Q: How did the idea for Big Up! first come about?

We were inspired by the success of our last collaborative show, The Broke N Beat Collective, which was aimed at young adults. We wanted to develop a new show which used these forms specifically for 3 to 6-year olds and the people that look after them.

One of the things that came up when we were exploring, was that when we were all younger, we all wanted to be big! When we did eventually get to be big, sometimes we forgot how to play.

Q: The often-hard-to-answer question: What’s it about?

This production plays with the notion of who is the parent and who is the child and how, as parents we are often so preoccupied with setting rules, being strict, being a certain kind of parent, or not knowing how to parent that we sometimes forget how to play. It is a universal story – whether or not you are a parent or carer – and something that most people experience.

Regardless of our age, we can still remember being young and recall how the world seemed to be full of rules. As parents ourselves, we were drawn towards exploring the subtle, and not so subtle, differences in family dynamics; who really sets the rules: the 5-year old or the parent? What do you do when you, or your child, finds it difficult to follow the rules? Big Up! explores all these questions through music, puppetry and theatre.

Q: Can you tell us a little about what it’s like to create a show with Beatboxing for such a young audience?

We are feeling privileged to be working with a fantastic and eclectic team of Hip Hop artists, puppeteers and designers to create something we think is completely unique. A show we hope will reach out to new audiences as well as offer surprises to regular theatre goers.

As part of the development process we have also enjoyed bringing artists and children into the room to play, to beatbox, to dance, and to get a hands-on experience with some objects from a live music world. And we’re really looking forward to introducing some of these elements into the show.

Q: What’s an average day in your rehearsals like?

In no particular order, any of the following can happen…. and I love it:
A thorough warm up, an essential coffee, an interesting debate, a playful game, making a discovery, getting blocked, repetitive practice, a reworking of a mechanism, a laugh, a heartfelt connection, more and more questions, feedback, timing, searching for the truth and responding and guiding with honesty.

Q: And how will Big Up! appeal to 3 to 6 year olds?

There are lot of struggles and challenges at the moment for little people and big people, and with Big Up! we hope that there will be some time for reflection and chill, to have some fun and also make space to put some tunes on and party!

I love that for 50 minutes both adult and child can reflect, laugh and emotionally recognise what is relevant to them at that particular moment in time – it’s important that they can do that together.


Big Up! plays at the Albany on Tuesday 5 – Thursday 7 March. Book tickets here.