting it produced…


Can you tell us about your inspiration for the play?

I have been wanting to tell my story for a while—I wanted originally to do it as a film, but I kept getting told that I have no credits as a writer, that no one would fund me, I wasn’t a well-known name, blah blah blah… And so I thought “well, no one can stop me from writing my own show!” So that’s why I did it. Also, I guess I wanted to speak up about some things that had happened to me, specifically in conjunction with the #MeToo movement. I really wanted to get my story out about that as well, and be heard, and to have the blanket lifted off all that.

What’s the play about?
I guess the play is about everything I’ve experienced on the inside—getting it all out on the outside. So it’s a lot of revealing, exposing, shining a light on the darkness, because when you shine a light on dark stuff, it can’t fester anymore.

Is the play based on true events? How did you approach this? Did you face any challenges?

It is based on true events, and some of the challenges I faced were not wanting people to think badly –obviously– of certain family members; trying to keep in mind that I was possibly going to be portraying people in a certain light. There’s a couple of things in there that I have maybe elaborated just for the sake of entertainment, but they’re based on true events, yes.

What was the writing process like?
I really enjoyed the writing process. It was very cathartic.

How did you get to the production stage? What was the journey from writing the first draft to this point now like?
I met with the Finborough, and spoke to them about wanting to do a play. Originally, there was going to be a few cast members in it and then, I can’t remember whether it was lockdown or whether Neil [McPherson, Artistic Director for the Finborough] was the one to suggest a one-woman-show. But yes, I ended up writing the show, sending it to the theatre, and luckily they liked it.

Can you tell us about the experience of performing your own work? Does this affect the writing process?
I won’t say it affects the writing process because I wasn’t really thinking about performing it when I wrote it, I was just thinking about writing it. But yes, sometimes it can be quite draining. It can also be cathartic, but sometimes I’ve had to go over and over some scenes which feel a little bit close to the bone, and raw. Still, I no doubt feel the overall effect will be cathartic.

What do you hope people will take from watching the show?
The courage to shine a light on their own darkness.

Do you have any advice for other writer-performers who would like to get their work on stage?
Just do it!

DARKIE ARMO GIRL runs until 9th July. Book here.

(Image credits: Stuart Ray)

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