THE UPSETTERS present a week-long festival dedicated to celebrating artists of colour where we will hold a poetry night, debut two pieces of new writing, present a scratch night and host a series of workshops where we pay participants to attend to cover loss of earning.
THE UPSETTERS make theatre written by writers of colour, directed by directors of colour and performed by actors of colour in all roles unless the script specifies otherwise.
At the moment, theatre has an unconscious bias which we want to overcome by creating opportunities for those from underrepresented groups to have their work seen and performed.
This week long festival will be an inclusive environment welcome to all with all performances relaxed and captioned. We believe in accessibility, so here’s what THE UPSETTERS do try to do to make our events more accessible to artists and audiences:
- Paying artists.
- Subsidised rehearsal space through our partnership with Theatre Deli London.
- 10% of all tickets go to the Black Ticket Project.
- Wheelchair accessible venue.
- Captioning events using The Difference Engine for D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences.
- Relaxed performances for neurodivergent audiences.
Line-UpMonday 24th February, 7:30pm
Poetry Night with Lemn Sissay, Tyrone Lewis, Sarah "Rain" Kolawole and Zia Ahmed
Tuesday 25th to Friday 28th February, 7:30pm
Unburied by Jimin Suh, directed by Adrian Tang
Wakes by Sidney Belony, directed by Brigitte Adela
Saturday 29th February, 4pm & 7:30pm
Scratch Night featuring five plays selected from an open call out
Tobi Kyeremateng, Chinonyerem Odimba, Lakesha Arie-Angelo, Tuyet Van Huynh and Ava Wong Davies.
A 60 minute poetry night with performances from Lemn Sissay, Tyrone Lewis, Sarah "Rain" Kolawole and Zia Ahmed.
Lemn Sissay is a BAFTA nominated award winning writer, international poet, performer
playwright, artist and broadcaster. He has read on stage throughout the world: from The Library of Congress in The United States to The University of Addis Ababa, from Singapore to Sri Lanka, Bangalore to Dubai, from Bali to Greenland AND Wigan library.
Tyrone Lewis the first ever Roundhouse Poet and a Roundhouse Poetry Slam Champion. He won the 2017 Axis Winter slam and was a finalist in the UK Farrago Slam Champions in 2017 and 2018 as well as being a finalist in the Hammer and Tongue Slam Championships 2018. He was also nominated as the editor’s choice for Best Spoken Word Performer for the 2018 Saboteur Awards.
Sarah "Rain" Kolawole
Sarah "Rain" Kolawole is a Spoken Word artist, Soho Theatre alumni playwright and Associate Artist of the Nottingham Playhouse theatre. Sarah is originally from Nottingham and has written poetry for a variety of commissions and events regionally and nationally including the Derby Book festival, the anniversary of the 'Windrush', the Big Session Festival, Ken Saro Wiwa anniversary and The Primary Gallery at The Welbeck estate.
Zia Ahmed is from North-West London. He is part of the London Laureates, having been shortlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate 2015/16. He is a former Roundhouse Slam Champion and Writer in Residence at Paines Plough as part of Channel 4’s Playwright Scheme. He is one of the Bush Theatre's Emerging Writers Group 2018/19.
WAKES by Sidney Belony focuses on the experiences of grief and bereavement between two young Black women. Sidney is a Luton-based writer and director who has had work performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East. She creates work which explores social and political themes. WAKES will be directed by Brigitte Adela. Previous work includes Dutty Wine (Southwark Playhouse) and Tamasha Scratch Night (Soho Theatre).
New Writing Double Bill
UNBURIED by Jimin Suh tells the story of the forced transfer of a Korean family from Soviet Russia based on real events in 1937. Jimin is a South Korean actor and playwright who recently completed a masters in Writing for Performance at Goldsmith’s University. UNBURIED will be directed by Adrian Tang who is returning after working with us on our scratch night in June as well as recently directing for The Monobox Playstart (Hampstead Theatre).
Scratch PerformancesFive short plays selected from over 160 open call submissions.
Saturday 29 February at 4pm and 7:30pm.
FREEFALL by Safaa Benson-Effiom, dir. by Rebekah Murrell
A LITTLE IRAQI by Jasmine Naziha Jones, dir. by Yasmin Hafesji
BAKED BEANS by Sid Sagar, dir. by Kwami Odoom
WHITE GIRL by Sufiyaan Salam, dir. by Jasmine Teo
GRINDR SURVIVR by Andrew L. Young, dir. by Aneesha Srinivasan
WorkshopsChinonyerem Odimba, Writing Opening Scenes
Monday 24 February, 10am to 1pm
Chinonyerem will be leading a workshop on perfecting those opening scenes to capture your reader and your audience. She is currently under commission for a new musical called BLACK LOVE with Paines Plough.
Lakesha Arie-Angelo, Introduction to Directing
Wednesday 26 February, 10am to 1pm
Lakesha will lead a knowledge and experience sharing workshops aimed at covering a range of topics from auditions to stage managers. Come along to share your insights and hear from others.
Tobi Kyeremateng, Producing
Wednesday 26 February, 2pm to 5pm
Want to bring your art to life or help others to get onto the stage? Award-winning cultural producer Tobi Kyeremateng will give you the tools to get started and help to demystify the producing job.
Ava Wong Davies, Experimenting with Theatre Criticism
Thursday 27 February, 10am to 1pm
Theatre critic and playwright Ava Wong Davies will lead a workshop which explores different forms and structures with theatre criticism to break out from the mould. Ava has written reviews for Exeunt and The Stage.
Tuyet Van Huynh, Fundraising and Self Care
Friday 28 February, 10am to 1pm
A workshop which will explore how to fundraise for your projects while maintaining self-care and looking after your mental health through rejections, financial pressures and success.
Workshop tickets are on a pay-what-you-can basis. We have 10 PWYC places available for each workshop. Our suggested ticket price is £10.
We also have 10 additional places reserved for young people of colour (18-25) to attend where we will pay them to cover potential loss of earning. These will be distributed via our partnership with Theatre Peckham. However, if you wish to be considered for a paid place, please email [email protected].