Directing Spoken Word


For the last decade, Leo has directed and helped nurture exciting new theatrical work in spoken word, poetry and hip hop theatre.

If Walls Could Speak 
Mohammed Ali / Aerosol Arabic
An international story about place, home and community by world renowned graffiti artist Mohammed Ali (Aerosol Arabic). In winter 2012/2013 Leo teamed up with Mohammed Ali and an exciting creative team to tell the story of Mohammed’s home; Sparkbrook, Birmingham. What emerged was a political, personal and regional  history woven together using live-graffiti, vocal-looping, rhyme and spoken word. If Walls Could Speak was performed in March 2013 at Midlands Arts Centre.  

Old Me

Polarbear is renowned as one of Britains most exciting performance poets. Leo and Polarbear have collaborated on several projects This show Draws on his experience of leaving life as a Brummie builder and heading to London to become an artist and, eventually, father. Old Me was first performed at The Roundhouse in November 2011.

Speaker’s Corner
Don Letts
MCs, lyricists and spoken word artists take a hard look at the concept of slavery in modern, multicultural Britain. From the influence of hip-hop’s bling culture to the experiences of political asylum seekers, each performer asks; ‘What is the meaning of freedom?’

The show was produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with the Albany, Deptford, CMN and Contact Theatre, Manchester and toured the UK in 2007/8, with support from Decibel and Arts Council England.

I Hear Voices
A bold excursion into a place where performance, poetry, spoken word and street-culture fuse to create something entirely new. Performed by Samira Arhin-Acquaah, Ben Mellor and Martin Stanage with Musical Direction by Jason Sing and Sound Design by Dan Steel. The show was developed at the Contact Theatre, Manchester and toured the UK in 2008.
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Decypher Collective

A Grime musical, bringing together spoken word, physicality and comedy with a tailor-made score of beats, rhyme, rhythm and melody. More information about this show can be found on the Artist Development page.

"A beautifully produced theatrical experience of the stories that are Sparkbrook, fused together by the art of music, visuals and word... a truly original production directed by theatre maker Leo Kay." (If Walls Could Speak)

[ Nadia Rehman ]
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