Britain's longest running black theatre company, Talawa, has issued a Judicial Review in the High Court challenging Arts Council England’s decisions to withdraw funding from its project to build the UK’s first home for black-led theatre and to cease funding Talawa’s productions and community projects during the next 18 months (See News, 14 Jul 2005). The decision to pursue a Judicial Review was taken by the Talawa Board based on advice from lawyers and followed wide-ranging support from black theatregoers and practitioners. But Talawa has nevertheless urged ACE to address its concerns outside the courtroom, either through the Council’s complaints procedure or at an independently mediated meeting. A Talawa spokesperson told Whatsonstage.com: “It is somewhat ironic that in the very month London celebrates black history, the future of one of the UK’s leading black-led arts organisations hangs in the balance.” A spokesperson for Arts Council England said: “We acknowledge receipt of correspondence from solicitors acting on behalf of Talawa Theatre Company, to which we will respond in accordance with the appropriate legal framework. It would be both inappropriate and premature to comment further at this time. However, we remain confident that due process has been followed in our decisions in regard to Talawa and equally confident that we can defend successfully any judicial review claim against us. Our previous statements on Talawa still stand.”
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