our vision for the future

 

Contemporary Britain is a multiple society – rich with languages, races, cultures and identities. This diversity is unremarkable and normal, and a growing dimension of all our lives. 

 

Art and culture offer both a mirror to see ourselves and a window to see through to worlds unlike our own. However, theatre – as with so many areas of our curated mainstream culture – still fails to see so many people, experiences and identities in this multiple world. In doing so, it fails to invite – and make space for – us all to have a conversation with ourselves, and to understand more about the world we share, the lives we lead, and what it means to be here, now.

 

We want to see a cultural ecology in Britain where everyone feels invited and welcome to participate. A culture where all experiences – including the contemporary African heritage experience – are celebrated so that we get to see ourselves in our full complexity, where shortcuts fail to function, and where theatre offers understanding, and feels relevant to the lives we live.

 

our mission

 

We will play our part in generating a richer, more multiple mainstream theatre culture by championing stories that illuminate the mixed, multiple experience of what it is to be of African heritage in Britain today so that – in our contemporary, changing society – the African diaspora experience provides a lens for us all to see our lives.

 

our work so far 

 

"...gorgeous theatre from a truly diverse company" Sir Lenny Henry CBE 

 

​​Founded in 1997, our journey mirrors that of the British Africans we seek to serve; from early productions telling stories of emigration and diaspora (tickets and ties) to, under second artistic director Lucian Msamati, reflecting on the relationship Britain and British-Africans have with Africa (Olivier Award-winning Bola Agbaje's belong).

 

​In 2014, Natalie Ibu became tiata fahodzi's third Artistic Director and with her came a question: what does it mean to be of African heritage but of mixed experience? In 2014 and beyond, we continue to reflect the changing and developing diaspora with a particular interest in the dual and the in-between, in those who straddle worlds, cultures, languages, classes, heritages, races and struggles. It’s in this – the messy, the multiple and the complicated identity politics – that tiata fahodzi sits, acknowledging that our audiences are more complex and contrasting than ever. Our work starts with the contemporary British African experience but reaches beyond to ask us all, what does it mean to live here, today? 

 

​We produce theatre that is fearless. We want our work to look around and look forward – contemporary stories told in modern and innovative ways – and to embrace the multiple in all ways – narrative, form, experience, identity, perspective, scale. We celebrate characters defined not by their diversity, but by their humanity: in Natalie Ibu's i know all the secrets in my world we went on a journey of sound and movement, through grief, to meditate on the intimacies of black masculinity and black fatherhood. In Charlene James' bricks and pieces – a thoughtful portrait about family and fresh starts – we met characters struggling to survive as well as being black, not because they are black. In it, we were a gay – but not fully out – teacher grieving a partner, a young woman launching a startup and a new single life, a lad exploring Christianity and chatting up girls, an architect into hip-hop and geeking out over Lego – we are all of that and so much more. In Arinzé Kene's good dog we met the people and places that make you who you are and, most recently, in Nathan Bryon's mixed brain we asked if you live in the middle, does anywhere feel like home?

 

We are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

 

patrons Danny Sapani, Hugh Quarshie, Jenny Jules, Jocelyn Jee Esien, Sir Lenny Henry CBE

 

About-slideshow

Staff & Trustees

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staff

staff

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natalie-lbu-AD

natalie ibu

artistic director and ceo

natalie ibu

artistic director and ceo

natalie-lbu-AD

natalie ibu is the artistic director of tiata fahodzi. Previously she was the Creative Producer for In Good Company, launching the regional artist development programme in the East Midlands for Derby Theatre, Embrace Arts Leicester and Create Mansfield. As a freelancer she has produced for Openworks Theatre and Maison Foo, worked as a Literary Consultant for Fifth Word and a Dramaturg for Spilt Milk Dance. In 2014, she was the Programme Manager at the Roundhouse. In 2012/13, she was the Creative Producer for Only Connect, producing a season of cross art-form work. In 2010/11, she was the inaugural Associate Director (Warehouse) for HighTide Festival Productions – responsible for the artist development and a physical research and development studio. In July 2009, she completed a year’s residency at the Royal Court as their Trainee Director. Since graduating with a First Class Honours degree in 2004, she have completed the Clore Leadership Programme Short Course, Stage One New Producers Workshop as well as short-term residencies with New York Theatre Workshop, the National Theatre Studio, Royal Shakespeare Company, Citizens’ Theatre and Contact. She have been awarded bursaries from Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme, the Federation of Scottish Theatre, Scottish Arts Council and Arts Council East Midlands. Awards include Dewar Arts Award for Exceptional Artists Under 30, Time Warner Ignite 2, IdeasTap Innovator’s Award and the Lilian Baylis Award for Theatrical Excellence. She is a trustee of the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling and Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme. She is an Arts Council England South East Area Council Member.

kirsten burrows headshot

kirsten burrows

incoming Executive Director (February 2018)

kirsten burrows

incoming Executive Director (February 2018)

kirsten burrows headshot

Kirsten Burrows joins tiata fahodzi as Executive Director after three years as General Manager of China Plate. Previous General Manager posts include for Candoco Dance Company and Islington Community Theatre (Company Three).

Kirsten was also Producer and Strategy and Development manager for Dante Or Die Theatre, most recently on the acclaimed I Do (Almeida Festival) and the Farnham Maltings commissioned Take On Me. Previous work includes production and project management for Sadler’s Wells, Yad Arts and Metis; Participation Producer on Dash Arts’ Arabic Series, and Producer for Kayd’s Somali Arts Festival and Context Theatre’s Festival of Art from Pakistan.

