March 3, 2022
Cast announced for premiere of Hoxton Hall’s original live soap drama Hoxton Street
Hoxton Hall has announced the cast for their innovative soap Hoxton Street, which will feature at the heart of the vibrant new season #CLASS. The season will encourage and challenge audiences to be part of the conversation about what class means in 21st century London.
Hoxton Street is a soap-style play inspired by dynamic local Hoxton communities and their stories. Working with a concept from Karena Johnson, talented working-class writing duo Oladipo Agboluaje and Lil Warren capture the atmosphere and vibrancy of Hoxton through listening to the neighbourhood’s stories and concerns. Hoxton Street’s live performances will be accompanied by a soundwalk , introducing audiences to the characters in the real-life locations in Hoxton that inspired them. Breaking the mould of traditional theatre, Hoxton Street will be presented as a series of half-hour acts, creating a full-length play over five weeks in collaboration with the audiences. Inspired by beloved British TV soap operas, each act ends with a double cliff-hanger and the audience votes to decide what happens in the next act of the play. The final two weeks of the run will conclude with the omnibus complete play.
The team have ensured the cast includes actors who had experience working on critically acclaimed British Soaps as well as theatre. The full cast will include Helen Pearson (EastEnders, BBC; Emmerdale, ITV; Hollyoaks, Channel 4) as Josie Maynard, Hannah Traylen (Boiling Point, Ascendant Films; Ridley Road, BBC; Call the Midwife, BBC) as Ella Maynard, Nathan Welsh (Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; Macbeth, Chichester Festival Theatre; Trust Me, BBC) as Tony Maynard.
EastEnders star Linda Marlowe (Casualty, BBC;Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, StudioCanal) takes on the role of Linda Maynard, Cosh Omar (No Return, ITV; The Bill, ITV) will play Mr Bhatur, with Merch Husey (The Sandman, Netflix/Warner Brothers; Jude, Hampstead Theatre;The Durrells, ITV) as Okhan Bhatur, Tracy Anne Green (The Act, 130 Elektra Films; Call the Midwife, BBC; King Lear, RSC ) will play Shanita Wilson and Kojo Attah (Banged up Abroad, October Studios; Midsomer Murders, ITV; Casino Royale, Secret Cinema) as Denton Wilson. Carol Moses (Holby City, BBC; The Bill, BBC; Reggie Perrin, BBC) will play the role of Monica Bello with Alan Turkington (My Night with Reg, Turbine Theatre; Mary Queen of Scots, Focus Features/Perfect World Pictures/Working Titles Films; Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre) as Zachary Spencer.
The cast is completed with performers from the community who will be making their professional stage debuts. Poppy Kay will make her debut as the Ann- Marie receptionist as well as young performers Victoria Rocha and Malachi Ayantuga who will take on the role of Ross and Lilliana Dixon and Gia-Marie Donaldson who will take on the role of Millie.
Oladipo Agboluaje, writer of Hoxton Street, comments, It’s been exciting co-writing Hoxton Street with Lil Warren. We spent a lot of time in Hoxton trying to capture the essence of the place and we hope it’s reflected in the writing. Writing a soap opera for the stage is a unique venture. We looked at several soaps to get a sense of the structure and the conventions. Then we had to think of how this would translate as a stage piece. We worked closely with the director, Karena Johnson to bring all the elements together. I’m eager to see what audiences make of it, particularly the people of Hoxton.
Lil Warren, writer of Hoxton Street, comments, I love talking to people so some of my best days working on Hoxton Street was having a cuppa (or three, let’s be honest) and chatting stories old and stories new from people who live and work in Hoxton. I can’t explain how relaxing it has been to be part of a working-class team alongside Dipo and Karena. We all just get each other. We know our backs are covered. We KNOW. Hoxton Hall is one of my favourite heritage buildings in London. You can FEEL the energy of performances gone by. I am proud that we are making a unique show for a unique stage.
Hoxton Street’s soundwalk is a companion audio promenade work that introduces the audience to the real and imagined world of Hoxton. Audiences will be able to download a free app which will guide them to various locations in the area to meet the characters from the play in the in real-life places that inspired them. This bonus artwork aims to build a familiarity with the characters in advance of the play as the audience get to eaves drop on the characters intimate moments and thoughts. The tour includes the contrasts of this special part of London that has kept its sense of community.
#CLASS will encourage essential conversations aiming to share, entertain, and reconnect our communities after two years of being apart. The season will embody and reflect the bold values of Hoxton Hall, platforming and exploring stories that are rarely heard. The season is inspired by Hoxton Hall’s working-class roots as a music hall and will include a range of work across debates, gigs, comedy, cabaret, and an innovative live soap drama – more details to be announced soon.
Notes to Editors
Episode 1: Thursday 7th – Saturday 9th April
Episode 2: Thursday 21st – Saturday 23rd April
Episode 3: Wednesday 4th – Saturday 7th May
Omnibus: Wednesday 18th – Saturday 21st May and Wednesday 25th – Saturday 28th May
Hoxton Street Press Night
Thursday 7th April (Act 1)
Wednesday 18th May (Act 1 – 4 Omnibus)
Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6SH
To book tickets to Hoxton Street please visit https://www.hoxtonhall.co.uk/event/class-season/ or contact the Box Office on 020 7684 0060.
Hoxton Hall is a Grade II* listed Victorian Music Hall nestling in the heart of East London and home to contemporary variety. The magnificent theatre, music and events venue also offers rehearsal and learning spaces as well as recording studios for young people in Hackney. Since its establishment in 1863, Hoxton Hall has pioneered creative engagement and community partnerships, remaining a key provider of a diverse programme of performances and youth activities in the East End, whilst hosting guests of the calibre of Griff, Judi Love and Paul Weller
Karena Johnson has been Artistic Director and CEO of Hoxton Hall since 2015 when she relaunched the Victorian music hall with a new vision after capital redevelopment. At Hoxton Hall she has developed innovative programmes including FEMALE PARTS a season women’s performance working with 100 professional artists. Her twenty-five years’ experience as an award-winning director and producer includes being Artistic Director of The Broadway in Barking; Director of Kushite Theatre Company ; acting Artistic Director at Contact Theatre, Manchester and head of programming at Oval House Theatre. Extensive directing credits include plays at Hackney Empire; Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith; Tricycle Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Theatre Royal, Stratford East.
All enquiries, high res images and further information:
Olivia O’Neill, Chloé Nelkin Consulting
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 020 3627 2960