Tuesday, 12 May 2015

North London Actors: Actors Required

North London Actors (NLA) require two Black actors for a semi staged rehearsed reading of a new play by an ex BBC investigative journalist called 'The Concrete Jungle.' 

The play looks at what happens when an investigative journalist, who is very good at gaining the confidence of the people she interviews, puts an idea to her superior at the corporation. She will go out into the field and present the world of drugs, with the dealer and users in a direct, truthful and unvarnished manner. 

Will she be misled and betrayed by her superiors and will she in turn unknowingly and unwittingly betray the subjects of her investigation?

  • NLA require a Black actor in his 20's to play the part of Ray, the drug dealer;
  • NLA also require a Black actress to play the part of Samantha, mid thirties to mid forties, a friend of the journalist. 

Both speak with a Northern accent. The reading will take place on Monday June 22nd at Regents University (8-10 minute walk from Baker street tube) with a rehearsal on Sunday 21st. 

Please contact Monty Holender by email

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Talawa Firsts: 2015

Curated by Talawa Theatre Company's Literary Associate Jane Fallowfield, Talawa Firsts is a season of new work showcasing the best in emerging Black theatre artists.

  • Throughout June, Talawa's studio becomes a hub of activity as upcoming directors lead development workshops on new plays and theatre-makers refine their work. 
  • Our studio will be transformed into a performance space as we test out the work of three new writers and three new theatre-makers in front of a lively audience of theatre goers and industry professionals
  • We will also run three workshop sessions offering the chance to build crucial skills in writing for stage and screen, along with practical advice in how to get a new project off the ground.

Talawa Firsts kick starts the careers of exciting writers, directors and theatre-makers. We create a community of artists who - through Talawa - can meet each other, spark off ideas, build a network, and together become the next generation to influence the future of British theatre.

Talawa Firsts is an un-missable season of firsts that will showcase new talent, build skills and keep conversations flowing as artists and audiences mingle in our Studio bar.

Talawa Firsts: 2015 - Programme

Wednesday 10 June: Struggle Firdos Ali
Thursday 11 June: How to write a play: Jane Fallowfield and Lucy Morrison/Chris Campbell
Friday 12 June: Amsterdam Chanje Kunda

Wednesday 17 June: Even To Live Safaa Benson-Effiom
Thursday 18 June: Telling a story on TV: The Ten Questions BBC Rachelle Constant and Anne Edyvean
Friday 19 June: Studio Firsts: a mixed bill

Wednesday 24 June: Skipping Rope David Judge
Thursday 25 June: Getting your project off the ground: Fundraising, Producing and Touring: Jonathan Kennedy and Richard Kingdom
Friday 26 June: Nomads Far From the Norm


Talawa Firsts: 2015 - Participant Profiles


Firdos Ali studied Chemical Engineering at UCL before pursuing a career in web programming and online marketing.  She participated in the Unheard Voices programme at the Royal Court and co-wrote the Ship's Name(Royal Court).  Struggle is Firdos’s first full-length play.

STRUGGLE Synopsis:
Suuban makes a YouTube video explaining how she is doubly discriminated against: she is black and she is Muslim. When the video goes viral she becomes the voice of her community. But her new found fame has unwelcome consequences. MI5 pressure her relentlessly for help preventing teenage girls joining Isis. And some of her community turn against her, digging up secrets from her family's radical past in Somalia. 

Safaa Benson-Effiom is a playwright, born and raised in London.   After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts, she went on to study at RADA, gaining her masters in Text and Performance. Since then, she has written a number of plays focussing on the female experience. Safaa aims not only to explore the varied and complex lives of women but also to gain an understanding from all perspectives, no matter how unpopular or unconventional. 
EVEN TO LIVE Synopsis :
“They can come with all their flaws and imperfections and their inadequacies…and that’s okay, but we HAVE to change otherwise we won't survive here. That’s not fair.”

At the peak of her military career, Ari decides to pack it all in and return to civilian life. Is she just fed up with the hypocrisy or is there something else that drives her to bring Jess round to her (and the Infantry’s) way of thinking: that this is no place for a woman?

David Judge is a professional actor from Manchester and is over the moon to be developing his first play, Skipping Rope, with Talawa.  After performing his poetry at various events in Manchester over the last couple of years, David was encouraged to transform his poems into plays.   With the support of Box of Tricks theatre company (BOTTC) David completed his first draft of Skipping Rope earlier this year and is hoping Talawa and its audience enjoy this stage of Skipping Rope’s journey.

‘Skipping Rope’ tells the story of a mother and daughter struggling to love each other.  Only by sifting through the shit will they finally feel like they belong.  Like a skipping rope, the writing beats out a rhythm that articulates the characters’ longing to connect/to come together. If the rhythm is broken, will the skipping rope become the family’s noose?   

