Theatre company Talawa has announced a season of new work for 2007/8. The company, which was formed 21 years ago and is one of the longest established black theatre companies in the country, is promoting its new mission of telling black British stories, nurturing talent and welcoming audiences under the leadership of artistic director Patricia Cumper.
Its first production in two years is an adaptation of the Arthur Miller play The Crucible by the Talawa Young People’s Theatre, set in 2007 and drawing parallels between the Communist witch hunts which inspired Miller to write his tale of the Salem witch hunts in 17th century America, and the security measures brought in as part of the war on terror. TYPT was formed 12 years ago to give young black and Asian Londoners an opportunity to create professional theatre and learn skills that they can apply within the industry. Ten actors aged between 18 and 25 appear in this version of the classic play at Drill Hall from 9-11 August.
The next production is a new play, Pure Gold, by first time playwright Michael Bhim, the winner of the Alfred Fagon award for Outstanding Achievement by a Writer of Caribbean Descent. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham and designed by Mike Britton, Pure Gold is at Soho from 27 September-20 October, and examines the choices available to a young father trying to keep his head above water in modern London.
Over Christmas, Anansi Trades Places will be at The Shaw. Talawa commissioned children’s author Trish Cooke to create a story about Anansi, one of the most important gods of West African and Caribbean legend, and set it in Britain. Man-spider and trickster Anansi takes a young boy on an adventure through Storyworld, where they meet wicked witches, giant chickens and some creepy cockroaches. Anansi Trades Places opens on 13 December and runs to 5 January.