Are you looking for a bit of drama in your life? Then tune into Radio 4 this month, for a showcase of new work from Talawa Theare Company.
Radio 4 and Talawa Theatre Company — the UK’s leading Black British theatre company — have teamed up to showcase a bunch of original audio dramas. They’ve been written by three promising young writers: Sian Davila, Charles Entsie and Roberta Livingston. Their new works will be brought to life by casts including Sharon D Clarke, Don Gilet, Jocelyn Jee Esien, Lydia West and Don Warrington.
New drama for your ears
The first of these audio dramas will air on Friday 7th May 2021. It’s called Running with Lions and it’s written by Sian Davila. The story involves a death that challenges a British-Caribbean family, as each of them experiences their unique reactions to loss.
In the second piece, Charles Entsie tackles sexuality and identity in his play NSA, directed by Jade Lewis. And finally, Roberta Livingston will offer a comedic exploration of class and gender in Precious Little Things, directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour.
Between them Davila, Entsie and Livingston have presented work at institutions including The National, King’s Head, and The Gate theatres – and each now adds a Radio 4 drama debut to their credits. These broadcasts will coincide with Talawa Theatre Company’s 35th anniversary. And what a great way to celebrate!
These three works are part of Talawa Stories. These tales will be some of the first to be broadcast as part of Radio 4’s renewed approach to bring audio drama to a wider audience. New half hour dramas are being commissioned to appeal to both on air and on-demand audiences. And some titles will be available as box sets ahead of broadcast, for those of you who love a bit of a listening binge.
This follows the success of hit Radio 4 dramas such as Tracks, Tumanbay, The Lovecraft Investigations, and also hybrid docu-dramas such as Fake Heiress. Listeners can expect quality drama and sound design, combined with fresh approaches to storytelling. It’s a great way to hear work by new writing, acting and production talents.
When and where to hear the audio dramas
These new audio dramas will broadcast on Friday afternoons, so they’re perfect for rounding off your working week. Here’s the line-up so far:
Talawa Stories: Running With Lions
Friday 7th May 2021, 2.15pm – 2.45pm
A British-Caribbean family struggles to come together after the death of their loved one. With each family member dealing with grief in their own way, they experience challenges to faith and their mental health, and examine the things they do and do not say, as they rediscover the importance of love and joy. It tells a story with compassion, intelligence and atmosphere.
Directed by Talawa’s Artistic Director, Michael Buffong, and written by Sian Davila (Semantics; Human Animals), Running with Lions stars Don Warrington (Death in Paradise, BBC), Sharon D Clarke (Caroline, or Change, West End), Lydia West (It’s A Sin, Channel 4), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Sex Education, Netflix), and Alfred Enoch (How to Get Away With Murder, ABC).
Talawa Stories: NSA
Friday 14th May 2021, 2.15pm – 2.45pm
Set within the charged confines of a car, a clandestine encounter between two Black men leads to far more than either had bargained for as they come to terms with their identities and very different life trajectories.
Charles Entsie’s Adrian Pagan Award-winning NSA is directed by Jade Lewis (Quarter Life Crisis, Bridge Theatre). Idris Debrand (MotherFatherSon, BBC) and Don Gilet (Eastenders, BBC) will both star.
Talawa Stories: Precious Little Thing
Friday 21st May 2021, 2.15pm – 2.45pm
A humorous and heartfelt comedy that explores womanhood, class, and how being let down by the system leads to heart-breaking choices. Willow and Nicole’s journeys collide in the dead of night when they unexpectedly meet in the garden of a London mansion. Both desiring something from inside No.92, they join forces to break in. But once they do, and get caught by the Nanny, Bian, it’s soon revealed that they haven’t been completely honest with each other.
Written by Roberta Livingston and directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour (Typical, Soho Theatre), the cast of Precious Little Thing is made up of Jocelyn Jee Esien (Turn Up Charlie, Netflix), Jacoba Williams (The Snow Queen, Stephen Joseph Theatre) and Tuyen Bo (The Great Wave, National Theatre).
Want more stuff to fill your ears? Try these audio events.
When: From 7th May 2021
Where: Listen in on Radio 4 or listen again online
More info: www.talawa.com