Storytelling with Talawa
We've had the great pleasure of working with some amazing artists in 2018. As we look back on the year, these two storytellers from early in the year certainly made their mark - David Judge and Shannelle 'Tali' Fergus.
David is a playwright and performer. ‘In 500 Characters’ was a collaboration with CANVAS and sees David take on the role of Adam. Adam is a carer for his grandma but when she moves abroad, he’s left to figure out who he is.
"I’m a first generation light brown could be wanna be drag queen Mancunian who’s never been to Jamaica, Africa, Brazil Or Cuba."
The video is a personal confrontation of stereotypes of identity and race as Adam goes from confident drag queen to Mancunian seeking acceptance.
David first brought his visceral style to the stage with ‘Skipping Rope’, developed with Talawa and Box of Tricks. ‘Skipping Rope’ was shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award and saw David invited onto Channel 4’s Screenwriting Course.
David's Talawa Writers’ Programme commission‘Pan Lid’ was developed with the Royal Exchange Theatre and presented by Talawa Theatre Company at HOME, spawning this spin-off short film, ‘In 500 Characters’.
In 500 Characters
Shannelle 'Tali' Fergus
"I know that with time, things change.. and times change for the better.. but do they change for the better for everyone?"
'Mum. Edit. More.' is Shannelle ‘Tali’ Fergus' theatrical debut. Shannelle is a movement artist with over 10 years’ experience, in the commercial world (credits inc. Rihanna, FKA twigs, Jessie J & Kylie Minogue), with the UK's best and most successful companies and as an artist in her own right. Her choreographic style is a fusion of all of her training and influences, namely hip-hop and contemporary.
With the support of Talawa Theatre Company and Artists4Artists, Tali has started to explore making work for theatre.
In 'Mum. Edit. More.' Fergus’s body responds to the cadences of her mum’s speech, as she talks about the effects of gentrification in the local area. It's extraordinary, hypnotic and moving.
'Mum. Edit. More.'