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Talawa Firsts 2014


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

11 - 27 June 2014


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 third season in 2014 was a huge success with exciting and intelligent new work by Theresa Ikoko, Isaac Ssebandeke and Sabo Kpade. Upcoming directors included Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Madeleine Kludje and Daniel Bailey. Q&As with leading industry figures were also a feature of the third season and speakers included Paulette Randall, Roy Williams and Doña Croll.


Normal by Theresa Ikoko, directed by Madeleine Kludje

Normal is a debut play exploring the way we hide truth and deny its consequences. Sam is ‘done’ with life, especially so as his parents, drifting apart, seem to have no awareness of his lonely grief. But then he meets three new friends. But are they really friends or his inner demons?

My Darling Wife by Isaac Ssebandeke, directed by Daniel Bailey

My Darling Wife charts the dark and brutal relationship between an abusive husband and his forgiving wife. Is their co-dependency going to be fatally damaging? The well to do household is certainly rocked to its core by the ensuing drama but where does it lead our protagonists?

Have Mercy on Liverpool Street by Sabo Kpade is directed by Kobna Holdbrook Smith

Have Mercy on Liverpool Street features several characters living around Liverpool Street whose lives intertwine largely thanks to the machinations of Aunty Mercy. In a series of comedic twists and turns some dark truths are revealed.

Talawa Firsts Hot Spots

BlackTop Sky by Christina Anderson and directed by Ed Stambollouian examines the intersection of love, violence and community inside an institution with a haunting Chicago legacy: the public housing project. This performance is its UK debut. 

No God No Girls by Karla Williams, directed by Rebecca Coley, explores themes of Faith, Family, Sexuality and Relationships as it charts the lives of brothers Jack and Elijah who turn their backs on the Unification church with some startling consequences.

Prison Game by Marcus Hercules who also acts in and and directs this piece addressing how we create prisons for ourselves and the consequences we might unwittingly bring upon ourselves.


Paulette Randall Thursday 12 June, 7.30pm

Roy Williams Thursday 19 June, 7.30pm

Doña Croll Thursday 26 June. 7.30pm

Each of our inspiring and influential guests will address the central issue of how to not only survive but thrive in the industry.


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