Theatre Makers

‘Amsterdam’ by Chanje Kunda – June 12th
Chanje Kunda is a poet, playwright and performance artist based in Manchester. She Performs nationally and internationally and has performed alongside some of the most influential modern poets including Benjamin Zephaniah and Linton Kwesi Johnson. Some of her prominent performances include features at The Royal Albert Hall London, Calabash Literature Festival Jamaica, Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, and the Latitude Festival. In 2012 she gained a year long artist residency in the Netherlands and she performed in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Groningen. As a playwright, Chanje has had 2 full length plays produced.  Her Latest play entitled Amsterdam has been touring nationally.

Review Extracts:

What's On Stage **** review: ... Amsterdam is highly imaginative … so lively and moving that there can be no barriers to audiences having a very good time indeed.

Mancunion review:  Chanje exceeds all expectations as a one woman performer...

Afridiziak **** review:  An inspirational experienceChanje Kunda will become one of your closest friends whilst opening you up to step out of your own comfort zone ...

What happens when you abandon your responsibilities to chase your dreams? Life is about taking risks. This is a big one. Seduced by the attractions of Amsterdam and a charming Surinamese man she met on holiday, Chanje liberates herself of all the possessions that define her, in favour of a voyage into the unknown. What will be her fate? AMSTERDAM is an ambitious project fusing theatre, spoken word and music into the high powered, super-modern 21st century play of love and lust.
I am not the object of desire – I am desire …

A mixed bill from our Studio Firsts Artists – June 19th

See it here first!  We are presenting extracts of brand new work, developed during research and development weeks at Talawa’s Studio space in May.  We put a call out to BAME theatre-makers with an idea for a new piece of theatre.  Three were selected to develop their ideas with us and we will be giving you a glimpse of what they have been up to.  The three selected artists are: Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, Amahra Spence, and Suriya Roberts-Grey.

‘Nomads’ by Far From the Norm -  June 26th
Far from the Norm was established in May 2009 and is a collective of individuals renowned for challenging and inspiring audiences.  Far from the Norm dancers all bring distinctive features to the company alongside their approaches to given choreographic and conceptual ideas.  Follow us into our world, where we are governed solely by creativity.  A place where limitations don’t exist; nbecause freedom in movement is what we crave.

Botis Seva
Botis Seva is a freelance dance artist as well as artistic director and choreographer of Far From The Norm.  His work is usually proclaimed to have a strong spiritual foundation being acknowledged within the hip hop theatre world but also incorporating a contemporary sensibility.  As artistic director, Botis Seva always endeavours to take his audiences somewhere else using sociological subject matter.  Continually collaborating with different artistic mediums and dance forms to ingrain his experimental, hip-hop theatre style. 

NOMADS Synopsis:
Far From the Norm presents a night of ongoing pieces and scratch works, expect rude awakenings and uncensored thought processes choreographed by Botis Seva. 

Delve into an unexplored existence where we dissect, reason, and endeavour to walk amongst our unknown creations.  We ask you to question the world you are rejected in and enter a shaded territory as we take you on a hypnotic  journey of unlocking the human conventions. 

Workshop Leaders

How to write a play – June 11th
Ever thought about writing a play?  Come along to this practical session led by Jane Fallowfield (Literary Associate, Talawa Theatre Company) and Michael Buffong (Artistic Director, Talawa Theatre Company).  Writing exercises and games will help draw out ideas from your head and onto the page.  Aimed at new writers no experience necessary.

Jane Fallowfield
Jane is the Literary Associate at Talawa Theatre company. She has directed new plays including 'Bird' by Laura Lomas (Derby Theatre, Hackney Downs Studios and on tour), 'Fingertips by Suhayla El Bushra ( Clean Break), 'Cosmic' and 'Spacewang' by Tom Wells (Hull Truck), 'The Only Way is Chelsea's' by Frazer Flintham (York Theatre Royal and Soho Theatre) and 'Lagan' by Stacey Gregg (Ovalhouse). Jane was Senior Reader at Paines Plough and Director on Attachment at Clean Break. She has also been a script reader for the BBC, Royal Court, National Theatre, and Royal Exchange.

Michael Buffong

Michael is the Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company, Britain’s primary Black-led theatre company.
Theatre credits include:
All My Sons (Royal Exchange Manchester/Talawa Theatre Company), God’s Property (Talawa Theatre Company/ Soho Theatre/ The Albany), The Serpent’s Tooth (Talawa Theatre Company and Almeida Theatre), Moon on a Rainbow Shawl ( Royal National Theatre), the multi-award winning A Raisin in the Sun (Royal Exchange Manchester), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Leicester Curve), Crawling in the Dark (Almeida Theatre), Private Lives (Royal Exchange Manchester), To Kill a Mockingbird (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep), All the Ordinary Angels (Manchester Royal Exchange), Little Sweet Thing, (Hampstead Theatre), Six Degrees of Separation and On My Birthday (Manchester Royal Exchange), Raising the Roof (Palace Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue), Long Time No See (Talawa Theatre Company), Souls (Theatre Centre), The Prayer (Young Vic Studio), Stories From Mean Street (New End Theatre Hampstead), Unfinished Business (Talawa Theatre Company), Airport 2000 (Leicester Haymarket), Brother to Brother (Lyric Hammersmith), Scrape of the Black (Theatre Royal Stratford East), In Pieces (Coventry Belgrade).
Film and television credits include: Holby City(BBC), EastEnders(BBC), Admin(BBC3), Placebo(BBC), Calais Rules (BBC), Doctors(BBC), Casualty (BBC) and Comedy Shuffle (BBC), Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures), Feeling It (Eye2Eye), Blazed (Channel 4), he has also written and directed the award winning short film Simple! (Acapulco Film Festival).

