Thabo Stuck | British Youth Music Theatre

Our People

Thabo Stuck

My name is Thabo Stuck and I was born and raised in South London. My heritage is Black South African and German, with both of my parents meeting in London after immigrating here in the 1980’s. Growing up in a squatting community full of artists, I have always had a curiosity about the world and never hid away from trying new things. I have a fondness for words and always found comfort in how the possibilities and combinations seem endless. It is for this reason as a teenager I became interested in Grime music, which represented an entire generation of young black Brits.

I have always loved reading about history. It was the one subject at school I paid any mind to and has led to me working to become a history teacher, a job which I have done for the past 8 years. I believe in the value of imaginative education and try to promote and have always encouraged creativity in lessons, allowing students to use creative and performing arts to capture their learning.

In 2020 I joined the board at The Old Vic, my local theatre in Lambeth. My work as the Lambeth Balyis Trustee included working with the community and education department, advising them on how to maximise their outreach potential and impact. Having never spent much time in or around theatres, this experience piqued my interest in the theatre world and I continue to work with The Old Vic as an education associate.

I made the decision that I wanted to write something but had very little idea of what that might be. But one evening, I sat in a pub with a friend of mine in London and we were having a heated debate about BREXIT, as many people would have been in 2018 and continue to do so. My friend made the statement that the most comparable period in our history to BREXIT was the British Civil War, where many of our ideas around sovereignty were formed. This struck a chord with me and as I was walking home, I passed parliament and Oliver Cromwell’s statue. Skepta’s Shut Down happened to shuffle on my phone and as the headphones pounded out Skepta and JME’s verses, I visualised a black MC, dressed as a puritan on a stage, rapping about the shutdown of Parliament under King Charles in 1629. This was the birth of the idea for #50Days and the start of my journey in the world of Musical Theatre.

#50Days will not JUST be a musical. I plan to utilise my teaching and community outreach skills to create the #50Days Education Programme. This will enable the show to have a life beyond live performance. The Civil War is often a misunderstood element of our history and the show can hopefully act as a catalyst for classroom-based learning, with creative outcomes. My aim is that a student, no matter what their background or ethnicity, can find the connections to this vital story and its characters and say – This is my history, too.