Now Reading
Talawa Firsts 2023: Rubi Alexandra, Malika Booker and Kareem Parkins-Brown and more

Talawa Firsts 2023: Rubi Alexandra, Malika Booker and Kareem Parkins-Brown and more

After a decade of #Talawa Firsts, the 11th edition sees an expansion of the festival, now across two weeks– including poetry, live music, cabaret, workshops, networking events and a club night alongside our presentation of innovative new writing. Black artists stay at the centre of Talawa Firsts, and this year they come with new ideas and no limits. Join us at Talawa HQ this July, bringing culture to the heart of Croydon.

Mondays – The Scratches: A scratch night in two parts, showcasing excerpts of the plays developed by the 2023 cohort of Talawa’s Introduction to Writing Group, led by Michelle Matherson. The two-part event will feature rehearsed readings from each play, directed by Talawa’s New Work team, David Gilbert & malakaï sargeant.

Tuesdays – The Link-Ups: Facilitated, intentional and thoughtful networking and think-in events led by Talawa’s New Work team. These sessions are designed for Black artists to come together and share best practice among faces old and new; the first for Black dramaturgs and artists working with text, the second a ‘speed dating’ night for Black writers, producers and directors.

Wednesdays – The Immersive: New works-in-progress presented by innovative companies working across theatre, events, music and interactive gaming. Transport yourself to a 1920s bar underscored by soft jazz, cabaret acts and smokey lights; or travel further back in time to 1884 in a satirical exploration of the Berlin Conference. Featuring new writing from Rhianna Ilube (Coney) and Andrea Lungay (HiddenViewz).

See Also

Thursdays – The Double-Bills: The bread-and-butter of Talawa Firsts. Expect new writing from playwright Testament and Rubi Alexandra, as well as poets Malika Booker and Kareem Parkins-Brown. These rehearsed readings offer new perspectives on who is given permission to love authentically, removing the filters from contemporary dating, grieving the loss of people and places, and how to survive under capitalism whilst being

Fridays – The Motives: What’s a festival without somewhere to shake nyash? Join us for a rooftop club night and a poetry jam, brought to you by Queer Bruk and BORN::FREE respectively. Live music, poetry, open jams and DJs on a unique Friday night: Croydon-style.