Telling a story on TV: The Ten Questions-June 18th

Anne Edyvean (Head of BBC Writersroom) and Rachelle Constant (Development Editor, New Talent) will lead a workshop on the key ingredients of storytelling.  Have you got a story that you think would work perfectly on TV?  Find out how to structure and develop your idea, and make your script as strong as it can be.  Suitable for brand new and emerging writers, no experience necessary.

Rachelle Constant began her career at ITV as a Script Editor working across the Agatha Christie's series MISS MARPLE and POIROT as well as the flagship detective series LEWIS starring Kevin Whately. Rachelle currently works at the BBC, working as Development Editor for New Talent. Rachelle continues to work for New Talent, sourcing and feeding new writers into the BBC's continuing drama shows (EastEnders, Holby City, Casualty and Doctors).

Anne Edyvean started as an actor and then director in Community theatre, then joined the BBC as a Radio Drama producer/Director. As a Producer she has moved between the worlds of Radio and Television Drama, championing new talent wherever possible. She has recently become Head of BBC Writersroom – the department that looks for new writers, develops their work and nurtures them within the BBC.

Getting your project off the ground: Fundraising, Producing and Touring-June 25th

Richard Kingdom (Greenhouse Project Manager, Farnham Maltings), Jonathan Kennedy (Executive Director, Tara Arts and lead producer, Black Theatre Live), and an as yet to be announced guest will share their experience of supporting work by emerging artists.  Following this, they will open up the session to participants who will have the opportunity to get expert advice on their projects.  Aimed at producers and theatre-makers with an idea in development, whether that be an idea at the earliest stage of development or a play that has been produced and needs support in giving it a future life.

Jonathan Kennedy : Jonathan is a highly experienced theatre producer and venue programmer.
Jonathan joined Tara Arts in 2007. For Tara Arts: co-produced The Black Album with the National Theatre; established Tara Theatre in south London; transferred The Tempest to the West End; led a series of national tours including launch of the Black Theatre Live national touring theatre consortium in 2015. Prior to Tara Arts Jonathan was Head of Arts Programmes for Croydon Clocktower; and  Head of Studio & Programme Development at Wimbledon Theatre. Jonathan is a trustee of Yellow Earth Theatre, Theatre Ad Infinitum & Attic Theatre Company. He is a regular guest lecturer for London Southbank University, Birkbeck College, Goldsmiths and Kings College.

Richard Kingdom: Richard works for Farnham Maltings, leading on the greenhouse initiative which supports partnerships between theatre makers and venues in the house network.  He also recently ran the Show Business symposium at the National Theatre on the relationship between the commercial and subsidised theatre sectors.  Prior to joining Farnham Maltings, Richard worked for Arts Council England as a Relationship Manager for Theatre. He was previously Performance Programmer at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, curating and producing a programme of live art, music and dance, including over the city’s capital of culture year.  Before this, Richard was the Founder Director of the Fresh Festival, a nomadic platform for new performance, and Artistic Director and Producer of Demonstrate Theatre Company.


Thursday, 16 April 2015

TYPT:15 - Join us for an amazing experience

TYPT is Talawa's flagship programme for emerging Black theatre makers (18-25 years old).

Every year, Talawa puts emerging practitioners into a rehearsal room with a professional multi-disciplinary team, to devise and produce an original piece of theatre.

Over four weeks of intensive rehearsals the TYPT company work together to develop their practice, test ideas and explore new ways of working. 

TYPT is recruiting ... get details here

Here is what some TYPT alumni have to say:

Nonso Anozie"I joined TYPT at 17.  I always knew I wanted to become an actor but I was uncertain how I was to go about it. Then I discovered TYPT! The TYPT experience was incredible – uplifting, inspiring and supportive. It was the gateway that led to the career I now enjoy, working with film, television and theatre makers all over the world. Those first tentative days exploring the world of theatre with the support of the TYPT family and Talawa were an amazing time.   It’s probably not an over statement to describe TYPT as life changing.   Don’t give joining TYPT a second thought, just do it."
Nonso Anozie

Michaela Coel“I came to TYPT looking for the empowerment to develop as a performer and writer, and I certainly succeeded, we all did.   The greatest part of being part of the TYPT family was, well, just that – being part of a supportive family, a community of trustworthy inspiring people that enabled me to develop and grow as an artist and person. TYPT allowed me to create friendships which have lasted thus far and make connections in the world of Drama that have benefited my career greatly.  Talawa’s enduring faith in developing new artists is remarkable and for my own journey TYPT was the biggest part of that.  If you're interested in developing your craft, in ensemble work, in your own identity and individuality as an artist, I'd suggest you make TYPT your first call!”
Michaela Coel

Apply - become part of the TYPT family