Run It Back 2021


2nd – 18th September 2021

Run It Back brings rave to theatre

Fairfield Halls, Croydon, CR9 1DG

This show features loud music and light effects

This show is not suitable for people aged under 14

Running Time - 75 minutes (no interval)

BSL integrated and captioned performances: Thursday 9th September 2021 at 7pm (this show is also socially distanced)

Socially Distanced Performances: Saturday 4th September at 4pm - Thursday 9th September 2021 at 7pm (this show is also BSL signed and live captioned) - Friday 17th September at 7pm

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Run It Back is Talawa's first production at our new home, Fairfield Halls. 

Run It Back brings rave to theatre.

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.

Run It Back is conceived and directed by Coral Messam, created with Gail Babb, and co-devised by TYPT:18.

Bring your rags and flags for a night of theatre powered by grime, dancehall and afrobeat.


  • We also have ...

    • A free post-show talk on Thursday 9th September all about devising new work: How to start and Top tips for a truly creative collaboration.
    • A free post-show talk on Wednesday 15th September which looks at Music, Culture and Identity and their relationships within the Black British Club scene.

    Pre-show Dance workshops (just add to your booking for these dates):

    • Friday 10th September: 18:10 – 18:40
    • Saturday 11th September: 15:10 -15:40
    • Friday 17th September: 18:10 – 18:40
    • Saturday 18th September: 15:10 -15:40

    Join us and move your body in a fun filled 30 minute workshop for all ability levels that explores the dance styles from the show.

  • Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

    "This is the purest enactment of 'black joy' – as a political act – I have seen in the past year."

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    • Croydon

      Fairfield Halls, The Recreational

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  • The Stage

    ★★★★★ "Take your fans, your whistles, and your flags. This one’s for the culture."

  • Isaac Tomiczek, Afridiziak

    ★★★★ "It possesses the kind of pulse-quickening moments you don’t want to miss, movement and choreography you can’t quite fathom, and energy you wish you could imitate."

  • Manisha Balkissoon, Off/Stage

    "... pulls up the culture regarding sexuality, consent, black unity, identity and reclaiming blackness for the future generations."

  • Get your tickets - now
    • Croydon

      Fairfield Halls, The Recreational

      Book Now!
  • Michael Buffong, Artistic Director and Joint CEO, Talawa Theatre Company

    "Run It Back will be Talawa's first mid-scale production at Fairfield Halls since we moved here in 2019. We cannot wait to bring Run It Back to the stage. This production is a real testament to the way that Talawa nurtures productions and ideas; the energy, impact and uplifting joy of Run It Back is the tonic we all need right now."

    Coral Messam and Gail Babb talk about RUN IT BACK

    • Croydon

      Fairfield Halls, The Recreational

      Book Now!
  •       The Run It Back Cast and Creatives

  • About the cast

    Montel Douglas is an actor/writer who trained at Drama St Mary’s Twickenham & Identity Drama school. Television credits include ; Ransom (CBS), Code 404 (Sky One),  Alex: if the clue fits (BFI), Casualty (BBC). Theatre credits include; START ( Theatre Peckham/ Rose Theatre), Macbeth (Orange Three Theatre). Shebeen (Theatre Royal Stratford East/ Nottingham Playhouse). Currently, Montel is one fifth - of 'No-Table' - Theatre Peckham's new in-house resident theatre company. 

    Johnson Adebayo is a Nigerian British Actor, raised in Lagos and London. Trained in Performing Arts at Leyton Sixth Form College. Theatre Credits include:  Climate Change (National Youth Theatre); Mop Reformer (Lyric Ensemble); Chaos (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Run It Back(TYPT 18: Talawa); You Don’t Have To (The Yard Theatre); Brighton Beach Scumbag (Soho Theatre/ LSC Expressive Art);  

    Cookie (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Macbeth (Stratford Circus/ LSC Expressive Art); Underworld  (Alexandra Palace/ Frantic Assembly); Children of Killers (Soho Theatre); Hacktivists (The National Theatre Connections)” 


    Azara is a multi-disciplinary artist that likes to share their personal politics on sexuality, gender, racism, classism and homophobia through live art and film using poetry, breakdancing and theatre. Azara has worked with a variety of artists such as, playwright Roy Williams, Company 3 and Freddie Opoku-Addaie, just to name a few.  

