Talawa Firsts brings together a community of artists and gives them a space to meet, spark off ideas, build networks and become the next generation to shape British Theatre.

Each of these artists has gone on a journey with Talawa. They sent in a script, invited Talawa to see their show, or applied for the Studio Firsts programme.

Talawa has helped them to draw out the stories they want to tell. Challenged them. Encouraged them. Provided them with space, resources, the opportunity to get it wrong, and plenty of tea and biscuits…

Talawa continue to find talented new artists, develop them, showcase them, and help them get their work on stage.  
The vision is for a theatre industry which is diverse and representative of the UK’s Black population.

Tash Marshall
“Talawa Firsts gave me hope
that my dreams were worth
chasing. It was such an
inspiring and empowering
experience to be part of. I
never imagined my story would
be heard and they gave me
that chance. Talawa Firsts
offers an amazing platform for
new and raw writing. It was
such a turning point for me and
and I’m so happy to have been
part of it.”

See the Talawa Firsts Programme 2017

Check the Label by Eno Mfon – Wednesday 14th June: looks at the story every woman and girl knows; self-doubt, self-loathing and self-hate arising from partial and exclusive standards of beauty.

Writing Workshop – Thursday 15th June: offers a  with Jules Haworth, Education Producer, Soho Theatre and Jane Fallowfield, Literary Associate, Talawa Theatre Company enabling you to explore some of the fundamentals of writing for stage and screen.

Obama & Me by Sylvia Arthur – Friday 16th June: takes a critical view on the nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism sweeping through Europe, and the world and how it affects us.

Be Born – Wednesday 21st June: Christian Graham explores themes of identity and how we as human beings change while constantly trying to rediscover what that means.

The Movement Workshop – with renowned Movement Director Coral Messam uses Laban to explore how we can use our bodies to tell stories. No experience necessary, just be prepared to move!

Mixed Bill I – Friday 23rd June: presents dynamic DJ sets, dance, poetry and spoken word from Ann Akin and Zeddie Lawal, to provide a cathartic release.

I Am Not There – Wednesday 28th June: sees Femi Martin’s powerful, which asks the question ‘what does it feel like to die?’

The Grants for the Arts Workshop – Thursday 29th June: will give you an introduction to Grants for the Arts, and an opportunity to gain vital knowledge as to how to progress your project straight from the people at Arts Council England.

Mixed Bill II – Friday 30th June: you’ll be dazzled and amazed by work from babirye bukilwa, Gabrielle Nimo, Azara Meghie and Si Rawlinson.  With few words and great stillness,  babirye shows us a character in crisis; Si uses hip hop theatre to ask who has the right to tell stories about Black lives; Gabrielle brings her 11 year old sister centre stage to explore loss through the eyes of a child; Azara re-stages a moment from her own life – coming across a group of drummers on a street in Dalston and starting to dance – to explore how people see gender.


Talawa Firsts runs until Friday 30th June 2017. Tickets are just £5 and all events take place at Talawa Theatre Company’s studio near Old Street – 53 East Road, London, N1 6AH. You can find out more here.