Kirsten manages cult independent band And Also The Trees, securing tours across the world, most recently Tokyo and Hammersmith Apollo, London.

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trustees

trustees

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Archie-Graham-Trustee-Chair

archie graham

Co-chair

archie graham

Co-chair

Archie-Graham-Trustee-Chair

archie graham – of Gambian / Sierra Leonean heritage – currently works as Finance Manager for UnLtd (The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs), a grant making charitable trust supporting social entrepreneurs. His professional career started off more than two decades ago in accountancy practice with Pannell Kerr Forster Chattered Accountants (PKF) – The Gambia as Trainee Accountant / Auditor and leaving the firm six years later as Audit Senior. Since then, he has worked for varying organisations mainly within the Not-For-Profit sector including the London Fire Brigade Welfare Fund, The Camden Society and Westminster Association for Mental Health (Westminster Mind). He also currently serves as a trustee and treasurer of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) – London.

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stewart melton

co-chair

stewart melton

co-chair

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stewart melton is a writer, director and dramaturg. He is an Associate Artist of Company of Angels and was formerly Youth & Community Director of Southwark Playhouse. His plays have been staged at Unicorn, the Young Vic, the Edinburgh Festival and on tour across the UK. Having worked in the education sector for many years, he has a particular interest in theatre for young audiences, and frequently facilitates writing and performance projects for children, young people and their families.

Edward-Kemp-Trustee

edward kemp

Trustee

edward kemp

Trustee

Edward-Kemp-Trustee

edward kemp is director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). A writer, director and dramaturg, he has worked for the National Theatre, RSC, Young Vic, Royal Court, Complicite and at theatres around the UK including a long association with Chichester. He has written and produced drama and comedy for BBC Radio. He has written libretti for the Royal Opera House, ENO, Glyndebourne, Manchester Festival and BBC Proms and ballet scenarios for the Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre and companies in Bern, Helsinki and Koblenz.

© Michael Wharley Photography 2014

ajjaz awad-ibrahim

RTYDS 3-month placement

ajjaz awad-ibrahim

RTYDS 3-month placement

© Michael Wharley Photography 2014

Having attended both The Brit School and a foundation course at RADA, ajjaz awad-ibrahim graduated with a BA in Acting from The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, where she became the first student to win The Lawrence Olivier Award Bursary (2010). Since leaving education, she has continued to develop herself as a theatre-maker as well as an actor.  In 2014 she debuted her children’s theatre show Bimwili and The Zimwi at The Little Angel Theatre and assisted Melly Still for the Introduction to Directing course at The Young Vic. She then went on to write a short piece Coffee? Cake?, which was performed at The Feminist Library to mark it’s 40th Anniversary, before being the Production Runner for i know all the secrets of my world with tiata fahodzi. In 2016 she returned to The Young Vic to be Assistant Director on Parallel:Yerma.

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janice acquah

Trustee

janice acquah

Trustee

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janice acquah was born and grew up in Ghana and served as Chair of tiata fahodzi from 2001 to 2006. She has worked extensively as an actor and TV presenter; her credits as an actor include an international tour of Soyinka’s The Beatification of the Area Boy, work with Mike Leigh and regular membership of the BBC Radio Company. She has been a primary school governor and held responsibility for Inclusion. As a governor she also coordinated several successful fundraising campaigns.

anastasia osei kuffour

anastasia osei-kuffour

Trainee Artistic Director (as part of the Artistic Director Leadership Programme)

anastasia osei-kuffour

Trainee Artistic Director (as part of the Artistic Director Leadership Programme)

anastasia osei kuffour

anastasia osei-kuffour trained as a director through the Young Vic Directors Programme. Direction includes: Footprints On The Moon (Finborough Theatre); An Adventure (Bush Theatre); Cell (The Young Vic); Here Comes The Bride (Black Lives Black Words at the Bush Theatre); All The Ways to Say Goodbye (The Young Vic); Hosea’s Girl (Talawa Studio Firsts); Dishonour; You Know That I’ll Be Back; and Universally Speaking (Theatre 503) and Pushers (Etcetera Theatre).

 

Assistant Direction includes: Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre, Stratford Circus and Schools Tour); Cuttin’ It– as part of The Young Vic’s Jerwood Assistant Director Programme; supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation (The Young Vic, Royal Court Theatre, Birmingham REP, Sheffield Theatres and The Yard Theatre); Three Generations of Women (Greenwich Theatre and Tour); Plaques and Tangles (Royal Court Theatre),Idomeneus (Gate Theatre); Henry the Fifth (Unicorn Theatre); and – as Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director – A Doll’s House (The Young Vic), mixed brain.

Vacancies

 

tiata fahodzi is currently looking for new board members

As we gear up for an exciting 2018 and beyond, we’re on the hunt for up to eight new Trustees – including a new Chair – to contribute to the strategic development of tiata fahodzi.  

There are currently five members of the board with a range of skills – including artistic practice, finance, training, education and artist development – which we are looking to add to.

We are seeking expressions of interest from people who might be interested in joining our Board of Trustees. Full details here, including videos about tiata fahodzi and our vision, the recruitment pack and closing date. 

See what we have been working on lately

current & upcoming productions

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