Posted: 21 September 2022

Tamasha announces first full season under Pooja Ghai and Valerie Synmoie

Valerie Synmoie and Pooja Ghai. Photo by Bettina Adela

We’re thrilled to reveal a rich programme of live and digital theatre from autumn 2022 into spring 2023 – the first full season under Artistic Director Pooja Ghai and Executive Director/CEO Valerie Synmoie.

“Re-imagining British theatre with stories that represent and celebrate the world in which we live has been a steadfast mission for Tamasha, and this season is a testament to that.

We are especially proud to showcase two world premieres with Hakawatis: Women of the Arabian Nights by Hannah Khalil, co-produced with Shakespeare’s Globe, that re-enforces the power of storytelling as a rallying cry for united action; and STARS by Mojisola Adebayo, our co-production with the ICA, a concept album on stage. Both pieces are audacious, they celebrate the power and strength of women and the human spirit, they are full of wit, joy and heart whilst tackling difficult themes affecting society today.

This season speaks to Tamasha’s commitment and passion to tell stories and provoke conversations that celebrate the intersectionality and imagination of our Global Majority artists. It highlights the breadth and capacity of these extraordinary theatre makers and celebrates our partnerships and collaborations as we forge a way with our ambitions. This season is about home, belonging, hope, tenacity, love, community and justice. We are ever grateful to and inspired by the artists, makers, partners and collaborators who have come together to bring this work to you all. We hope it will entice the mind and elicit the senses.”


Delve into the individual projects that make up our new season!

TELL DEM: Season Two

From 28 September 

Supported by Transmission Roundhouse

Season Two brings together another awesome group of global majority movers and shakers to reflect and critique work from across the cultural spectrum, and unpack connected, contemporary issues. The new season of six episodes explores themes, including: Permanent Black Spaces in the Arts (presented by Tobi Kyeremateng with Inua Ellams and Amahra Spence), The Absence of North African Voices in British Theatre and Arts (with Roann Mcclosky and Nadia Nadif), and The War on Woke (hosted by Sharmaine Lovegrove, with Chinonyerem Odimba and Melz Owusu).

Discover more

COME THROUGH: a festival for artists and audiences

From 5 November

In partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome and Theatro Technis @ 26 Crowndale

For the first time, we will be showcasing brand new short plays created by our recent cohort of playwrights and directors, developed with Iman Qureshi and Satinder Chohan. Alongside this opportunity to see tomorrow’s hit plays, the festival will feature workshops and talks from leading industry practitioners for aspiring and early career global majority artists.

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From November

In partnership with National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio

What is ‘Home’ and what does it mean to different people? The concept is explored innovatively by three pairs of artists through our Digital Development programme in partnership with the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio. In this pilot series of Digital R&D labs, creatives are commissioned to explore, interrogate, and create a new piece of work through technology – all inspired by the idea of Home. Pairing writers with makers, the artists are Shankho Chaudhuri and Azan Ahmed, Gitika Buttoo and Erinn Dhesi, and Tatenda Matsvai and Gisela Mulindwa.

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From November

A Tamasha Production commissioned for the AHRC BBC 100 project Cultural Revolution? The BBC and Social Change in 1960s Britain

An interactive, mixed-media installation fusing audio-dramas, video and texts, LIFE IN A GOLDFISH BOWL is being created by Tamasha playwright JC Niala in response to BBC Archive material depicting mixed heritage people and stories of mixed-relationships from the 1940s to 1980s. The piece invites audiences to consider what the future could be by experiencing the complexities of the past.

This is one of several projects marking the BBC’s 100th birthday, funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council, exploring the BBC’s relationship with British culture and society. Tamasha, along with others, has been invited to rethink the BBC’s relationship to social change in the 1960s by adapting ‘lost’ documentaries about ethnicity, sexuality and gender.

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HAKAWATIS: women of the Arabian nights

From 1 December

A co-production with Shakespeare’s Globe

The fearless new play that shares the unifying power of storytelling as ancient tales are reclaimed, rewritten and reimagined, premieres this December in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe. A tyrant revenges his wife’s infidelity by wedding, bedding and beheading a new bride every day. Years later five brides-in-waiting remain – unapologetic and united in their fight to keep womankind alive.

Hakawatis is directed by our Artistic Director, Pooja Ghai, and written by Globe Resident Hannah Khalil, with contributions from Hanan al-Shaykh, Suhayla El-Bushra, and Sara Shaarawi.

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STARS: an Afrofuturist space odyssey

From 13 April 2023 

A co-production with ICA

STARS is written by ground-breaking theatremaker and Alfred Fagon award winner, Mojisola Adebayo, who has been making work internationally for 30 years from Antarctica to Zimbabwe.

Telling the story of an old lady who goes into space in search of her own orgasm, the Afrofuturist piece transcends theatre and live art to explore the politics and power of sexual pleasure. Hugely original, STARS is Mojisola’s ‘concept album on stage’, featuring one woman and a live onstage DJ, animation, and captions.

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