Talawa Theatre Company will be opening the Talawa Studio at Fairfield Halls with a revival of their sell-out show Run It Back. Conceived and directed by Coral Messam, created with Gail Babb, and devised by TYPT:18, 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.
Set in an explosive club night, Run It Back immerses the audience in Black British club culture with dance, physical theatre and a live set from DJ and turntablist Psykhomantus.
A disused warehouse. A party rages. Distorted bass pulses through the streets, calling the ravers in. Lost in the music and dripping with sweat, they surrender to the DJ’s game. Bring your rags and flags for a night of theatre powered by grime, bashment and afrobeat.
Talawa Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Michael Buffong, said: “For 34 years Talawa Theatre Company has been an essential platform for Black creative talent creating fresh, innovative and unapologetic work. Run it Back is an example of just such a story – vital and dynamic, telling the story of Black British culture in the here and now. Talawa’s new home is providing space for new stories that will fill the next chapter of Black British theatre history for audiences everywhere.”
TYPT alumni include Michaela Coel (E4’s Chewing Gum and The Aliens, Channel 4’s Top Boy and Home, National Theatre), Nonso Anozie (HBO’s Game of Thrones, CBS’ Zoo and Disney’s Cinderella), Shanika Warren-Markland (Noel Clarke’s Adulthood, Brotherhood and 4321 and BFI’s Gone Too Far!), Sandra Thompson-Quartey (Artistic Director High Rise Avenue Theatre Company and Talent Agency), Femi Oguns MBE (Director of The Identity Drama School), Natasha Marshall (Talawa Theatre Company, Soho Theatre and Channel 4’s Half Breed).
Originally created by TYPT 2018, Run It Back’s performance coincides with the relaunch of TYPT as an intensive programme for young Black theatre makers over an extended period. Previously run as a summer school culminating in a devised production at the end of one month, TYPT will now run from April – December each year, enabling a larger cohort to take part in on and off stage roles to devise a new production.
TYPT applications from aspiring Black artists and theatre makers aged 18 – 25 will open at the end of January. The new nine-month TYPT schedule will enable artists to learn from established performers and directors as well as from leaders in off stage fields such as writing, stage management, lighting, sound and set and costume design.