Tell Dem: Season Two

Hosted by Tamasha, in partnership with Transmission Roundhouse

Welcome to TELL DEM, our podcast where global majority movers and shakers, reflect and critique work that lies across our cultural spectrum, using it to unpack connected, contemporary issues and dissect the affairs rooted in our respective cultures. 

We offer a refreshing take on; plays, articles, film, digital work, podcasts, audio plays – all discussed through a culturally rich lens.  

Following the success of Season One, we’re back with new and important themes, including Muslim and the Media, Permanent Black Spaces in the Arts, The War on Woke, and What it Means to be Mixed Race in Britain Today. Featuring a plethora of incredible guests, including Sharmine Lovegrove, Mei Mac, Shiva Raichandani, Nadia Nadif, Richie Driss, Jude Christian and many more.

This is work by the Global Majority, reviewed and discussed by the Global Majority.  

Season Two trailer

EP1: Permanent Black Spaces in the Arts

Episode One welcomes back South London’s finest, Tobi Kyeremateng, as its guest presenter. Tobi’s joined by award-winning poet, playwright and curator, Inua Ellams, and artist and spatial practitioner, Amahra Spence. They talk about creative expression in the arts, what it means to exist in different spaces, shi**ing swans, friendship, radical honesty, choice, creating work that makes you feel good and the joy in making that work meaningful. The conversation was sparked by Tobi’s article Congregation As An Act Of Joy: Why I believe Permanent Black Theatre Spaces Are A Necessity. 

About TOBI 

Tobi Kyeremateng is a producer from South London 

About INUA 

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is an award-winning poet, playwright & curator. Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in his work, in which he mixes the old with the new, traditional with the contemporary. His books are published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches, Penned In The Margins, Oberon & Methuen. 


Amahra Spence is an artist and spatial practitioner, whose work encourages the collaborative dreaming, designing, resourcing and building of radical infrastructure for community vision, wellness, self-determination and joy. In all aspects of her work, Amahra contends with Black Imagination as a framework and the starting point for change. Amahra is Founding Director of MAIA (2013), Founder of YARD (2020) and Organiser of The Black Land & Spatial Justice Project (2020). She is currently fundraising to develop an artist-led hotel and cultural space, ABUELOS. 

EP2: What is it to be Queer and Asian in Britain?

Episode Two invites powerhouse Mei Mac as guest presenter, with multidisciplinary artist, Shiva Raichandani and critic and dramaturg, Frey Kwa Hawking. The trio give us insightful views on reviewing work in the arts, making work centred around joy, all things being queer in Britain, what it means to be Asian, holistic storytelling and honouring specificity. The conversation delves deep into the films created by Shiva, Peach Paradise and Queer Parivar 

About MEI

Mei Mac (she/her) is an actor, theatre maker, puppeteer, mover and activist. She has also worked as a movement director, associate director, dramaturg, facilitator and is newly making her name as a panel chair. She is a founder of Rising Waves, a mentorship programme for ESEA artists connecting emerging artists with established artists. Their motto is #TogetherWeRise and aim to uplift the community by nurturing the culture of skill sharing and empowering and celebrating each other. She is also an associate artist of New Earth Theatre, Whole Hog Theatre and is mentored by Rash Dash. She has also previously been working and lobbying with Public Campaign for The Arts.” 


Shiva is a multidisciplinary non-binary artist whose works harness the power of storytelling to create inclusive spaces for positive gender-diverse representation in media. They are a writer, director, and producer for film and TV; a professional dance educator and performer; and a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant. Shiva was an awardee of the inaugural Netflix Documentary Talent Fund, through which they directed a film called “Peach Paradise”. Their independent short musical film “Queer Parivaar” had its World Premiere at the prestigious BFI’s Flare Festival. More recently, Shiva has been announced as a recipient of Together TV’s Diverse Film Fund 2022 for which they will direct a documentary that will be broadcast on television. Shiva was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent; competed on India’s and France’s Got Talent; named TikTok’s 2022 LGBTQIA+ trailblazer; delivered a TEDx and ‘Google – I am Remarkable’ talk; performed at Cannes Lions; showcased at Queer Britain, the UK’s first LGBT+ museum; has been featured by the likes of Google, Getty Images, Instagram, and Vogue; and has walked the London Queer Fashion Show.   

