The two lead cast members and the creative team has been announced for Recognition, Talawa Theatre Company’s major new production opening this summer. Talawa, the UK’s outstanding Black theatre company, is presenting the premiere of Recognition at Fairfield Halls, as part of This Is Croydon, London Borough of Culture 2023. Recognition is inspired by the remarkable life and works of dual-heritage Black classical composer, and Croydon resident, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
Paul Adeyefa (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bridge Theatre; Good Omens, Amazon Prime; The Mirror and the Light, Gielgud Theatre) will take the role of this incredible historic figure, whose compositions were lauded in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, but whose name and work no longer receives the recognition it deserves. Kibong Tanji (TINA: The Tina Turner Musical, Aldwych Theatre; Misty, Trafalgar Studios; Hairspray, London Coliseum) will star as Song, a young Black composer who discovers Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and learns she is joining a legacy of Black classical music in Britain she never knew existed.
Recognition is co-created by playwright and actress Amanda Wilkin (Bessie Colman, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; Shedding A Skin, Soho Theatre) and Ugandan-British choreographer and director Rachael Nanyonjo (Newsies, Troubador Theatre; An Alternative Musical, National Theatre), written by Wilkin and directed by Nanyonjo. The show will feature Coleridge-Taylor’s compositions, and original music by Mercury Prize-nominated artist Cassie Kinoshi (leader, Seed Ensemble; published by Decca Publishing).
lydia luke (My Period, The Cockblock, VAULT Festival; The Chill, Omnibus Theatre) is the assistant director, and the designer is award-nominated set and costume designer Jasmine Swan (Beauty and the Beast, Mercury Theatre; House of Flamenka, Peacock Theatre). Guy Hoare (Jesus Hopped the A Train, Young Vic; Julie, National Theatre) is the lighting designer. Award-winning bassist Rio Kai (The Tempest, The Globe; Intra Muros, Park Theatre) is the musical director and Tom Foskett-Barnes (Academy Award-nominated Black Sheep; SAP, UK tour) is the sound designer.
Talawa Theatre Company is presenting Recognition as part of This Is Croydon, London Borough of Culture 2023 programme. Recognition is generously supported by Arts Council England and the Greater London Authority.
Recognition is at Fairfield Halls Thursday 1st Saturday 24th June 2023