A Q&A event with writers Debris Stevenson and Jammz discussion the process and development of the show hosted by a member of the RC participation department.
A coming of age story inspired by Dizzee Rascal’s seminal album.
In a strict Mormon household somewhere in the seam between East London and Essex, a girl is given Dizzee Rascal’s ground-breaking grime album Boy in da Corner by her best friend SS Vyper.
Precisely 57 minutes and 21 seconds later, her life begins to change – from feeling muted by dyslexia to spitting the power of her words; from being conflicted about her sexuality to finding the freedom to explore; from feeling alone to being given the greatest gift by her closest friend.
In this semi-autobiographical piece, step into a Technicolor world where music, dance and spoken word collide, and discover how grime allowed Debris Stevenson to redefine herself.
★★★★ “Loud, fast and full of campaigning spirit… The unwavering lens [Debris Stevenson] places on her own white privilege while delivering a passionate showcase for an underestimated art-form makes for an electric night of theatre.” London Evening Standard
★★★★ “Thrilling… Words blaze the stage and Stevenson appears like the Kate Tempest of grime.” – The Guardian
“In a moment when we risk being torn apart by culture wars, Poet in da Corner feels like a show for our times: not only bitingly aware of precisely these issues, but daringly inclusive, too.” – Daily Telegraph
“An energetic, exuberant gig-theatre show, built with theatrical savviness on Dizzee Rascal’s iron-strong foundation.” – What’s On Stage
★★★★ “[Debris] Stevenson’s performance feels undeniable, soaked in the sweat of a ’00s east London that’s not quite Dizzee Rascal’s, but authentically hers.” – Time Out
“A reclamation of space and a declaration of intent… If you don’t know, you better get to know – because the revolution will be staged.” – The Stage
★★★★ “Few shows begin – and end – with such a whoosh, a fusillade of bounce and brrrap… If there’s a flaw, it’s only that we want more.” – The Times
★ ★ ★ ★ “Debris Stevenson show is more than a grime gig, it is also more than a play, a musical memoir or a poetry and spoken word performance though it is all of these. So what is this show? It is like nothing else you have seen.” – Metro
“How much do we allow self-awareness to count? Is it time to expect more? Whichever side you come down on, let me know, and try to have some fun at the same time. Poet in da Corner is a pretty good bet for that.” – Exeunt
“Electrifying… Directed with a rare feeling of completely empathetic excitement by Ola Ince… If the infectious glory of the music distracts you from thinking too much about the content, who cares?” – The Arts Desk
★★★★★ “You leave the auditorium feeling as though you’ve been part of something… This is not theatre as you know it – this is the future of self-expression.” – Broadway World
About the artists:
Debris Stevenson is a young poet, lyricist and dancer who has performed her unique work everywhere from BBC Radio 3’s The Verb to London’s Roundhouse. Directed by Ola Ince, featuring grime MC Jammz, with music and composition by Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante from hip-hop dance company Boy Blue.
Originally co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and the Royal Court Theatre in 2018, supported by Jerwood Arts.
Find out more about Debris Stevenson in this Guardian interview