This fresh, funny and pertinent play explores friendship, the North/South divide, and black identity against the backdrop of the Capital’s challenging music industry.

A potent hip-hop journey through friendship and black identity in an increasingly divided nation.

Yorkshire rapper XYM faces the sudden death of his father, who always wanted a career as a musician. He decides he will make it where his dad never did. On the night of the Brexit vote, he brings together his crew, Yorkie and Kofi. He convinces them to quit their day jobs and move to London to follow their dreams.

But their differing political views are already causing tension. And when a record label offers them the chance of a lifetime, their friendship is tested to its limits.

Written by playwright, actor and hip-hop artist Jonny Wright (Talawa, Film 4), the show smashes together an urgent theatricality with rap and spoken word to tell a powerful story of contemporary Britain.

“Up north, where we always complaining.

Up north, cos we always skint.

Up north, so I’m always raining.

Up north, up north, up north…”

Date and Time

Thursday 22 March, 7.45pm


£10.50 (under 26)


'Booms with passion and energy … it’s not a voice I’ve really heard before, and certainly not one that frequents London stages. And it’s 100% true to its voice..

Nina Steiger, Associate Director Soho Theatre

'I am over 60, and a complete ‘Hip Hop virgin’ … I came out feeling totally surprised that I enjoyed the production so much! The story about identity and friendship is gritty and sentimental without being mawkish!'

Audience member

'I felt it had a universal message of staying true to who you are, so it’s not just for Hip Hop fans'

Audience member

Research & Development Stage

Production Images

Up North