Debris Stevenson’s terrific Poet in Da Corner returns to the Royal Court early next year but if you can’t wait check out her latest which is directed by another hot talent, Ned Bennett, whose reinvention of Equus was such a clever show. It’s on at the Big House, a new venue which had a deserved hit with its opening show Bullet Tongue, so this new piece should be well worth seeing. It comes with music by Jammz and uses poetry, movement and music to consider how ideas about love shape our futures and future behaviours.
Fifteen young people will take us on a journey that explores how the templates of love that we are given as children shape our lives. The play weaves music, movement and poetry into a theatrical event that will be both magical and heartbreakingly raw. 1st LUV, written by Debris Stevenson (writer and star of the critically acclaimed Poet in Da Corner at the Royal Court), directed by Ned Bennett (whose production of Equus for the English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East has just finished a run in the West End at Trafalgar Studios) and music by Grime MC Jammz. Debris Stevenson said: “Writing for The Big House is a everything writing has ever meant to me – it’s 3D hybrid magic. On top of that Ned is pushing me in new ways and I have been given permission to learn into the magic realism within my work. For me, grime – my entry point to poetry and theatre – really demonstrated how real (and often grimy, gritty) life can hover above the ground. As an artist who set up a company from nothing at 20, teaching thousands of young people creative writing and performance as a life skill – working with Maggie is beautiful because she understands great art comes from community.” Ned Bennett said: “This feels like such a massive, exciting chapter for The Big House, I’m excited to come back and make a show in their new space. The Big House have created an environment that is utterly empowering for its members. The way in which they support young people and push boundaries creatively is such a thrilling combination. There’s a universality to 1st Luv that’s being handled with Debris’ particular heightened and astonishing imagination. It’s 1st Luv through the lens of magic realism and technicolour. Her work has an incredible sense of humour and pathos to it.”