About FREY

Frey Kwa Hawking is a critic and dramaturg who lives and works in London and is most experienced working with new writing and queer sh*t. He likes work which scares him and shakes his certainties, in terms of form as well as ideas. He has worked with companies and theatres including the Young Vic, Paines Plough, 45North, and the Bush Theatre. He is a script reader for Free Hand, a script reading service which provides free dramaturgical support to writers and organises with the Dramaturgs’ Network. He’s written for Exeunt Magazine, The Stage and WhatsOnStage. He strongly believes that all cops are b&st**ds. 

EP3: Absence of North African voices in British Theatre/Arts

For Episode Three we have Algerian-British storyteller, Roann Hassani McCloskey in the host seat. Joining Roann is actor, singer and voice over artist Nadia Nadif, and together they explore the absence of North African voices in the Arts sectorin particular those of the Maghreb. They delve into the world of British Theatre and the lack of North African stories available to us on those stages. The conversation also takes a deeper look into Disney+ series Oussekine, the first major Algerian production on a mainstream streaming platform.  


Roann McCloskey is an Algerian-British storyteller. Her work includes her 2019 award-winning sell-out, one-woman show, My Father the Tantric Masseur – an autobiographical exploration of sexuality, sexual trauma and familial relationships. Her second show, Who Murdered My Cat? shines a light on memory, its inconsistencies and its power in forming our identities. She is currently writing a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama TV series Lights, Camera, Couscous in which her Algerian mother, who informs so much of her creative work, has the starring role.  

2021 saw Roann chosen for BBC London voices, participating in SAFAR film school for emerging Arab Filmmakers as well as having a piece on collective healing published in Dardishi’s Zine. 

Roann’s writing finds the heart and humour that runs through tragedy, and centres around her curiosity and passion for bringing stories usually left at the margins to the centre where they belong. 

Roann is an educational facilitator focussing on anti-oppression pedagogy and accountability. She also works as a script consultant and production challenger.  


Nadia Nadif is English, Irish and Moroccan.  She grew up in Colchester, Casablanca and Hull, which is where she did her Drama degree, and trained with National Youth Theatre.   

Screen includes EastEnders, Comic Relief Sketches, The Secret World of Yarl’s Wood, Marshal’s Law (nominated for best sitcom) and Pusher.  Stage includes Heroes (Vault Festival, nominated for Outstanding New Work), Sundowning (Kali Theatre), The Scar Test (Soho Theatre), Macbeth (Voila Festival), Timon of Athens (Willow Globe Theatre), Catalina (Ovalhouse / Colchester Arts Centre), Unsung (Wilton’s Music Hall) and New Anatomies (BAC).

In addition to her career as an actor, singer and voice over, Nadia runs Untold Arts – a theatre and production company focussing on true stories from marginalised people, from history and the present day.  So far they have produced three new works – Lady Unknown by Lauren Johnson which had a sell-out run at the Dickens Museum, The Scar Test by Hannah Khalil which toured regionally and then transferred to Soho Theatre and was published by Methuen Drama, and Catalina by Hassan Abdulrazzak which, following successful runs at Ovalhouse and Colchester Arts Centre, is now being developed into a feature film with IFT Studios and the BFI.  She is also an associate with NYT, HistoryRiot, The Factory and Althea Theatre.

EP4: What does it mean to be mixed race in Britain today

British-Malaysian-Chinese-Manx writer, director, maker and sometimes-performer, Jude Christian, hops into the host seat this week. She’s joined by actor Jassa Ahluwalia and Blue Peter presenter, Richie Driss. The trio explore what it means to identify as Mixed Race in Britain today, with personal and professional experiences and how those experiences have shaped them today. There’s also a deep dive into Jassa’s TED Talk, Both Not Half: How Language Shapes Identity.  

About JUDE

Jude Christian is a British-Malaysian-Chinese-Manx writer, director, maker and sometimes-performer, working in theatre, film, opera and community arts. Her play Nanjing, about militant pacifism and mixed-heritage families, was developed at The Yard and selected for the 2021 Stückemarkt [SHTOOK-er-markt] at Berlin Theatertreffen [tay-ARE-tuh-treffen]. Jude’s upcoming projects include a short film, Titus Andronicus at Shakespeare’s Globe, Jack and the Beanstalk at the Lyric Hammersmith, and she is also currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Law. She lives in Salford. 


