Posts

Talawa unveils plans for new hub

Artist’s illustration of the redeveloped Fairfield Halls. Fairfield Halls ©Rick Mather Architects
Artist’s illustration of the redeveloped Fairfield Halls. Fairfield Halls ©Rick Mather Architects

Artist’s illustration of the redeveloped Fairfield Halls. Fairfield Halls ©Rick Mather Architects

Talawa Theatre Company is to take up residence within the redeveloped Fairfield Halls in Croydon, giving the UK’s primary Black theatre company a 200 seat studio and offices. This will be the first time since 1995 that Talawa’s headquarters will feature an on-site performance space. The new spaces, opening to the public on 16 September 2019, will operate as a central hub for Black artists, develop a community outreach programme, and allow the company to create, develop and premiere new work.

Fairfield Halls – South London’s largest Arts Centre – will reopen after a multi-million-pound redevelopment to transform it into a state-of-the-art venue in the heart of the Croydon community. Originally opened in 1962 as an arts and entertainment space, Fairfield Halls closed in July 2016 for the redevelopment.

 Besides providing a space for Talawa’s artist development programme MAKE, the new residency will create opportunities to train young Black artists in technical and creative theatre disciplines, suited to Croydon’s status as the London borough with the largest youth population, working in partnership with organisations in the borough and nationally.

In addition to premiering and developing new work, Talawa Theatre Company will use the studio as a space to research & develop new ideas, and create a programme of activities, debates and events aimed at Croydon’s diverse community.

Talawa Theatre Company is currently based in Rich Mix, in Shoreditch, having previously based their headquarters for 10 years near Old Street. From 1991-1995, Talawa based their offices at the Cochrane Theatre.

Programming plans for the studio will be announced in Autumn 2019.

Michael Buffong, Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company, said: “For Talawa, this building provides a home for Black artists, enabling them to make outstanding work which will truly diversify and shape the cultural life of the whole country.”

Neil Chandler, BH Live’s Venue Director of Fairfield Halls, said: “After several months of discussions I am delighted that we have encouraged one of the top theatre companies into Croydon. To welcome Talawa into the refurbished and relaunched Fairfield Halls, South London’s arts centre, is a fantastic accolade for the venue. Our combined commitment to aspiring young artists, the borough of Croydon and inspirational programming will no doubt make for some exciting projects in the years ahead.”

Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Talawa and incredibly proud that they have chosen Croydon as their new home. Their vision and ambition in changing the face of theatre, attracting diverse audiences and creating platforms for the work of Black artists, is internationally renowned, and we are excited by the conversations we have already had with them about the potential for them being based here. Our multi-million pound investment transforms Fairfield Halls into world-class arts centre, putting culture at the heart of our regeneration and creating a wealth of new opportunities for our communities to access the arts. Talawa recognise and share our ambition, and we very much look forward to working with them as we make this become a reality.”

Talawa Theatre Company is the most successful Black theatre company in the UK. They have established a track record of producing work which shines a spotlight on Black artists, creating theatre for diverse audiences across the country. Mounting more than fifty productions over their 30-year history, their current co-production, Superhoe by Nicole Lecky, can be seen at the Royal Court until the 16thFebruary. Other recent productions have included collaborations with the Royal Exchange; Guys & Dolls, King Lear (in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre) and All My Sons (Royal Exchange Theatre, UK tour), and new work including Girls by Theresa Ikoko (co-production with Soho Theatre, HighTide) and Half Breed by Natasha Marshall (co-production with Soho Theatre).

Talawa Theatre Company to bring rave to theatre with Run It Back

Run It Back devisers come together for the first time. Photo by Sanaa Abstrakt
Run It Back devisers come together for the first time. Photo by Sanaa Abstrakt

Run It Back devisers come together for the first time. Photo by Sanaa Abstrakt

Run It Back is a powerful, exciting, immersive new show from Talawa Theatre Company. Directed by movement director Coral Messam. Run It Back brings rave to theatre, exploring how Black British music liberates, connects and divides while fighting to stay alive in the face of disappearing spaces and changing legislation. Run It Back features dance, physical theatre and a live DJ set from award-winning DJ Conrad Kira to ignite the action.

This production is the latest in a string of sell-out shows from TYPT, Talawa Theatre Company’s annual collaboration with emerging Black theatre makers, produced by Gail Babb.

Coral Messam says: “Human connection through music is one of the most powerful and euphoric forces we know, it’s incredibly empowering. Run It Back is our challenge to the negative stereotypes attached to modern Black British sounds and culture. Add some treble plus a big dose of bass, top it off with a DJ and MC and let the young people speak, vent and wild out! We’re taking our places and bringing them back to life and we’re going to take theatre by storm.”

Conrad Kira says: Run It Back is close to my heart, it’s about our music and our culture and how important it is to celebrate it, but also the things that can threaten it like gentrification, police and general prejudice. Run It Back’s not your regular theatre experience, it’s going to be loud and immersive like you’ve just walked into a house party. I love working with Talawa. They’re the best and I feel at home here. What they do for emerging artists of colour is unrivalled.”

