Big Up!
Available For Touring
This show is available for touring. Please contact john_at_symbol_theatre-rites_fullstop_co.uk for bookings and information.
Previous Show
Ages 4+
Running Time 50 minutes
Venue Touring
Dates February 2019 - May 2020
Big Up!
Show News
Big Up! 2020
Read more Big Up! news
"a captivating live theatre experience for little ones, and a reminder to the rest of us of how much fun there is to be had when you let your imagination run wild"
★★★★
- The Stage

About the Show

Big Up!

for children aged 4 plus and everybody who looks after them 

Big Up! tours with a cast of 4 and 2 stage managers.  The production is part of our current repertoire.  It is not available for one off performances but can be available as part of a longer tour.  For further information click here.

What happens when a Beatboxer, a Singer and a Puppeteer arrive on stage but nothing is ready?  No set, no instruments, no puppets. No rules?

Come and watch as they create a world full of joy and chaos, where objects come to life and everything is possible.   

BIG UP! celebrates the power of music, the power of play and the power of our imagination. A perfect show for little people who want to be Big, and Big people who … just might have forgotten how to play.   

“Magical puppetry, beatboxing and singing” Remote Goat ★★★★★ 

The show was created in 2019 in collaboration with 20 Stories High, It was developed through research with young adult parents, young carers and their children, from working class and culturally diverse backgrounds. 

In 2019 we received a Strategic Touring Grant from Arts Council England to visit 6 venues throughout England. 

In 2020 Big Up! was due to tour again in April and May.

"I can’t award the number of stars suggested by my five-year-old fellow critic (‘one thousand, one hundred and eight’), but have no hesitation awarding five"
★★★★★
- Remote Goat
Dorcas Sebuyange

Original cast member Dorcas returns for the 2020 tour.

Dorcas Sebuyange is a Congolese Creative Artist based in Liverpool. She specialises in drama, music, poetry and dance.

Her recent credits include Black Men Walking (Eclipse, Royal Exchange - 2018), I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. trip... (BBC 2 Performance Live, 2018), I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. trip... (20 Stories High, Contact Theatre, 2017). She has also been writing and performing music and poetry since she was 10 and has supported the likes of Akala, Lady Leshurr, Yasmin, Sway, Bashy, Lowkey, Cherri V, Mz. Bratt and was part of a young writer’s group nominated for a BeMOBO award in 2010.

Clarke Joseph Edwards

Original cast member Clarke Joseph Edwards returns for the 2020 tour.

Clarke is an actor/puppeteer and has worked within the UK and internationally.  Credits includeThe Bridge (Page One Theatre), Smurfs Live Show:Smurfs Save Spring (International Tour,MEI Ltd) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (2019 UK tour, MEI Ltd).

This marks Clarke's second show with Theatre Rites with the first being Bank On It and his second tour with Theatre Rites and 20 Stories High and is ecstatic to be part of it again

Grace Savage

Grace Savage joins the Big Up! cast in 2020. 

She is a singer, actor and Beatboxer and 4 x UK Beatboxing champion. In 2017 Grace was nominated for "Best Female Solo Act" and "Best Songwriter" at the Unsigned Music Awards. She has performed at a number of UK festivals including Glastonbury, Beatherder, Shambala, Latitude, The Great Escape, WOMAD and Fieldview and she has delivered a TEDx talk at the Royal Festival Hall. Grace’s performance in HOME at The National Theatre was named in the Guardian as 2014’s most startling performance.

Teele Uustani

Teele joins the Big Up! cast in 2020. 

She is a London-based actress/puppeteer from Estonia. Her credits include Macbeth (The Paper Cinema), Mislaid (Maison Foo), Beegu (Dotted Line Theatre), Gala (Tête à Tête company). Teele has regularly worked with Theatre-Rites including three tours of Beasty Baby and the Associate project Tangled Tales.  Teele has also been involved in several short films, music videos and theatre projects as a deviser, puppet maker and an assistant director.

Hobbit

Hobbit was an original cast member of Big Up! and in collaboration with Dorcas Sebuyange and Keith Saha composed and arranged the music for the show.