Jassa Ahluwalia is a British actor, writer and filmmaker. Born in Coventry, raised in Leicester, he came to prominence as loveable badboy Rocky in the hit BBC Three series Some Girls, followed by starring roles in Unforgotten, Ripper Street, and Peaky Blinders. Jassa is the creator of the hashtag #BothNotHalf, which he uses to explore mixed identity and his own British-Indian heritage. He is a fluent Punjabi speaker and studied Russian and Spanish at University College London. This eclectic cultural perspective has become a guiding feature of his work. 


Starting off on website, Richie worked across a huge variety of subjects, from car content covering Formula-E all across the world, to gaming reports both in video and written form from E3 in LA and Gamescom in Cologne, to football; plenty of football content with names such as Ian Wright, Teddy Sheringham, Gary Cahill, Ashley Young and World Cup winner Marcel Desailly. He’s also tackled traditional junkets with some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington, Scarlett Johannson, and Michael Douglas. An interview with Denzel Washington was picked up by press around the world due to answers Richie was able to draw out of the Oscar winning Hollywood icon. 

A successful set of screen-tests saw Richie awarded the job of the 38th presenter of BBC’s Blue Peter, the longest-running children’s television program in the world. It opened Richie up to weekly live television (without an autocue) and, of course, more challenges such as singing solo in front of an audience of 3,000 and racing a car powered by Animated Intelligence and climbing the Old Man Of Hoy. 

You can also find Richie co-presenting the Official New York Jets: Touchdown UK Podcast, which you can catch up on all things from JetsHQ! 

EP5: Muslim and the Media

For Episode Five we take an in-depth and personal look at the current representations that are widely seen and accepted in the Media today about the Religion of Islam and those who are Muslim. Writer and broadcaster, Yassmin Abdel-Magied hosts and is joined by Joint CEO of Shubbak, Alia Alzougbi, and writer and filmmaker, Elias Suhail. They delve into the complexities of misrepresentation before further exploring the text, On Islam: Muslims and the Media by Hilary E.Khan 


Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a writer and broadcaster based in London, via Australia and Sudan. A recovering engineer, Yassmin has published three books with Penguin Random House including two novels for younger readers, You Must Be Layla, and Listen Layla. Both have been optioned for screen by Goalpost Productions, with Yassmin as lead writer.  Yassmin spent 2021 as a resident at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, writing her first full length play, BLACK GUILD, and her upcoming essay collection, Talking About a Revolution. In 2020, Yassmin co-write the sold-out immersive theatre production at Kensington Palace, United Queendom and was later selected for the Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab. Yassmin’s social commentary can be found on the BBC, Aljazeera and Monocle 24, with her writing featured in The Guardian, Vogue, London’s Evening Standard and more, with her work on the Sudanese Revolutions of particular note. Her critically acclaimed essays have also been published widely, including in the best-selling It’s Not About The Burqa and The New Daughters of Africa. Yassmin founded Youth Without Borders at 16 and ran it for nine years before starting Mumtaza, an organisation focused on the empowerment of women of colour. In all her work, Yassmin is an advocate for transformative justice and a fairer, safer world for all. 

About ALIA

Alia is a performance storyteller, educator and cultural producer, compelled to find ways of subverting dominant narratives. She resonates with principles of social and environmental justice, activism and liberation as complex processes within deeply interconnected systems. Her practice in the community amplifies lesser-heard stories through co-produced creative outlets. She volunteers nationally and internationally as a coach with those experiencing barriers to the arts and creative industries. Alia is a Clore Fellow, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Joint CEO of Shubbak, London’s premier festival of contemporary Arab arts. 


Elias is a British-Moroccan writer and filmmaker based in Folkestone. His work is fast gaining attention in the relatively brief period since he began putting pen to paper in 2020. His short story, “The horrors I have seen”, was shortlisted from more than 750 submissions for A Writing Chance in 2021 which offered Elias his first paid commission. His dramatic monologue, “No Regrets”, was performed to a 250-strong live audience as part of Margins to Mainstream with Michael Sheen at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The piece was subsequently released on BBC Sounds. Elias has also written several creative non-fiction pieces for The New Statesman. Elias will direct his first short film, Wedad, which is being backed by the BFI Network, in late November 2022. The film, inspired by his own mother’s experience, tells the story of a young mother in Morocco who grapples with the decision she has taken to walk out of her life and turn her back on her young children. Elias’s work explores the complexities of the human condition; he hopes to use his confluence of experiences to tell stories about those who exist on the cultural margins. 

