• 1/1

Talawa Firsts 2013


Talawa Firsts aims to kick start the careers of exciting writers, directors and theatre-makers. We aim to create a community of artists who - through Talawa - can meet each other, spark off ideas, build a network, and together become the next generation to influence the future of British theatre.

5 - 21 June 2013


Every summer, Talawa's studio becomes a hub of activity as upcoming directors lead development workshops on new plays and theatre-makers refine their work.

The second season featured new work from DD Armstrong, Rex Obano, Martin Edwards along with Sharla Smith, Rebecca Ubuntu and Women In The Space who were also participants in other development programmes at Talawa. The second season presented a sell-out mix of new and emerging talent and leading industry figures such as David Lan and Nina Steiger.


Half a Life by Rex Obano, directed by Clint Dyer

Half a Life is a harrowing drama that tells the stories of Lee, Cara and Barry whose search for identity lies in family, friendship and the truths buried in their childhood.

Rex Obano

Rex Obano was born in London and was educated at the University of North London where he read Philosophy. Half A Life was shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. Theatre: Slaves (Theatre 503 – shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award), The Door Never Closes (The Almeida Theatre) Radio: Burned to Nothing (BBC Radio 4) Lovers Rock (BBC Radio 3).  Television: Rastamouse (CBeebies).

Clint Dyer has acted for 20 years in film, TV and theatre, starring in films such as SUS, The Trail, Love Me Still and has appeared in Unknown, Sahara, Agora, Mr. Bean 2 and Shopping. TV includes Fallout, Trial & Retribution, Dalziel & Pascoe, Inspector Linley, The Commander, Lock Stock, Thief Takers and Prime Suspect. On stage he has worked with heralded directors such as Mike Leigh, Micheal Attenbourgh, Jane Howel, Ian Brown, Mike Bradwell, Dawn Walton and Philip Hedley. Clint won Best actor at the Screen Nation Film and Television Awards, Liege International Film Festival and The Texas Black Film Festival for SUS. It was nominated for best film there also. He was also nominated for The Independent Spirit Award at the Screen Nation Film and Television Awards for SUS and the film has played in more than a dozen film festivals worldwide. He was also nominated for Best Actor for Ice Cool Reception in 2000 and Cherps in 2003 at the BFM awards.  For his one man show Micheal X  he was chosen for Time Out’s Best Of The Year in performance category.

Clint directed the Olivier, Evening Standard, TMA and What’s On Theatre Goers nominated show The Big Life. It was first Black British musical to go the West End. He directed and wrote Emergency and directed The Westbridge at the Royal Court Theatre. Clint is currently under a writing commission  at the Royal Court and is also writing in the Open Court Season under Vicky  Featherstone. As a writer, Clint has been commissioned by Scala Films, Screen East, The Royal Court Theatre, Soho Theatre Company, The Word and Music Company and Bravocas Film Company.

The Glory Road by Martin Edwards, directed by Monique Sterling

A former rundown part of London now transformed into the latest property hotspot is the setting for this new play that seeks to examine questions of race, gentrification and what it means to belong.

Martin Edwards: After graduating from Cambridge University in Social & Political Sciences, Martin pursued a career in journalism. His first job was as a trainee on his local paper The Wembley Observer. He was later headhunted by BBC London where some of his most notable stories included the London terror attacks on 7th July 2005. After more than 10 years working as a journalist, Martin took a change in direction and retrained as an actor, studying for two years at The Oxford School of Drama. Martin also helps run act up, an independent London-based organisation specialising in communication and acting training. The Glory Road is his first play.

Monique Sterling is a director, drama facilitator and script reader. She trained at the Royal Court Theatre and is now on attachment at the Birmingham Rep Theatre. Previous directing credits include: The Suffragette (Birmingham Old Rep), Oranges on the Brighton Line (Old Vic Tunnels), Walking to Obama (Talawa, Young Vic), In the Solitude of Cotton Fields (The Clare, Young Vic), A Certain Child (Michael Frayn studio), Mystical Awakening Extravaganza (BAC), Tuesday (Soho Studio). Assistant director credits include: Truth and Reconciliation (Royal Court), Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court), Tribes (Royal Court), Spur of the Moment (Royal Court), Our Private Life (Royal Court), Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare’s Globe), Tunnel 228 (Punchdrunk/Old Vic/Young Vic).

You Know What You Are by DD Armstrong, directed by Roy Alexander Weise

From terrace chants to dressing room squabbles, You Know What You Are explores racism in football, friendship and what it means to wear club colours.

DD Armstrong is a dedicated writer and author who recently graduated from Regents College - London School Of Film Media & Performance. He holds a Masters Degree in Stage & Screen Writing and is passionate about creating fresh and original voices. Formerly mentored by Writers Alex Wheatle MBE (Brixton Rock and East of Acre Lane) and Courttia Newland, (Scholar and Society Within) his first novel Lynch's Road was published in 2009. He has experience in feature film, and TV broadcast working alongside award winning producer Patrick Uden (John’s Not Mad, QED, The Apprentice) and was also a script consult for actor/director Noel Clarke on Adulthood. He is a freelance script reader, and has previously for worked the BBC Writer’s Room.

