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Michael Buffong announces inaugural season with Talawa

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Talawa's new artistic director Michael Buffong has announced his inaugural season at the helm of Britain's leading Black-led theatre company.

His tenure begins with a new studio season titled Talawa Firsts. Curated by Buffong and running from 11 to 29 June at Talawa's home near Old Street, its aim is to develop and showcase the best Black British writing and emerging creatives.

Productions featured include Dad (Die) by Charlene James, Stronger by Alexander Williams, Rise by Cynthia Bernard, Corae by Stef O'Driscoll, Keepsake by Fraser Ayres and Echoes by N Richard Nash.

From 30 July to 25 August Talawa Young People’s Theatre returns, an annual summer school for budding young theatremakers (performers, writers, designers, stage managers) to develop skills and create a brand new piece of theatre for performance in a professional London venue. Past TYPT shows have been presented at Sadler's Wells, the National Maritime Museum, Drill Hall and the Grahamstown Festival in South Africa.

And, looking further ahead, in February 2013 Talawa will collaborate with Soho Theatre on a new play titled God's Property, written by Arinze Kene (Estate Walls) and directed by Buffong. Set in 1982 when Britain is gripped by economic downturn, riots and high unemployment, it centres on a mixed race family living in Deptford.

Launching the season, Michael Buffong said: "My vision is for Talawa Theatre Company to become synonymous with Black work of outstanding excellence. As well as producing work with high profile established practitioners and delivering productions that have a major impact on the British theatrical landscape, Talawa also seeks to develop the talents of new Black actors, writers and directors and become the go-­to company for audiences, practitioners and industry insiders alike."

- Julianna Fazio  


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