Talawa is the UK’s outstanding Black theatre company, and recently announced that the Black Joy season would take place at Birmingham Rep in Autumn 2021. Since then, Birmingham Rep has announced it is hosting a Nightingale Court.
“We recognise that having to make the difficult calls between maintaining the creative and political integrity of cultural buildings, and preserving the jobs of those who work within them, is a position arts leaders shouldn’t be forced into.
Our thoughts are with those arts leaders and creatives having to make difficult decisions. During this difficult time, it’s vital that we don’t see buildings close, irreparably harming the cultural fabric of the country.
Talawa’s purpose is to champion Black excellence in theatre; to nurture talent in emerging and established artists of African and Caribbean heritage, and to tell inspirational and passionate stories reflecting Black experiences through art. The decision Birmingham Rep have taken to host a Nightingale Court does not align with Talawa’s commitment to Black artists and communities, the communities most affected by this decision. It has threatened the integrity of the Black Joy season; regrettably the partnership is no longer tenable under current circumstances.
We are speaking to the artists and partners who might be affected by this, and still hope to bring the Black Joy season to the audiences it was intended for. We are exploring our options.
We respect and treasure our working and co-producing relationships, and also respect the artists and communities we work with. Our commitment to tackling social and racial injustices is stronger than ever. We stand true to our values. This is what makes us Talawa.”