Black Joy for Talawa and Birmingham REP

Published: 27 November 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Shining a spotlight on great black British talent”: Talawa artistic director Michael Buffong Credit: The Masons
“Celebrating the diversity of Birmingham and the UK”: the REP’s artistic director Sean Foley Credit: Kris Askey

The “UK's leading black theatre company” Talawa and Birmingham REP have announced a new collaboration which will involve their developing an “artistically ambitious” body of work which will play in Birmingham, London and nationwide.

Black Joy, a season of new work by black creatives and artists, will take to the REP's three stages in 2021 thanks to funding from Arts Council England's sustained theatre fund.

There will be a musical production for the REP's 800-seat main theatre The House and two new commissioned plays for the 300-seat Studio and the 150-seat The Door. There will also be six commissions for theatre-makers of all disciplines along with training and work opportunities for offstage and technical teams.

Talawa’s artistic director Michael Buffong said, "as a black theatre company, we’re determined and proud to be celebrating and shining a spotlight on great black British talent on and off stage. I'm so excited to be working in partnership with Birmingham REP, a brilliant theatre at the heart of a truly diverse city."

The REP's artistic director Sean Foley added, "we’re thrilled to be working with Talawa to create new work across our three auditoria as well as developing the UK black theatre artists of the future.

“This relationship forms a major part of the REP's commitment to celebrating and representing the diversity of Birmingham and the UK across producing and technical departments and on its stages."