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 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.


Box office: 020 3095 9747


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