The Big House Announces Move To A New Home And The World Premiere Of BULLET TONGUE

The Big House Announces Move To A New Home And The World Premiere Of BULLET TONGUEThe Big House, a charity which enables care leavers and at risk young people to fulfil their potential through drama, wraparound support and long term mentoring, today announces new premises in Islington and the world première of Bullet Tongue by Andrew Day and Sonya Hale, a promenade piece through the new building, which will be developed with and performed by a group of young people at risk of social exclusion. The new building's inaugural production, directed by Artistic Director and CEO of The Big House, Maggie Norris, opens on 16 November, with previews from 14 November and runs until 8 December.

This month The Big House moves into a long-disused frame factory in Islington. Renovations are currently underway which will create a theatre and first-class youth facility open to and for the benefit of the local community, providing jobs and volunteering opportunities. The space will have multiple performance, rehearsal, community and office spaces which will enable the company to reach and provide opportunities for many more young people from across London.

Maggie Norris, Artistic Director and CEO of The Big House said today, "Our New Group will develop and perform Bullet Tongue, a brilliant new play by Andrew Day and Sonya Hale, inspired by their experience. What better way to celebrate the new building than a promenade performance in it? We'll open our doors and welcome audiences both old and new to come and explore the building in its current state and see the fantastic work we produce, whilst hearing our plans to transform the space. Our new home marks the start of an exciting chapter for The Big House, allowing us the room to support hundreds more young people and stage first class productions in our own theatre space."

The themes of every production produced by The Big House emerge from issues which the young cast care about and feel like they want a platform to address. County Lines, where criminal gangs set up a drug dealing operation in a place outside their usual operating area, is becoming a big problem which is affecting our young people, and the cast will be working with writers Sonya Hale and Andy Day to develop the script of Bullet Tongue so that it is an authentic piece of theatre which truly reflects the reality of the current situation.

Maybe man see this estate, see the telly, man think we is all run around like stab each other up and shit, just constant ruthlessness, bare beef, wrongness, serving up bare class A and it's all we care about. Or mebby you think, dis gyal is a waste, gyal should like all work hard at school, apply gyal's self, go to university or some shit ... I mean gyal is all like stoked for dis gyal, dat bwoy come good but ... What if gyal want something just a lickle bit different... Gyal don't wanna escape, dis gyal wanna bring the world to this estate and let it shek it's ting, like shek its fucking booty and shit, let it rage. Dis gyal gonna unzip the silence on it, strip it, film it... show you.

Maggie Norris directs. She is Artistic Director and CEO of The Big House for which she has directed productions including Phoenix, Babylon, Politrix, The Realness, Electric, Knife Edge, Brixton Rock, Phoenix Rising. Her other directing credits include Bad Girls - The Musical (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Garrick Theatre), The Sunshine Boys (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Bodies (Live Theatre, Newcastle) and Josephine (Battersea Arts Centre/The Coliseum Theatre/UK tour). She was previously Artistic Director of Only Connect where her credits include Any Which Way, Family Matters, Badman Christmas and His Teeth (Wormwood Scrubs). As an actress Norris appeared as series regular Claire Palmer in Coronation Street. For film she produced Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution, based on her own personal story.

Andrew Day is a Writer in Residence for The Big House. His previous writing credits for the company include Phoenix, Babylon, Electric and Phoenix Rising.

Sonya Hale has had plays performed at The Southbank Centre, Latitude Festival and in prisons and treatment centres. She has worked with Synergy Theatre Project, Clean Break Theatre Company and The Outside Edge. She runs writers' workshops and is associate workshop facilitator at Outside Edge; and is currently under commission at Clean Break. Hale won the Synergy Theatre Project's national prison scriptwriting competition and her most recent play Dean McBride won the Heretic Voices competition in and was performed at Arcola Theatre this year, directed by Roy Alexander Weise.

The Big House is a place where people who may have given up on themselves gain the skills and confidence to turn their lives around. It works with care leavers and marginalised young people who are at a high risk of social exclusion and provides a platform for them to participate in the making of theatre and to have their voices heard.It uses theatre to inspire members and to facilitate personal growth. The Big House recognises the vulnerability of care leavers as well as their talents, hopes and dreams. Through the use of theatre, the development of life skills and therapeutic intervention, The Big House nurtures a relationship of trust with its membership to work on behavioural and emotional problems. By tackling these fundamental needs it unleashes our members' creative potential and builds core skills to help them manage the stressful complexities of taking up a positive role in the community and to make better informed decisions.

Established in November 2012, The Big House has gone from start-up to award-winning charity in under three years, delivering nine productions: Phoenix, Babylon, Politrix,The Realness, Electric, Knife Edge, Brixton Rock, Phoenix Rising and Loose Lips. It is the only theatre company in the UK which works with at-risk care leavers, using theatre to transform lives combined with long term support, psychotherapy and the teaching of life and employment skills. In 2014 TBH was awarded the 'Born to Be' Award from the Centre for Social Justice in recognition of its impact. It is the youngest charity to ever win this prestigious award. The charity has received several Off West End nominations for its productions and won an award for Phoenix Rising performed in a car park underneath Smithfield Meat Market.

None of the casts at The Big House are auditioned to be part of this process but are assessed on the basis of need.

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