Talawa at 30
Talawa was founded in 1986 by Yvonne Brewster, Carmen Munroe, Mona Hammond and Inigo Espejel.
Since then, Talawa has grown to become the primary Black theatre company in the UK, mounting more than 40 award-winning touring productions taking in everything from Shakespeare to African classics, Oscar Wilde to new Black British work and Nobel-prize winning playwrights to high-voltage musicals.
"Melickle but me Talawa"
Helena, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 3, Scene 2
"And though she be but little, she is fierce"
The Company has produced work by writers like C.L.R. James, Derek Walcott, Michael Abbensetts, Wole Soyinka, Patricia Cumper, Mustapha Matura, Roy Williams, Derek Walcott, Jackie Kay, Kwami Kwei-Armah, Trish Cooke, Malorie Blackman, Michael Bhim, Arinze Kene and Theresa Ikoko.
A number of Britain's finest actors, many of whom have sustained successful careers in film, radio, theatre and television, have worked with Talawa including Norman Beaton, Cathy Tyson, Don Warrington, Carmen Munroe, Doña Croll, Danny John-Jules, Sharon D Clarke, David Harewood, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Michaela Coel, Nonso Anozie and Mona Hammond.
Talawa writers, directors and personnel now work in all areas of British theatre.
These achievements demonstrate the Company's continually growing status, influence and contribution to contemporary British theatre and the cultural life of the UK.
Michaela Coel, Writer and Performer, Chewing Gum, BAFTA Winner ‘Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme’ and ‘Breakthrough Talent’ 2016
"I came to TYPT looking for the empowerment to develop as a performer and writer, and I certainly succeeded, we all did. Talawa’s enduring faith in developing new artists is remarkable and for my own journey TYPT was the biggest part of that."
Nonzo Anozie, Actor, Game of Thrones
"Those first tentative days exploring the world of theatre with the support of Talawa were an amazing time. It was the gateway that led to the career I now enjoy, working with film, television and theatre makers all over the world."
“For many people, including me, there aren’t very many routes into this, seemingly, out of reach world … Talawa look for us, they seek us out and take the time and care needed to build us up in all the ways that truly matter.”
Talawa’s is the UK’s outstanding Black British Theatre Company. Our purpose is to champion Black Excellence in theatre; to nurture talent in emerging and established artists of African or Caribbean heritage and to tell inspirational and passionate stories reflecting Black experiences through art.