Roy Alexander Weise trained at Rose Bruford College on the BA Hons Directing course. Since graduating in 2011 he has held a residency as Associate Director at The Red Room Theatre & Film Company where he attained his first television credit as Trainee Director on Topher Campbell’s Invisible for Channel 4 Random Acts. Credits as Director: What Happens Behind the Bar (Cockpit Theatre), One Million Tiny Plays About Britain (Young Vic), SKEEN! (Oval House Theatre), Invisible Mice (Lyric Theatre), Black Man Monologues (Intermission Theatre), Seventeen (Rose Bruford College) Chameleon (Unicorn Theatre) Tap Baby Tap (Oval House Theatre), Phaedra’s Love (Rose Bruford College). Credits as Assistant Director: The Serpent's Tooth (Almeida Theatre/Talawa), Public Enemy (Young Vic), The Government Inspector Parallel Production (Young Vic), Hamlet Schools Festival (Young Vic), Wedekind’s Lulu (Rose Bruford), The Cherry Orchard (Rose Bruford).


The Success of Diverse Programming: the Young Vic Case Study with David Lan

David Lan, Artistic Director at the Young Vic, presents a case study of the impact, difficulties and rewards of implementing one of the UK’s most diverse programmes. This is an evening for theatre programmers to explore and learn about the Young Vic experience.

Beyond the Pitch: How to tell the world about your work, find your voice as an artist and be empowered as a writer with Nina Steiger

Nina Steiger is Associate Director at Soho Theatre and leads the Company’s work with writers. Alongside her work there, she is also interested in the intersection of traditional theatre and digital media with a focus on interactive performance, game design, pervasive technologies and transmedia narratives.

On Directing: The journey from picking the play through to press night with Michael Buffong

Using a couple of his past productions - Moon on a Rainbow Shawl and God’s Property - by way of illustration, Michael Buffong takes you though his approach to directing.

Talawa Firsts Hot Spots

The New Voice of Home written and directed by Anthonette Isioma

The Opiah family has always been very reputable, rich and proud but now the generational gap of experience is causing the family problems and a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Anthonette is a director and writer who is passionate about story telling. She has trained with the Young Vic and on the MA Directing course at RADA, after graduating with a BA (Hons) in English Literature, Drama, Theatre and Performance from Roehampton University. Directing credits include: The House of Zerquera by Atiha Sen Gupta (Young Vic Theatre - as part of Talawa Theatre’s Flipping the Script) and Late Bus To Mecca by Pearl Cleage (Albany Theatre). She has worked as an assistant director on Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov (RADA), The Maids by Jean Genet (RADA) and assisted for the Islington Community Theatre and Ovalhouse. She freelances as a writer and has completed the Royal Court’s Young Writers Programme.

Double Bill: 

Deep written and directed by Rebecca Ubuntu David

Deep explores the impact of social exclusion within intimate relationships. When a person is more carer than partner, when the stress of unemployment takes its toll, when heritage is questioned, how does a relationship withstand the pressures?

Rebecca Ubuntu David is an interdisciplinary performance artist and playwright. She recently debuted two plays-in-development at Oval House 33% Festival; Deep and Half-Way, both of which explore repetition, memory and loss. She has performed and written for Obs Fest (Cape Town, South Africa), Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Brighton Fringe Festival and The Santa Cruz Arts Festival, California. She completed TYPT in 2012 and recently completed The Young Vic's Director's Programme.

Perception-ism written and directed by Sharla Smith

Perception-ism explores life in Brixton during the 2011 London riots through the eyes of three very different characters; Seymour, Liz and Zayne.  Does each of them share common beliefs and together can they put order back into their community?

Sharla Smith graduated from Kingston University (2005) with a BA (Honours) in Drama and from ALRA Drama School (2011) with an MA in Acting. As well as being a member of Talawa's Writers’ Group (2006), Sharla also wrote Pun de Corner which was performed as part of the youth arts festival at Ovalhouse. Theatre Credits include: Kia in My Life at The Warehouse Theatre, Lucifer in The Mysteries at Tara Arts and Ruby in My Big Little Sister which toured the country and was performed also at mac (Birmingham), Nottingham Playhouse and Lyric Hammersmith. TV/ Film credits include: Loveless in Little Miss Jocelyn, Yemi in The Glowing Hours and Maria in the Helen Bamber Foundation campaign Shoebox.

Do We Relate? devised and directed by Women in the Space

Five young women take a journey of self-discovery whilst dealing with the everyday experiences of being young, Black and female.

Women in the Space was founded by Toniche Wallace and comprises five TYPT graduates all of whom are committed to developing interesting stories featuring strong Black, female characters.

Founded in 2012 by Toniche Wallace, Women in the Space comprises five young female TYPT graduates; Toniche Wallace, Madeleine Kludje, Terri-Ann Bobb Baxter, Laura Asare, Janine Perrineau.

The Company was created to address the lack of strong Black female roles in theatre, and its aim is to produce empowering stories featuring robust female characters that present an alternative to stereotypes.

    This site requires cookies to operate, please read our Privacy & Cookie Policy

    Accept & continue