EP6: The War on Woke

Publishing powerhouse and managing director of Dialogue Books, Sharmaine Lovegrove, presents episode 6 – The War on Woke. Alongside guests Chino Odimba (writer and Artistic Director of Tiata Fahodzi) and Melz Owusu (artist, activist, academic and founder of the Free Black University), they discuss Wokeness, cancel culture, and its impact on theatre, arts and culture – all in 50 minutes! They take a special look at Zodwa Nyoni’s hit play The Darkest Part of the Night, and Ayishat Akanbi’s compelling video – “The Problem with Cancel Culture”. 


Sharmaine Lovegrove is the Managing Director of Dialogue Books, a brand new division of Hachette UK with the remit of Inclusion, Inspiration and Innovation, the publishing division is a home for a variety of stories from illuminating voices often missing from the mainstream. Sharmaine was the recipient of the Future Book Publishing Person of the Year 2018/19 and is inspired by innovative storytelling, and has worked in public relations, bookselling, events management and TV scouting. She was the literary editor of ELLE and set up her own bookshop and creative agency when living in Berlin. Sharmaine serves on the boards of The Black Cultural Archives, The Watershed and UK and is a founding organiser of The Black Writers Guild. Home is London, she lives in Berlin and her roots are Jamaican – Sharmaine is proud to be part of the African diaspora and books make her feel part of the world. 


Chino is a Nigerian British playwright, screenwriter, and poet. Her recent work ranges from Medea at Bristol Old Vic, We Too, Are Giants for Kiln Theatre, Unknown Rivers at Hampstead Theatre, Prince and the Pauper at Watermill Theatre, The Seven Ages of Patience at Kiln Theatre, and Princess & The Hustler which toured across the UK for Eclipse Theatre/Bristol Old Vic/Hull Truck. She is currently working on commissions for Young Vic, RSC. She was the inaugural Writer-in-Residence at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2020/2021. Her work for theatre includes The Bird Woman of Lewisham at the Arcola; Rainy Season, and His Name is Ishmael for Bristol Old Vic; Joanne for Clean Break, and Amongst the Reeds for Clean Break/The Yard Theatre. Her work for young people includes a modern retelling of Twist for Theatre Centre and Sweetness of a Sting for NT Connections. Her work has been shortlisted for several awards including the Adrienne Benham and Alfred Fagon awards. In 2015 her unproduced play Wild is De Wind was shortlisted to the final ten for the Bruntwood Playwriting Award. She is the winner for the 2018 Sonia Friedman Award (Channel 4 Playwright Bursary) for a new play How to Walk on the Moon, and a finalist for the inaugural Women Playwriting Prize 2020 for her play Paradise Street. Her play Black Love won the Writer’s Guild award for Best Musical Theatre Bookwriting in 2022. 

About MELZ (they/them) 

Melz is the Founder of the Free Black University (@freeblackuni). They are an activist who has worked in a number of spaces such as Black Lives Matter UK, decolonising education, and trans visibility. They are a multifaceted artist and academic, their work explores the radical Black imagination and building transformative worlds. Their passion is research, and they are currently a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge exploring visions for collective liberation, Melz always endeavours to take this radical, decolonial, Black feminist analysis forward in all aspects of their life and work. 

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EP1: Permanent Black Spaces in the Arts

Guest Presenter: Tobi Kyeremateng

Guests: Inua Ellams & Amahra Spence

EP2: What is it to be Queer and Asian in Britain?

Guest Presenter: Mei Mac

Guests: Shiva Raichandani & Frew Kwa Hawking

EP3: Absence of North African voices in British Theatre/Arts

Guest Presenter: Roann Mcclosky

Guest: Nadia Nadif

EP4: What does it mean to be mixed race in Britain today

Guest Presenter: Jude Christian

Guests: Richie Driss & Jassa Ahluwalia

EP5: Muslim and the Media

Guest Presenter: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Guests: Elias Suhail & Alia Alzougbi

EP6: The War on Woke

Guest Presenter: Sharmaine Lovegrove

Guests: Chino Odimba & Melz Owusu