    Azara’s  new and exciting show, Just Another Day and Night – has been shown at Ovalhouse, The Lowry,  & The Place amongst other venues across London. It is now proceeding for a post pandemic tour.  

    Azara enjoys creating work that unites a desire for introspection within the audience and themselves, but through that a celebration of individuality should reign supreme. 

    George Owusu-Afriyie - is a British actor from Clapham, London. George discovered his love for acting whilst attending SFX college even though he didn’t study the performing arts “it was something that just truly made me happy”. George went on to study acting in London learning from Toby Clarke and Daniel Edward’s.George's experience in TV, stage and film includes Netflix’s “Top boy” and Sky one’s comedy “Bloods”.

    Hayley Konadu is an Actor and Writer who is currently part of Soho Theatre Writers Lab. Her recent theatre credits include; The Third Day- Autumn (Sky/HBO) WAKES (Bunker Theatre), Girls (The Pappy Show, The Vaults, The North Wall and Nottingham Playhouse), Route (Hope theatre and Tristan Bates), Monologue Slam (Stratford East), The Kilburn Passion (Kiln theatre) Pigeon English (Bristol Old Vic and Edinburgh Fringe Festival)  


    Mateus Daniel is an Actor, Dancer and Aerial hoop artist who trained in Physical theatre at East 15 Acting School. His theatre credits include The Quest for the baby (the gruesome twosome, The Place, Resolution 2020), Street Circus collective (The Roundhouse), The Taste of Ginger (Mundane Magazine), BOYS (The Pappyshow) 

    Bimpé Pacheco is a rising actress who recently concluded the Royal Court's 2021 Writers Group, and in the past worked with the BFI Academy, Indigo O2 and RADA Festival. Trained in musical theatre, she has been taught under the likes of Indra Ove, Daniele Lydon, Che Walker, Danny Saparni, Rycardo Gomez and NYMT. She has experience as an assistant director, choreographer, and writer. 


    Yemurai Zvaraya is a 22 year old actress and dancer from Yorkshire. She is extremely excited to be working on ‘Run it Back’ with Talawa Theatre Company. She has appeared in the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ tour and worked with National Youth Theatre, The PappyShow, performing at the Bush Theatre and the New Diorama and The Oval House Theatre and Latitude Festival. In her commercial dance work she has worked on music videos with collaborating artist and she is to perform at Afronation  in 2022. In her life outside of theatre she is studying Media and Anthropology at Goldsmiths University of London. 


    Verona Patterson is the Founder and Co-Director of Ignition Dance Company which hosts under its umbrella Jamercise Fitness, IDC Performance group and CAOS Academy for Youth. As a Dancer Verona is experienced in a variety of dance styles including Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latin, Street and Lyrical. However when teaching and Choreographing Verona specialises in Street , Lyrical, African and Caribbean dance styles. Verona has worked steadily as a Teacher since 2007 for various agencies and organisations which has resulted in her working at many schools, colleges, universities and community clubs. Institutions include Kingston University,Southampton University, Queens Gate, Lewisham College, Queen Mary University and Newham College to name a few. 


    Stephanie Josephs (Understudy) is excited to be working with Talawa Theatre Company.  She has performed as a storyteller at venues such as Battersea Arts Centre and is interested in work that celebrates culture and community. 

    Aaron Donaldson (Understudy)


    Psykhomantus bridges the gap and connects the dots between Hip Hop and other progressive music genres as well as showcasing the whole spectrum of Turntablism. Inspired by DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spinna and IG Culture, his love of music shines through two turntables and a mixer. Known for Playing Soul, Funk, Hip Hop, Soulful House, Broken Beat and Jazz in his set in clubs and festivals, the formar UK DMC Champion has also been working as a musical director in theatre since 2003, including Kwesi Johnson’s Hip Hop theatre hit show ‘A Hiphopstory’ and Jonzi D’s "Open Art Surgery’ and ‘Freesyle Funk Forum’ by Breakin’ Convention. DJ Psykhomantus is something of an anomaly when it comes to his mixes in music of multiple fields and takes his listeners on a musical journey. 

