The cast is announced for Brassic FM, a timely and revealing look at class and culture seen through the lens of a pirate radio station. Co-created by Zia Ahmed and Stef O’Driscoll, the show is a potent new piece of gig-theatre – from cars, kitchens and bedrooms across the city comes a theatrical mixtape, a love letter to working class culture and music.
While Amir chronicles the precarious nature of living as an undocumented worker in London, Amina searches for help finding out what life was like for her family when they first moved to the UK from Pakistan. But it soon becomes clear it’s impossible to talk about working class culture without looking at how it’s being policed.
Brassic FM is a collection of snapshots and shout-outs for people that live on the edges and aren’t usually under the spotlight.
The full cast includes Zakiyyah Deen, Zainab Hasan and Jonny Britcher.
Zia Ahmed and Stef O’Driscoll commented on their collaboration “We knew we wanted to work together and we wanted to talk about class. We met in a caff and talked about things we were thinking about: about work and jobs and class. We were talking about how the pandemic was exposing the precarity of freelancers in the arts. We were talking about how class seems to be ignored or not referenced at all in so many South Asian stories on stage. We talked about music and mixtapes, and what that might look like in theatre. We were excited about the thought of making that show.”
Zia Ahmed (he/him) is a poet and writer hailing from North-West London. He is part of the London Laureates, having been shortlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate 2015/16. He is a former Roundhouse Slam Champion and a Writer in Residence at Paines Plough as part of the Channel 4’s Playwright Scheme 2017. In 2018 he was chosen to be a part of the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers Group. In 2019, Zia’s stage debut I Wanna Be Yours premiered at the Bush Theatre. He is a recipient of the Royal Court Theatre Jerwood New Playwrights Programme 2021.
Stef O’Driscoll (she/they) is a critically acclaimed and award-winning theatre director. Accolades include With A Little Bit of Luck by Sabrina Mahfouz being the first radio play to be broadcast on BBC 1Xtra, winning Best Radio production at the BBC Radio and Music Awards 2019.
Stef was previously the Interim Artistic Director of the Gate, the Artistic Director of nabakov, Associate Director at Paines Plough, Associate Director at the Lyric Hammersmith and Resident Artist at the Tobacco Factory. When she is not making theatre, Stef is in a drum and bass/jungle rave. She then spends the rest of her time finding ways she can get the people she raves with to come to the theatre.
Directing credits include The Flood (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch), How To Save The Planet When You’re A Young Carer and Broke (Boundless Theatre), Love Reign (Young Vic), Herstory (Arch 468/Brighton Festival/Lighthouse), A History of Water in the Middle East (Royal Court Theatre), Inside This Box (Clean Break), Lit (Nottingham Playhouse/Hightide), Box Clever (The Bunker), and Yard Gal (Ovalhouse – winner of Fringe Report Awards for Best Fringe Production 2009). For Paines Plough: On The Other Hand We’re Happy, Daughterhood, Dexter and Winter’s Detective Agency (Paines Plough/Theatr Clwyd 2019 Roundabout Season); Island Town, Sticks and Stones, How To Spot An Alien (Paines Plough/Theatr Clwyd 2018 Roundabout Season); as well as With A Little Bit Of Luck and Hopelessly Devoted. For the Lyric Hammersmith, as Co Director: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Jonny Britcher has extensive performance experience from his time in a music group which saw him perform on stage in venues across the country. Having then trained as an actor at Pinewood studios, Jonny developed a passion for acting and has since gone on to appear in a number of TV adverts (O2, ASDA), student films, a feature film (PACKAGE) and has also been cast as the lead in a number of shorts films (REVENGE IS SWEET, LOYALTY).
Jonny has also executive produced and been 2nd AD for the short film ABSENT in which he also plays the lead character.
Zakiyyah Deen is an actor and writer born and bred in London with Afro-Caribbean roots.
She worked with academy award winning director Steve Mcqueen on his anthology series SMALL AXE and also played a series regular role in BBC Three Series ENTERPRICE created by Kayode Ewumi. Zakiyyah will soon be seen in the lead role in the Netflix-funded short –THE JOURNEY OF SELF – a short that unpacks the “seasons of therapy”.
On the writing side, Zakiyyah was Theatre Deli’s Classic Residency Artist in 2022 and Tara Theatre’s Constellations Artist in 2023. She is currently early stages of development with her debut full length play – WHY A BLACK WOMAN WILL NEVER BE PRIME MINISTER – which she will also star in. She has just been awarded a place in the inaugural Squint Playwriting Award scheme. On the television writing front, Zakiyyah is developing a project with Simon Mayhew Archer (THIS COUNTRY) at Camden Productions.