CAST & CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR THE PREMIERE OF A PLAY WITH MUSIC
AT THE BIG HOUSE
TEXT AND LYRICS BY JAMES METEYARD (WRITER OF THE 2018 LET AWARD-WINNING ELECTROLYTE) AND MUSIC BY THE LAST SKEPTIK (ACCLAIMED MUSIC PRODUCER & COMPOSER OF THE BAFTA-NOMINATED ISLAND QUEEN)
WEDNESDAY 17 NOVEMBER – SATURDAY 11 DECEMBER
The Big House have today announced the cast and creative team for REDEMPTION, which will premiere at The Big House in their Islington venue – from Wednesday 17 November.
Directed by Maggie Norris (Artistic Director of The Big House), this production brings together an incredible team of artists with young care leavers for a show that represents the company’s ethos of making high-quality artistic work with a social impact.
In a time of accusation and outrage, what does forgiveness look like?
The path to Redemption is hard to see, and even harder to walk.
Redemption follows explosive Maz and her truth-telling bars as she rails at the world and runs from a life in care. When she meets Tayo, a gentle soul with silky smooth vocal folds, they take the first steps of their musical career, but can they hold on to each other when promised the bright lights of success?
A powerful new play-with-music, with text and lyrics by James Meteyard and music by The Last Skeptik (internationally acclaimed music producer and composer, behind the score of critically acclaimed play Superhoe at the Royal Court Theatre), Redemption explores themes of grief, trauma, family and forgiveness.
The Big House opened their venue in Islington in October 2018, offering both a theatre and a space to help young care leavers. The company’s work offers counselling, long term mentoring and training alongside workshops for young people to unleash their creativity and build confidence whilst participating in theatre and film. No-one is auditioned but selected based on need.
Twenty-three-year-old Renaya Dennis will lead the cast in the role of Maz. As a young girl that continuously ran away and who was documented in the press as a ‘14 year old missing teenager’, she was drawn to the character of Maz, having shared a similar story and relating to the theme of rejection.
During lockdown and with nothing to do, Renaya battled with depression and was left feeling desperate to make a change in her life. Luckily, she was introduced to The Big House. She said of joining the company, ‘I really wanted to get involved with The Big House because of its reputation. Since I’ve come here I’ve met a community of people who are the same as me, who have come from similar backgrounds. I’m able to be myself and finally be accepted. I love learning and I’ve already learnt a lot about myself. I’ve now got an outside perspective and can see the negative things that I do. I’m not fully transformed but I’m on the way.’
The full cast of Redemption are: Alpha Menda, Armani Morris, Fawaz Adekunle, James Atwell, Jayden Atuah-Hemaah, Jermaine Freeman, Keyona Fraser, Nadege Rene, Nia John, Renaya Dennis, Shaq Brown, Shanice Logan, Shaquille Jack, Tajah Workman and Taurean Steele.
Produced by Sarah Stallwood-Hall for The Big House, the production also includesdesign by Linbury Prize winner Zoë Hurwitz (Lovesong of the Electric Bear, Off West End nomination for Best Set Design), lighting designby Martha Godfrey (Time and Tide, Unknown Rivers), video design by Daniel Denton (Misty, BBC 4’s Kes Reimagined), sound design by Jack Baxter (About 500, DNA), movement direction by Kendra Horsburgh (The Pain Killer, & Juliet), musical direction by Jammz (founder of I Am Grime), assistant design by Ellie Roser, production management by Sean Laing and stage management by Leyla Percival.