He is an internationally renowned beatboxer and performer. Starting beatboxing in 2003, Hobbit has performed both intimate gigs and stadium tours internationally. He is a part of the World Champion beatboxers, The Beatbox Collective, and has won numerous prestigious beatboxing championships.

Iestyn Evans

Iestyn was one of the original cast members and devisers of Big Up!

Iestyn began his career puppeteering animatronic animals made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in the West End musical, Doctor Dolittle. He went on to work on The Fimbles (CBeebies) as an assistant puppeteer, was promoted to his own character on spin off series The Roly Mo Show, and has been working mainly in television, film, and commercials ever since. 

In 2005 he co-founded Talk to the Hand Puppets. In 2012 they won the Royal Television Society Award for the puppets and puppetry on BBC comedy series, Mongrels.

Sue Buckmaster
Director

Sue is the Artistic Director of Theatre-Rites and the fourth generation of theatre practitioners in her family. 

In 2018 Sue was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex in recognition of her inspiring leadership in theatre direction and puppetry.

Sue has many years of experience as a director, puppetry specialist and teacher, and has worked with a wide variety of companies including the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Young Vic, Sadler's Wells and Complicite. 

For more information about Sue's work - click here

Keith Saha
Director

Keith Saha is a writer and Co-Artistic Director of 20 Stories High Theatre Company based in Liverpool.

Keith is working on new projects with organisations including Theatre-Rites and for television he is currently developing his own series LOOKED AFTER with Twelve Town Productions.  

In 2010, he was awarded The Brian Way Award for the UK’s Best New Play for Young People for his play Ghost Boy, a co-production with Contact and Birmingham Rep which championed this form. More recently his play The Broke ‘N’ Beat Collective won the young critics’ award at ON THE EDGE FESTIVAL 2016.

Verity Quinn
Designer

Verity is set and costume designer for theatre, dance and installation. She is currently the Young Victoria exhibition (Historic Royal Palaces at Kensington Palace) and Off the Grid (Half Moon Theatre).

Recent design credits include: Polstead (Eastern Angles); 3 Winters (RADA); Chocolate Cake (Polka Theatre); What Once Was Ours (Zest Theatre & Half Moon Theatre); The Borrowers (Polka Theatre); How to Win Against History Tour 2017 (Seiriol Davies & Aine Flanagan Productions); Vinegar Tom (RADA); Getting Dressed (Second Hand Dance); Baby Show, Laika, Septimus Bean and His Amazing Machine; Once Upon A Christmas; The Fourth Wise Man, Seesaw, When I Think About the Universe I Laugh For No Reason and Dora (Unicorn Theatre); Dame Nature (Tim Bell & Havoc Theatre); How To Win Against History (Aine Flanagan Productions); Under the Rainbow (Polka Theatre); Holy Mackerel (Eastern Angles); Beasty Baby (Theatre-Rites & Polka Theatre); Alpha Beta (Finborough Theatre); Free (Half Moon Theatre); Blue Boy (New Writing North & Northern Stage); Apples (Company of Angels & Northern Stage); The Girls from Poppyfield Close (Live Theatre); Heartbreak Soup (The Empty Space & Laura Lindow)

Michael Fowkes
Puppet Designer

Michael trained at Wimbledon School of Art and is a theatre maker, puppetry specialist and children’s book illustrator.

Within puppetry, Michael works as a designer/maker as well as a director, devisor and performer.

He was puppetry director, designer and maker on ‘Arabian Nights’ for the Royal Shakespeare company and has created work for and developed shows with companies such as Theatre-rites, the Young Vic, Complicite, The National Theatre, Punchdrunk, Little Angel Puppet Theatre and Ragdoll television.

Recently, Michael created Stig for Chester’s open air theatre and amongst other things, a bevy of giants and a tiny Sophie for Bolton’s Octagon Theatre’s production of ‘The BFG’. International tours include ‘The Winter’s Tale’ (RSC), ‘Wild Swans’ (Young Vic), ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Mojo’ (Theatre-rites). Television includes ‘Penelope Princess of Pets for Channel 4’s Comedy Lab as well as characters for BBC idents. Film includes ‘Muppets Most Wanted’.

Joe Hornsby
Lighting Designer

Joe is a lighting designer of theatre, dance, immersive productions, music and events. 