Gail Babb says: “Artist development is at the heart of what we do at Talawa and TYPT is a big part of that. It is a collaborative process where every member of the TYPT company is invited to add their voice and artistry. To contribute fully with no apologies or expectations to moderate themselves.  TYPT productions are the result of this full expression and they hit hard. Run It Back is going to be like the best party ever, everything that theatre can be.”

The full cast and creative team includes:

Wunmi Ibironke – Performer/Deviser

Ayomide Adegun – Performer/Deviser

Johnson Adebayo – Performer/Deviser

Jordan Duvigneau – Performer/Deviser

Simeon Blake-Hall – Performer/Deviser

Tife Kusoro – Performer/Deviser

Victoria Buky Esan – Performer/Deviser

Ewaoluwa Esther Dina – Performer/Deviser

Francesca Amewudah-Rivers – Performer/Deviser

Esmonde Edgar Cole – Performer/Deviser

Ashlee Elizabeth Lolo Roberts – Writer/Deviser

Dzifa Gazo – Writer/Deviser

Amada Piedra – Assistant Designer

Sasha Bond – Assistant Stage Manager

Jimi Ogun – Assistant Stage Manager

As a Movement Director, Coral Messam has worked with Rufus Norris, Michael Buffong, Kwame Kwei-Amah and Dominic Cooke on productions including: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Amen Corner (National Theatre), assistant on Death and the King’s Horseman (National Theatre) and God’s Property (Talawa Theatre Company, Soho Theatre and The Albany). As a performer, she has worked with DV8 Physical Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, National Theatre and Game of Thrones. She has also danced with Kylie Minogue on her global tour.

 

Conrad Kira is an award winning musical artist from South London. His sound is the city, hard hitting industrial over a lush soundscape. Conrad is an experienced DJ/performer, having performed with many festivals and international gigs. He has also composed soundtracks for short films Bloke Fears and The Works (BBC), worked with Talawa Theatre Company and Cardboard Citizens and worked on the album ZER0FXXX with artist Up In The Ear.

Recent Clore Fellow, Gail Babb is a theatre practitioner, producer and lecturer. She has run Talawa Theatre Company’s Participation department for over 10 years, bringing work with emerging theatre-makers to the centre of the company.  An experienced deviser, she has worked with professional artists, young people and mental health service-users to create shows for a range of settings including theatres, a tour to South Africa’s National Arts Festival and site-specific pieces in museums and a derelict school.

www.talawa.com

Box office: 020 3095 9747


LISTINGS

Run It Back

Venue: Hackney Showroom, Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT

Dates: Wednesday 29th – Friday 31st Aug 2018
Press night: Wednesday 29th Aug, 7.30pm
Running time: 75 minutes
Performances: Matinee (Friday 31st Aug) 3pm, Evenings 7.30pm

Prices: £8.50/£5 (concessions)
Booking: www.talawa.com

Talawa Theatre Company presents Bite Your Tongue at Hackney Showroom from 31st August -2nd September 2017

Bite Your Tongue by Talawa Theatre Company
Bite Your Tongue by Talawa Theatre Company

Bite Your Tongue by Talawa Theatre Company

Talawa Theatre Company has announced details for Bite Your Tongue: a new devised theatre production from London’s emerging Black talent. Coming to Hackney Showroom from 31 August – 2 SeptemberBite Your Tongue is a response from the city’s young theatre makers to issues with language and communication in a multi-cultural city. As new terms and labels enter our vocabularies while others become obsolete, , Bite Your Tongue explores whether we should be reaching towards one common language, or fighting to express ourselves in our own ways.

Directed by Miranda Cromwell (Artistic Director of Twisted Theatre), the company will also receive specialist mentoring from voice and dialect coach Hazel Holder (Dreamgirls, Savoy Theatre; Angels in America & Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, National Theatre), musical director Mike Henry (Barber Shop Chronicles, FELA!, Amen Corner National Theatre) and movement director Yami Löfvenberg (Dance Consultant, London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony).

The full cast and creative team includes:

Akuc Bol – Performer/Deviser

Aminita Francis – Performer/Deviser

Chris Udoh – Performer/Deviser

Dorcas Stevens – Performer/Deviser

Esme Allman – Performer/Deviser

Isabel Adomakoh Young – Performer/Deviser

Monica Siyanga  – Performer/Deviser

Nelson Ekaragha – Performer/Deviser

Tre Gordon – Performer/Deviser

Yazmin Belo – Performer/Deviser

Chisara Agor – Writer/Deviser

Kelly Roberts – Writer/Deviser

Roberta Livingston – Writer/Deviser

Miranda Cromwell – Director

Rachel Clarke – Assistant Director

Yami Löfvenberg – Movement Director

Jasmine Breinburg – Assistant Movement

Hazel Holder – Voice and Dialect Coach

Mike Henry – Musical Director

Sadeysa Greenway-Bailey – Designer

Samantha Nurse – Production Manager

Sylvia Darkwa-Ohemeng – Stage Manager on book

Pablo Fernandez Baz – Lighting Designer

Alice Simonato – Assistant Designer

Patricia Nimo – ASM/Design

James Johnson – ASM

Gail Babb – Producer

Bite Your Tongue appears as part of Talawa Theatre Company’s TYPT initiative.

