No matter whether you are Big or Small, the world is full of rules.
What happens when a Beatboxer, a Singer and a Puppeteer arrive on stage but nothing is ready for them? 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! is perfect for Little people who want to be Big, and Big people who … just might have forgotten how to play.
The show is a collaboration with 20 Stories High, which was developed through research with young adult parents, young carers and their 3 to 6 year old children from working class and culturally diverse backgrounds.
We are thrilled that the 2019 tour was awarded a Strategic Touring Grant from Arts Council England.
Clarke Joseph Edwards is an actor/puppeteer and has been working in the industry for 4 years since graduating from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Clarke has been fortunate enough to perform in an array of exotic places; Saudi Arabia being most recent on his list.
Clarke has an improv-comedy troupe which he and a few of his friends set up and do in their spare time.
This will be Clarke's second Theatre-Rites show having previously worked on Bank On It in 2013 and is very excited to be working with the company again on Big Up!
Dorcas Sebuyange is a Congolese Creative Artist based in Liverpool. She specialises in drama, music, poetry and dance. She started acting at 15 and has trained with 20 Stories High, Frantic Assembly, PurpleCoat Productions and Collective Encounters. She graduated with a Higher National Certificate in Acting at the City of Liverpool College.
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.
Hobbit 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.
Alongside his work as a world-renowned beatboxer, Hobbit has been involved in music and performance productions, including 20 Stories High’s Ghost Boy and Melody Loses her Mojo, 20 Stories High and Theatre-Rite’s The Broke’n’ Beat Collective, and Jarred Christmas at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Hobbit is also the voice of ‘Juke’ on Cartoon Network’s ‘The Amazing World of Gumball’ and features in Domino’s Pizza’s advert sponsoring ‘The Voice’.
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.
Big Up! is his first show with Theatre Rites and 20 Stories High.
Live performance credits include: Sex and Puppets (Wondering Hands), Glitch - The Improvised Puppet Show (Glitch), Boris and Sergey - Origins and Vaudevillian Adventure (Flabbergast Theatre), Puppet Monologues (Blind Summit), and Philemon and Baucis (Little Angel Theatre).
Television and film credits include: Mongrels (BBC), Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One and Solo (Lucas Film), Muppets Most Wanted (Disney), Yonderland (Working Title), The Evermoor Chronicles (Disney), 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and BBC Comedy Proms.
Music videos and other projects include: Talk (Coldplay), Happier (Ed Sheeran), One Kiss (Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris), 2D Interview (Gorillaz), Get Up (Bingo Players), Olly Murs feat. The Muppets (X-Factor), OtherwOrld (Hat Trick), In the Night Garden Live (Rag Doll), That Pesky Rat (Soho Theatre).
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 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 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)
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”
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, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information