The full cast and musicians have been announced for Talawa Theatre Company’s new production Recognition. Talawa, the UK’s outstanding Black theatre company, is presenting the premiere of Recognition at Fairfield Halls, as part of This Is Croydon, the Mayor of London’s London Borough of Culture 2023.
Recognition is inspired by the remarkable life and works of Black classical composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and aims to give him, and the Black British classical pantheon, the recognition they deserve.
The cast features David Monteith (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, UK tour; Sleeping Beauty, Cast Doncaster; Gassed Up, Amazon); Barnaby Power (Laurel & Hardy, Lyceum; Interiors, Lyric Hammersmith; Twelfth Night, Royal Shakespeare Comedy); Matthew Romain (Sherlock, BBC; Holes, UK tour; The Recruiting Officer, Donmar Warehouse); Alice Stokoe (Sister Act, UK tour; Mamma Mia!, West End; The Duke, Warner Bros) and Deborah Tracey (Standing at the Sky’s Edge, National Theatre; This England, Sky; Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, Fox Searchlight). They join the previously announced Paul Adeyefa (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bridge Theatre; Good Omens, Amazon Prime; The Mirror and the Light, Gielgud Theatre), who plays composer and Croydon resident Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Kibong Tanji (TINA: The Tina Turner Musical, Aldwych Theatre; Misty, Trafalgar Studios; Hairspray, London Coliseum), who takes the role of Song.
Recognition features Coleridge-Taylor’s compositions, as well as original music by Mercury Prize nominated artist Cassie Kinoshi (leader, Seed Ensemble; published by Decca Publishing). A band of musicians will bring these songs to life, comprising British-Nigerian violinist Eve Abiodun (European and North America tour and 2023 BRIT Awards with Stormzy, Chineke! Orchestra); award-winning bassist Rio Kai (The Globe; Park Theatre; Seed); organist and jazz pianist Jonathan Liebeck (Mellow Mind, EP; A Message Through Sound, EP); cellist Austen Scully (The English Chamber Orchestra; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Rubix Ensemble); drummer Shakira Stellar (Young Vic; The Doctor, West End; Wigmore Hall) and violinist Mikey Tsoukkas (Stath Lets Flats, Channel 4; The Mozart Question, Barn Theatre; Christmas campaign, Crisis).
Recognition is co-created by playwright and actress Amanda Wilkin and Ugandan-British choreographer and director Rachael Nanyonjo, written by Wilkin and directed by Nanyonjo.
Talawa Theatre Company is presenting Recognition as part of This Is Croydon, the Mayor of London’s London Borough of Culture 2023 programme; London Borough of Culture is a Mayor of London initiative, with additional support from Arts Council England. Recognition is generously supported by Arts Council England and the Greater London Authority.