  • About the Creatives

    Gail Babb is a theatre maker who specialises in creating new work and supporting emerging artists. As a dramaturg, director and producer, she has created shows for theatres, found sites (including museums and a derelict school), as well as national and international touring. Recent credits include work with Brixton House, Fuel, China Plate, National Youth Theatre and Hackney Showroom. 

    Alongside her theatre making, Gail co-directs the MA in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths University of London and facilitates creative processes in community settings. Her projects often centre Black British history and identity and include creative learning in schools, arts and heritage projects and devising with young people and mental health service-users.  

    As a Producer at Talawa Theatre Company from 2007-2018, Gail brought work with emerging artists to the centre of the company and supported hundreds of young Black artists, technicians and producers as they took their first steps into the industry.  

    Gail was awarded a Clore Fellowship in 2017 and was named Arts & Media Finalist in the Black British Business Awards 202 

    Coral Messam : Run It Back was first conceptualised and directed by Coral in 2018. 

    With over 20 years of experience working in the arts and commercial industry Coral’s journey as a performer, and movement director has been extremely multifaceted. 

    Her work as a performer includes Lion King; Everyman; Death and the Kings Horseman at the National Theatre: Lightening Child at Shakespeare Globe; Feast at the Young Vic; Faustus (performer and choreographer) and To Be Straight With You DV8 Physical Theatre; London Road. 

    Movement Director in Theatre  includes, Paradise by Kae Tempest director Ian Rickson; Small Island, Ma Rainey, The Amen Corner at the National Theatre; Macbeth, Winters Tale, Bartholomew Fair The Globe Theatre; Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, The Whip, for the RSC; The Convert at the Young Vic; Ruined at the Almeida Theatre; One Love,Bob Marley musical Birmingham Rep; King Lear, Royal Exchange and Talawa. 

    TV Credits include Golden Globe and BAFTA winner and nominated, Small Axe (Lovers Rock),by Steve McQueen and I May Destroy You by Micheala Cole . 

    Cursed (Netflix), Humans, (performer) Game Of Thrones (choreographer and performer) and Britannia season 2 & 3. 

    Intimacy coordinator work for short film Bone, and For Love, director Joy Gharoro Akpojotor. “First F…” music promo for 6lack. Jason Osborne. Coral has recently featured in the American Journal called SEEN  and will be taking part of the BlackStar Film Festival this year. Coral is currently working on several high end TV productions that will be released 2022. 

    Designer - Amanda Mascarenhas is a Theatre Designer and Visual Artist. She works in Theatre, Television and Events. She is also a facilitator, maker and community artist. She is Associate Artist to Kazzum Arts and The Kings Head Theatre, and also a Trustee of The Kings Head Theatre. She graduated from Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance with a BA(Hons) in Theatre Design.

    Credits include: ‘Cuttin It’ Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre, ‘Coming Clean’ Trafalgar studios, ‘It takes a Village’ Royal Opera House, ‘Our voice, our way’ Wellcome Trust, ‘Wonder Girl’ Ovalhouse, ‘Anna Hibiscus’ Discovery Centre, ‘Mole and Gecko’ RUA Arts (Touring), ‘La Traviata’ Kings Head Theatre, ‘Much ado about nothing’ Merely Theatre (EU Tour),‘Macbeth’ (EU Tour),‘A Sublime Feeling’ Salisbury Playhouse, ‘Big 30 exhibition’ Southbank Centre, ‘The Boy and The Mermaid’ Paper Balloon, ‘East Meets West’ Soho Theatre, ‘Scrub a Dub’ Halfmoon Theatre.

    Lighting Designer - Pablo Fernandez Baz

    Assistant Director - Gabby Nimmo

    Production Manager - Samantha Nurse

    Stage Manager - Julia Nimmo

    Assistant Stage Manager - Afua Nuamah

    With special thanks: Sound Engineer - Stephen Warbeck 

    Voice Coach - Ellie Manners

    Costume Supervisor - Jessie McKenzie

    Producer (for Talawa Theatre Company) - Alison Holder

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