Website

Box office: 020 3095 9747

LISTINGS

Production

Venue: Hackney Showroom, Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT

Dates: 31st August – 2nd September 2017

Press night: 31st August

Performances: 7.30pm spoken word performances, 8pm curtain up

Prices: £8 (£5 concessions)
Booking: www.talawa.com

, ,

Award winning play Girls coming to Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Girls - A Talawa Theatre Company, HighTide and Soho Theatre production. Photo by THE OTHER RICHARD

Girls – A Talawa Theatre Company, HighTide and Soho Theatre production. Photo by THE OTHER RICHARD

Girls, the funny and fiercely passionate play by award-winning playwright Theresa Ikoko will make its Edinburgh Festival premiere in 2017. Telling the tale of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, Girls examines the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news.

“Why is everyone so bloody obsessed with hashtags?

Can you use it to shoot your way out of here?”

Three everyday girls, three best friends forever and three big issues: love, sex, religion. But when they’re kidnapped from home, their world is turned upside down. Hope and despair blur, jokes and fights become one, and the only hashtag that now matters is survival. Girls is a play about enduring friendship, the power of imagination and how the West often turns a blind eye to the stories behind headlines.

Theresa Ikoko wrote Girls when she became curious about the girls in the headlines, as well as those that are left unnoticed. With a background in criminology, Theresa works with gangs and serious youth violence offenders in the community, plus young women affected by gang and serious youth violence.

Theresa is a Talawa Writers’ Programme Playwright and continues to work closely with both HighTide and Soho Theatre.

Directed by Elayce Ismail (The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Gate Theatre; Iphigenia Quartet: Chorus, Gate Theatre; Nanjing, The Yard), Girls won critical acclaim in its opening performances at London’s Soho Theatre, the Birmingham Rep and HighTide Festival in 2016. Girls follows Theresa’s debut play Normal, which was part of Talawa Firsts in 2014 and staged at HighTide Festival in 2015.

Girls was the joint winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), and was shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award (2015).

www.talawa.com  

@TalawaTheatreCo / @_HighTide_ / @sohotheatre / @TheresaIkoko

LISTINGS

Girls

Venue: Pleasance 2, Pleasance Courtyard

Dates: Tuesday 22 – Sunday 27 August, 12pm

Age Recommendation: 14+

Running Time: 90 mins without interval

Prices: £12 / £10.50 weekend | £11/£9.50 weekday
Box office: www.pleasance.co.uk | 020 7609 1800

Soho Theatre, HighTide and Talawa Theatre Company present Theresa Ikoko’s award-winning new play Girls

Girls, the funny and fiercely passionate new play by award-winning playwright Theresa Ikoko will premiere at HighTide Festival 2016 in September before its London premiere at Soho Theatre on 27 September. The production will also run at Birmingham Rep Theatre in between those dates. Girls was the winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), and was shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award (2015). 

Cast of Girls

Cast of Girls. Click on the image to book your tickets

Three everyday girls, three best friends forever and three big issues: love, sex, religion. But when they’re kidnapped from home, their world is turned upside down. Hope and despair blur, jokes and fights become one, and the only hashtag that now matters is survival. Girls is a new play about enduring friendship, the power of imagination and the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news.

Theresa Ikoko wrote Girls to give a voice to girls abducted in Nigeria and around the world in conflict zones. Following Boko Haram’s recent violent uprising, she became frustrated with selective media coverage on attacks that are quickly forgotten, and unreported and overlooked violence ignored by the West. This is a play about the girls in the headlines as well as those left unnoticed. With a background in criminology, she wrote the play alongside her full time job reducing involvement in youth crime and violence as part of a London Borough Gangs Team. She is a Talawa Writers’ Programme Playwright and continues to work closely with Soho Theatre as part of 2016’s Soho Six.

Directed by Elayce Ismail (The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Gate Theatre; Iphigenia Quartet: Chorus, Gate Theatre; Nanjing, The Yard), Girls follows Theresa’s debut play Normal which was staged at HighTide Festival in 2015.

Performances of the production at Soho Theatre are kindly supported by The London Community Foundation and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts

Important dates:
HighTide Festival: 8 –18 SeptemberPress Day: Saturday 10 Sept
Birmingham Rep: 20 – 24 September
Soho Theatre: 27 Sep – Sat 29 OctPress Night: Thursday 29 September

Contact details for more information:
HighTide Festival:
Maisie Lawrence / [email protected] / 020 7831 7657
Soho Theatre:
Laura Steele / [email protected] / 020 7478 0128
Talawa Theatre Company:
Nick Pearce / [email protected]  / 0203 372 0966

@TheresaIkoko / @sohotheatre /@_HighTide_ /  @TalawaTheatreCo

CLICK HERE FOR LISTINGS