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UK's first all-black, all-female Shakespeare company launched

Mawa Theatre company will address how Black and Black Mixed Race Women are represented in classical texts

Gabrielle Brooks, Maisey Bawden, Danielle Kassaraté and Jade Samuels
© Gabriel Mokake, Mawa

The UK's first all-black, all-female Shakespeare Company has been formed.

Founded by actresses Maisey Bawden, Gabrielle Brooks, Danielle Kassaraté and Jade Samuel, the company will tackle ways in which representation is treated in classical texts, as well as how Shakespeare works with Black audiences.

It is supported by Arts Council England, BAFTA Award Winner Amma Asante, The Young Vic, The Arcola, Chichester Festival Theatre, The Citizens Glasgow, Queens Theatre Hornchurch, The Mercury Colchester, Royal and Derngate, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Arts Educational Schools.

The company will stream a series of short Shakespeare pieces in collaboration with Talawa Theatre as part of its first project, launching at the end of August.

The company's ambassador is Sharon D Clarke, who said today: "Mawa! The UK's first all Black, all Female Shakespeare Company! I am thrilled to be associated with Mawa Theatre Company. We have waited a long time for a company like this and I'm excited to see them produce some ground-breaking, thought provoking, innovative work. The industry desperately needs more Black led female companies and I cannot wait to see Mawa break and slay new ground."