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  • Writer's pictureCultural Dose

Claire Gaydon Discusses 'Piece of Me': Exploring Data Privacy Through Britney Spears' Lens

Claire Gaydon is the writer and star of new show Piece of Me, currently at Camden People’s Theatre in London. The play is a musical insight into data privacy and the way it has impacted British people’s lives, all through the lens of Britney Spears’ life. We chatted to Claire about her show, Britney, our right to request CCTV footage, and the way data privacy affects us all. 

Piece of Me

Britney Spears is obviously a generational icon. Can you tell us more about how she has inspired the show?

Britney and other artists in her generation inspired me to start writing songs and form my own pop group when I was 8 years old and the narrative of the show follows this journey. She also inspired the way I explore privacy in the show. For me, privacy invasion on UK citizens can feel intangible, it’s hard to explain and understand. Privacy invasion on celebrities like Britney on the other hand is something we all know about. So I figured if I could marry the two together in the show, I could offer a different perspective on it.

And how was it working with your co-stars? Do they share your love for the pop star?

Yes absolutely! We listen to Britney in the dressing room every night before the show!

Aside from Britney, how do you keep yourself inspired as an artist?

I take inspiration from everywhere but mostly I’d say I’m inspired by theatre shows, podcasts, dialogues with friends and nature.

Was there a defining moment that encouraged you to go down the data privacy route?

Yes! Back in 2019 I learnt that according to data protection law, if you request footage of yourself from the owner of any CCTV camera they have to give it to you. I decided to do an experiment where I walked around London, miming the lyrics to Britney’s song Radar, and then requested the footage so I could make a kinda arty music video. I chose Radar because the lyrics are about watching someone (and it's also an underrated banger!). Less than 50% of the camera owners I approached for the footage adhered to data protection law and that got me thinking and researching about how our data is handled, and privacy in general. 

Piece of Me

Did you face any challenges in working with a subject area that can get so technical?

I went down many rabbit holes and got utterly confused, yes. I incorporated this energy into the show too because it felt like such an integral part of the making/research process. 

And were there any moments in the show that made you step back and think about your own data and how it is being used?

When it comes to data mining I’m much more concerned about companies having access to the entire country's data and the implications of that as opposed to my own personal data. My biggest concern at the moment is the way our data is used in ways we don’t understand - which we never agreed to - during democratic processes. This is why we need legislation to protect our data, it can’t just be on the individual.

Do you feel that the consumption of celebrity culture in today’s age differs to different generations?

I think yes and no. Social media has changed everything in both positive and negative ways. Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock from Little Mix have both made really powerful documentaries with the BBC on their experiences. 

8You have worked with Jakwob in the past with See-Through. Can you tell us a bit more about working with him here, and how that differed to your previous collaborations?

Working with Jakwob was so fun. He’s incredibly talented and totally got the brief of the show from day one. For See-Through we made a jingle for my YouTube channel, which was significant, but ultimately a small part of the show. For Piece of Me we created 4 songs together and the songs are a big deal in the show so it was a much bigger collaboration. We actually recorded some of the songs in the same studio where the Spice Girls recorded their first album which blew my mind.

Piece of Me will be at Camden People’s Theatre from 21st May – 1st June and tickets and accessibility information are available at 


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