Hip hop theatre show ‘High Times and Dirty Monsters’ cast announced

Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, along with 20 Stories High, Graeae Theatre, and LEEDS 2023, reveal cast and creatives for radical hip hop production High Times and Dirty Monsters.

Gathering the voices of young disabled and neurodivergent artists, it premieres at Liverpool Everyman from Monday 9 to Saturday 14 October 2023, ahead of a nationwide tour.

Actor and multimedia artist Joséphine-Fransilja Brookman (A Pigment of Your Imagination, Pleasance Theatre Futures Festival) joins forces with dancer and actor Jayden Reid, who has performed in Paralympics Homecoming and Here/Not Here in We are Lewisham Festival. 

Together with the Grace Savage, a singer, songwriter, actor and beatboxer who has dazzled audiences with her performances in Blind at the Edinburgh Fringe and Soho Theatre. Alongside writer and founder of Tip Tray Theatre Maisy Gordon, performance interpreter Chandu Gopalakrishnan (10 Nights, Bush) and Billy Pearson who makes his professional debut in this exciting collaboration.

Mark Da Vanzo, CEO of Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse said, “It’s fantastic to be jointly working with two of our Associate Companies, 20 Stories High and Graeae, both powerhouses in making bold, creatively accessible and joyful shows. Putting the stories of young people centre stage is something we’re passionate about too, and we can’t wait for Liverpool audiences to see the show ahead of its national tour.”

High Times and Dirty Monsters is directed by Keith Saha (Artistic Director of 20 Stories High) with Associate Director Jenny Sealey (Artistic Director ofGraeae) and Assistant Director Sonny Nwachukwu (former Graeae Associate Artist). The production has been developed with the companies’ young people and with artists. Through a high-octane gig theatre format, a collage of stories reflects their lives and concerns whilst celebrating the ways they find to look after themselves and each other.

Keith Saha, Artistic Director of 20 Stories High, Director of High Times and Dirty Monsters said, “Fusing the expertise from our four companies has presented such an exciting opportunity to create a production that is as accessible as it possibly can be. The skill and energy of the team involved and the stories that are being told promise to make for an unforgettable night out.”

Jenny Sealey OBE, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company added, “The voice of young disabled people often goes unheard. But not anymore – this raucous, radical, celebratory, hard-hitting gig theatre show shares the good times and the not-so-good times being young and disabled in 2023. Graeae is excited to be co-producing with 20 Stories High, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and LEEDS 2023 and bringing our recent Associate Artist, Sonny Nwachukwu on board as Assistant Director for High Times and Dirty Monsters.”

High Times and Dirty Monsters places access, wellbeing, and participation at its heart. The production artistically integrates British Sign Language, creative captions, and audio description. Commitment to access also extends to mental health provision, touch tours, and accessible ticket pricing among initiatives.

Along with the Post-Show Party on Wednesday11 October and a unique piece in response to the performance from the young people of Deaf Active on Friday13 October, this raw and surprising production is premiering at the Liverpool Everyman from Monday 9 to Saturday 14 October 2023. Tickets priced £6 to £11 are now available from High Times and Dirty Monsters | Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse theatres (everymanplayhouse.com)

Image: Top left to right: Grace Savage, Jayden Reid and Maisy Gordon.
Bottom from left to right:Joséphine-Fransilja Brookman, Billy Pearson, and Chandu Gopalakrishnan

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