1 Jan 1970
Image Mask The Realness

The Realness

A co-production by The Big House and Big Broad Productions


Hackney Downs Studios
17, Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT
13th November - 20th December 2014



In Autumn 2014 Big Broad Productions joined forces with The Big House for their first co-production - The Realness, a new urban musical about a bad boy's struggles on the road from zero to hero.

When some people won’t believe you’ve changed, and others don’t want to let you change, it isn't easy to make a new start. Jay Johnson is fresh out of prison and determined never to go back inside, but for all his efforts to stay on track, he finds himself making a detour in the wrong direction. Finally he's faced with the hardest choice of his life and only then does he understand what he has to do to change things for real. 

With an upbeat score ranging from rap to reggae, gospel to grime, The Realness is a new musical with book by Maureen Chadwick & David Watson and music & lyrics by Kath Gotts. The show was directed by Big House Artistic Director Maggie Norris and featured video design by Tony Award-winning Mic Pool, music tracks produced by Semothy Jones (Plan B) and choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille (Some Like It Hip-Hop).


"A live energy that crackles with the authenticity of life on the street. Kath Gotts' music and lyrics can blend rap, humour and street life with great affection." Freddie Machin, Hackney Citizen Review
"a commitment and infectious energy to surpass many West End Productions" Laura Barnett, The Observer
"The writing has an amazing freedom and candour. It shrinks from nothing. Everything here is dramatic, fresh and brutally gripping. The songs are exceptionally good." Lloyd Evans, The Spectator
"Maureen Chadwick and David Watson’s book is fast-talking, insolently witty and slang-studded, while Kath Gotts’s songs, ranging from hip-hop to R&B, reggae and gospel, have real punch. The production blazes up its grimy streets powered by pure passion." Sam Marlowe, The Times


Book by Maureen Chadwick & David Watson
Music & Lyrics by Kath Gotts
From an idea by Maggie Norris

Dymond Allen   -   Leroy
 Veronique Andre   -   Shanice
Aaron Russell Andrews   -   Lye / Churchgoer / Traffic Warden 
Serael Asphall   -   Prison Officer / Rox / Churchgoer / Traffic Warden / Flight Attendant
Mensah Bediako   -   Pastor Hovis
KM Drew Boateng   -   Obi the Traffic Warden / Churchgoer / Leroy's Accountant 
Andrew Brown   -   Mikey
Jacqui Dubois   -   Adele
Ashley Gayle   -   Jay Johnson
Jasmine Jobson   -   Marie / Churchgoer / Traffic Warden / Flight Attendant
Tyrone Nestor   -   Duane / Churchgoer / Traffic Warden 
Kyrae Patterson   -   Tenisha / Churchgoer / Traffic Warden / Flight Attendant
Matthew Schmolle   -  Prison Officer Stirling / Churchgoer / Bodyguard / Estate Agent

Director  -  Maggie Norris
Choreographer  -  Carrie-Anne Ingrouille
Set & Costume Designer  -  Colin Falconer
Video Design  -  Mic Pool
Lighting Designer  -  Joshua Carr
Sound Designer  -  Ed Clarke
Assistant Choreographer - Freya Sands
Assistant Directors  -  Laurence Cook and Georgia Rae Duke
Fight Director  -  Brice Stratford

Musical Director / Keyboard  -  Michael Henry
Assistant Musical Director / Bass -  Joseph Roberts
Music Track Production  -  Semothy Jones
Ableton Programming  -  Charlie Allen
Sound No 1  -  Thomas Wasley
Sound No 2  -  Rebekah Evans

Producer  -  Samuel Julyan
Production Management  -  Ian Moore
Deputy Stage Manager  -  Katie Thackeray
Assistant Stage Manager  -  Mimi Palmer Johnston
Costume Supervisor - Rosy Emmerich
Associate Lighting Designer-  Peter Small
Chief Electrician  -  Laurence Russell

Press Representation  -  Katherine Camps for Bright Media
Marketing Support  -  Team Boom @
Marketing Design  -  Rich Jackson
Marketing Image Photography   -  Caroline Coleman
Rehearsal & Production Photography - Catherine Ashmore

For Big Broad Productions
Executive Producer   -  Douglas McJannet

For The Big House
Development Manager  -  Bryony Hope
Administrator  -  Hannah Hughes