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.


Monday 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
Double Bill
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

Workshops with:
Tobi Kyeremateng, Chinonyerem Odimba, Lakesha Arie-Angelo, Tuyet Van Huynh and Ava Wong Davies.

New Writing Double Bill

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).

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 Performances

Five short plays selected from over 160 open call submissions. 
Saturday 29 February at 4pm and 7:30pm.

Act 1
FREEFALL by Safaa Benson-Effiom, dir. by Rebekah Murrell
WHITE GIRL by Sufiyaan Salam, dir. by Jasmine Teo
GRINDR SURVIVR by Andrew L. Young, dir. by Aneesha Srinivasan   
Act 2
BAKED BEANS by Sid Sagar, dir. by Kwami Odoom  
A LITTLE IRAQI by Jasmine Naziha Jones, dir. by Yasmin Hafesji
Please note: FREEFALL contains discussions and themes of death, grief and suicide. WHITE GIRL contains discussions and themes of sexuality, gender and drug use. Use of homophobic and racist language. GRINDR SURVIVR includes discussions and themes of sexuality, BDSM, kink, gender and racism. Use of homophobic and racist language. BAKED BEANS contains discussions and themes of racism. Use of racist language. A LITTLE IRAQI contains discussions and themes of war, racism, suicide and drug use.


Chinonyerem 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].