His recent credits include Gecko Theatre, Theatre Rites, Deafinitely Theatre, James Cousins, Strictly Arts Theatre Company, Marc Brew Company and Pell Ensemble.​

Joe trained in Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths where his passion for lighting design grew. He has worked extensively as a production manager and technical manager working both in venues and on large national and international tours and brings this wealth of experience to his design work. ​

 

Hobbit
Musical Co-Creator

Hobbit was an original cast member of Big Up! and in collaboration with Dorcas Sebuyange and Keith Saha composed and arranged the music for the show.

He is an internationally renowned beatboxer and performer. Starting beatboxing in 2003, Hobbit has performed both intimate gigs and stadium tours internationally. He is a part of the World Champion beatboxers, The Beatbox Collective, and has won numerous prestigious beatboxing championships.

Big Up! 2020

We are excited to announce the return of Big Up!.  

After a hugely successful tour in 2019 Theatre-Rites and 20 Stories are reuniting to bring this joyful mix of beatboxing and puppetry for ages 4plus to venues in London, Doncaster, Bath, Brighton, Nottingham and Canterbury.

Two of our brilliant original cast members Dorcas Sebuyange and Clarke Joseph Edwards will be joined by the fantastic beatboxer Grace Savage and fabulous puppeteer Teele Uustani

We’ll be opening at the Southbank Centre on Wednesday 15th April 2020 and during the tour we will be part of the caravan showcase delivered by Farnham Maltings and Brighton Festival, presenting a programme of the best new English performance to a selection of international promoters. 

BIG UP! celebrates the power of music, the power of play and the power of our imagination. 

A perfect show for little people who want to be Big, and Big people who … just might have forgotten how to play.     

  “funnier, more engaging and more inventive than virtually any theatre production aimed at young children I’ve ever seen” Northern Soul **** 

“a captivating live theatre experience for little ones, and a reminder to the rest of us of how much fun there is to be had when you let your imagination run wild” The Stage ****

#BigUpShow 

Big up Big Up!

Big up to the fantastic Big Up! team, who - now halfway through the tour - have been up and down the country, bringing musical magic, dance moves, laughter and love to people young and old.

Directed by Theatre-Rites’ Sue Buckmaster and 20 Stories High’s Keith Saha, Big Up! is a “a charming and inventive sensory experience” (The Stage) comprising music, beat-boxing and an ingenious array of puppetry.

“funnier, more engaging and more inventive than virtually any theatre production aimed at young children I’ve ever seen”

Northern Soul

Following the success of The Broke ‘N’ Beat Collective, Theatre-Rites and 20 Stories High were excited to team up once more for Big Up!. Developed through research with young-adult parents, young carers and their 3- to 6-year-old children from working class and culturally diverse backgrounds, Big Up! inspires the imaginations of its audiences. From gasps of awe and stomping feet from our younger groups, to nods of recognition and empathetic laughter from parents and carers, Big Up! truly engages all ages.

Our co-production with 20 Stories High has had residencies at Unity Theatre in Liverpool, Oldham Library, The Albany in London and Blackpool Grand Theatre, and only has 2 weeks left of its tour, visiting Stratford Circus Arts Centre and closing at Z-arts in Manchester. Alongside performances, we have offered pre- and post-performance colouring activities for families, mash up evenings for young adults and play sessions for targeted groups.

Big Up! is now available to tour and looking to book venues for 2020. If you are interested in booking Big Up!, please contact our Project Manager, John Johnston, john@theatre-rites.co.uk for more information

"a captivating live theatre experience for little ones, and a reminder to the rest of us of how much fun there is to be had when you let your imagination run wild"
★★★★
- The Stage
"I can’t award the number of stars suggested by my five-year-old fellow critic (‘one thousand, one hundred and eight’), but have no hesitation awarding five"
★★★★★
- Remote Goat
"This is the kind of children’s theatre experience a parent dreams of"
- Madeup.lv
"funnier, more engaging and more inventive than virtually any theatre production aimed at young children I’ve ever seen"
★★★★
- Northern Soul
"In this, 20 Stories High and Theatre Rites once again have produced something magical, theatre that is extraordinary, and one that must be embraced"
- Liverpool Sound & Vision