REDEMPTION, a play with music by James Meteyard and The Last Skeptik, will return to The Big House in their Islington venue, as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations – from Thursday 30th June to Saturday 13th August, with press night on Tuesday 5th July.
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. Redemption explores themes of grief, trauma, family and forgiveness.
Twenty-four-year-old Renaya Dennis will reprise her Off West End Award-nominated performance in the leading 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 Big House opened their venue in Islington in October 2018, offering both a theatre and a space to help young care leavers long term and to build a positive creative community. The company’s work offers counselling, mentoring, training and workshops for young people to unleash their creativity and build confidence whilst participating in theatre and film projects. No-one is auditioned, but selected on the basis of need.
Directed by Maggie Norris (Artistic Director of The Big House), with text and lyrics by James Meteyard and music by The Last Skeptik (internationally acclaimed DJ, producer and composer, behind the score of critically acclaimed play Superhoe at the Royal Court Theatre), this production brings together an incredible team of artists with young performers for a show that will share the company’s ethos of making high-quality artistic work with a social impact.
The full cast for the new production are: Dymond Allen, Elizabeth Rochester, James Atwell, Jermaine Freeman, Renaya Dennis, Shaquille Jack, Tajah Workman, Taurean Steele and Tezlym Senior Sakutu.
James Meteyard said: ‘It feels amazing to be bringing Redemption back! The response was so strong from the young people, peers, press and punters! People genuinely seemed to connect with the sentiment of the piece and of course the strength of the talent on stage is just overwhelming impressive. It felt like such a shame to end the sell out run whilst there was still such demand. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to get the team back together and to see them all in action again for round two!’
Meteyard said of changes for the revival, “Naturally when you do something again you’ve had the gift of learning from the first time you did it. So whilst the essence of the piece will be the same, the script will be refined, songs will be sharper, the use of space will be slicker, the video, sound, light etc will all have benefited from experience of a prior run! I can’t wait. It’s going to be so much fun.”
Maggie Norris, Artistic Director of The Big House, said: “It is a joy to be able to revive our acclaimed production of REDEMPTION in our 10th anniversary year. This is a wonderful show to celebrate the young people at The Big House and showcase the work that we do with marginalised young people.’