Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and the Royal Court Theatre

Poet in da Corner

by Debris Stevenson

Poet in da Corner Top / Details / Extras / The Company
Fri 21 Sep - Sat 06 Oct 2018

Following its critically acclaimed and sold out premiere in 2018, Poet in da Corner returns for a limited run from 30 Jan 2020 before going on tour.
Find out more here


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 technicolour world where music, dance and spoken word collide, and discover how grime allowed Debris Stevenson to redefine herself.

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.

This new work is part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary and created as part of Represent, a series of artworks inspired by the Representation of the People Act 1918. While the act gave the vote only to women over 30, Represent invites young female artists to explore democracy, equality and inclusion in contemporary Britain.

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and the Royal Court Theatre, supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, in association with Nottingham Playhouse and Leicester Curve. 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Insight Workshop: Poet in da Corner
Led by Poet in da Corner writer Debris Stevenson, exploring music, poetry and lyricism through highlighting the links between writing music and theatre. For this workshop it is encouraged to bring headphones and a selection of songs to listen to. If you are unable to bring these along, they will be provided for you.

Young Court Friends* ages 14-18 | Mon 15 Oct, 6pm-7.30pm | Book Now
Young Court Friends* ages 19-25 | Wed 17 Oct, 6pm-7.30pm | Book Now
Ages 26+ | Fri 19 Oct, 6pm-7.30pm | Book Now

*To become a Young Court Friend for free, click here.

Stop Dat, Ask Why: Poet in da Corner Launch Party
Fri 21 Sep, post-show
Come and move your body to the beats of Reprezent Radio DJ Henrie, mingle with new people and if you’re aged 14-26, whether you’re an established artist or a dynamic newcomer, take the opportunity to jump on the open mic stage in our Bar & Kitchen.

All are welcome. It will be an evening that’s inspiring, invigorating and intoxicating. This is a free event. To register your interest in performing on the open mic, please email

Stop Dat, Ask Why is part of Represent, a programme of artworks and events commissioned by 14-18 Now and Jerwood Charitable Foundation, exploring modern democracy 100 years on from the Representation of the People Act 1918.

Poet in da Corner Gig Night
Sat 22 Sep, pre-show
Join us for a vibrant night of performance, showcasing the freshest talent in dance, music and comedy – with some amazing spoken word artists from our collaborators Apples and Snakes. This is a free event.

The acts include: singer Eloi, Drag King Cole and Thrustin Limbersnake from the Pecs Drag Kings Collective, grime rapper Brian Fofana, comedian Kemah and dancer Arkuen. Wolf.

Gig Night is part of Represent, a programme of artworks and events commissioned by 14-18 Now and Jerwood Charitable Foundation, exploring modern democracy 100 years on from the Representation of the People Act 1918.

The Big Idea: Post-show Talk
Wed 3 Oct, post-show

Director Ola Ince and performers Debris Stevenson, Cassie Clare, Jammz and Kirubel Belay in conversation with Royal Court Young Agitators. This event is free with a ticket to that evening’s performance.

The Big Idea: Grime and Legislation
Thu 4 Oct, post-show

Panel discussion with grime MC and entrepeneur Jammz, Temi Mwale, Founder Director 4Front Project, and Mykaell Riley, Principal Investigator, Black Music Research Unit. Hosted by Poet in da Corner writer and performer Debris Stevenson. This event is free with a ticket to that evening’s performance.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"One of the most exciting things I’ve seen all year and marks out writer/performer/lyricist/dancer Debris Stevenson as one of the brightest emerging talents around. It is, in short, the real deal”

Evening Standard | Fiona Mountford Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

"Thrilling... Words blaze the stage and Stevenson appears like the Kate Tempest of grime”

The Guardian | Arifa Akbar Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

“An inspiring, thoroughly enjoyable evening full of possibilities for where Stevenson — and theatre itself — might go next”

The Times | Dominic Maxwell Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

"Debris Stevenson's show is totally, boldly different from anything else"

Time Out | Alice Saville Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

"Throws away the rule book and opens your ears and eyes to what theatre could and should be”

The Stage | JN Benjamin Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

"Mind-blowing energy... So energetically and gloriously alive on stage”

The Arts Desk | Aleks Sierz Read full review

★ ★ ★ ★

"A gutsy, gritty breath of fresh air"

WhatsOnStage | Fergus Morgan Read full review

Show more reviews

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs

Mon – Sat: 7.30pm
Thu & Sat mats: 2.30pm

Captioned: Sat 6 Oct, 2.30pm

Relaxed Environment Performances:
Thu 27 Sep, 2.30pm
Sat 29 Sep, 7.30pm
Fri 5 Oct, 7.30pm
Sat 6 Oct, 7.30pm
House lights slightly up, latecomers admitted and the chance to leave and return to the auditorium as needed. We’ll also offer pre-show touch tours on these dates for those who would benefit. Email for more information.

Running time: 80 mins, with no interval

Age Guidance: 14+


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