Theatre News

New Talawa season marks company's 35th anniversary

Highlights include first outdoor production

Talawa's Run it Back
Talawa's Run it Back

Talawa has announced its new season, which marks the leading Black British theatre company's 35th anniversary.

Highlights include the company's first outdoor production, The Tide, which will play at the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival in August.

A collaboration between choreographer Jade Hackett and writer Ryan Calais Cameron, the production "explores the narratives and experiences of migration within the United Kingdom, whilst holding a mirror up to an evolving British culture."

Talawa's revival of Run It Back will run from 2 to 18 September at Fairfield Halls. Set over a club night, the production, which is conceived and directed by Coral Messam, "immerses the audience in Black British club culture with dance, physical theatre and a live set from DJ and turntablist, Psykhomantus."

Later in the autumn Talawa will present Archie Maddocks' A Place for We directed by artistic director Michael Buffong, at the Park Theatre. Set in a funeral parlour in Brixton, the play tells the story of London's changing communities over three very different generations.

The company is also staging pay-what-you-can streamed performances of four new Black writers' work under the banner Talawa Firsts. The first readings on 8 July feature work by Manchester-based playwright and filmmaker William Nyerere Plastow and writer, performer Natasha Marshall.

On 15 July, new plays from Manchester-based writer, performance artist and producer, Keisha Thompson and writer and producer Juliana Ayeni Stevens will have their staged readings.

Buffong said, "We've learned a lot through the pandemic. We know that there are stories which can be told in many different ways, so we will experiment with livestreaming and digital capture through this season so that Black work by vital, passionate and intelligent storytellers can be experienced by everyone, everywhere and on-demand."