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TTC - Records of Talawa Theatre Company
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Records of Talawa Theatre Company

Archives described on the Archives Hub are held in repositories across the UK

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC
Dates of Creation 1962-2007
Name of Creator Talawa Theatre Company
Language of Material English
Physical Description 893 files

Scope and Content

The records of Talawa Theatre Company consist of the records of the administration of the company, records relating to the putting on of individual productions including relevant photographs, audio-visual recordings, press cuttings and prompt scripts. The collection also contains the Blackgrounds and Blackstage oral history projects, the records of various projects with young people and theatre practitioners and the records of Talawa's fundraising project for a home for Black theatre.

Administrative / Biographical History

Talawa Theatre Company was set up in 1985 by Yvonne Brewster, Mona Hammond, Carmen Monroe and Inigo Espejel. Their first production was The Black Jacobins by CLR James in 1986, a play about the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804, which had not been performed in England for fifty years and never with a complete Black cast. This production was funded by the Greater London Council Race Equality Unit as part of the Black Experience Arts Programme. During the same year Yvonne Brewster directed An Echo in the Bone by Dennis Scott and in 1988 the European Premiere of O Babylon! by Derek Walcott and Galt McDermot.

The company went on to produce works by Oscar Wilde and by William Shakespeare, as well as plays by African and Caribbean writers such as Wole Soyinka and also by new Black British writers. As well as putting on productions Talawa worked to develop new audiences and greater participation in the theatre through the Summer school programme and various workshops and outreach projects. They also developed new writers by putting on script reading events and script writing projects. In 1992 Talawa moved from the Africa Centre in Covent Garden to a residency at the Cochrane Theatre, which allowed them to put on three plays a year. This arrangement ended in 1995 as Talawa embarked on what would become the ten year Capital Project, Talawa's search for a new home for Black Theatre. When the project did not result in a new building, Yvonne Brewster stood down as Director of Talawa.

In 2006 Pat Cumper was appointed as Artistic Director, and she was joined by Deborah Sawyer as Executive Director. The company's current mission statement identifies Talawa as a Black led theatre company that seeks to give voice to Black British experience, to nurture the writers, directors, designers, administrators and marketers of the future and to cultivate Black audiences and audiences for Black work.

Arrangement

Arrangement

Material is arranged chronologically within series, except where stated. Details on where plays were put on, during what dates and the names of playwrights and directors can be found within the descriptions of programmes (TTC/8/3/3) and the descriptions of production management correspondence (TTC/4/1). Records have been arranged chronologically in the following sub-fonds:

  • TTC/1 - Company Management records
  • TTC/2 - Finance records
  • TTC/3 - Legal records
  • TTC/4 - Artistic Mangement records
  • TTC/5 - Literary records
  • TTC/6 - Photographs
  • TTC/7 - Audio Visual Material
  • TTC/8 - Press and Marketing records
  • TTC/9 - Fundraising records
  • TTC/10 - Project and workshop records
  • TTC/11 - Buildings and Estates records

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday between 10.15 am and 4.30 pm. Access to it is by appointment only. To request an appointment please email tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7942 2698.

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level.

Conditions Governing Use

Archive material may not be photocopied. Arrangements can be made to photograph material in the reading room using non-flash photography.

Acquisition Information

Loan from Future Histories, 2007

Custodial History

The archive has been kept by Talawa theatre company until 2007 when it was loaned to Future Histories who in turn loaned it to the V&A Theatre Collections. In 2001 the archive was organised by David Johnson, an employee of Talawa who wrote a PhD on the history of the company (a copy of his thesis is in the collection, reference TTC/1/8/2).

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to Talawa may be found in several collections, including production files, company files, theatre buildings files, biographical files for related persons, and photographs.

Please ask for details.

Subjects

Theater - Great Britain - History - 20th century
Theater management
Black theater - Great Britain

Personal Names

Brewster, Yvonne
Hammond, Mona

Corporate Names

Talawa Theatre Company

Cataloguing Info

Title Records of Talawa Theatre Company
Sub-title Catalogue of records in the Victoria & Albert Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance
Author Catalogued by Vaila Holbourn
Revisions

Company management records

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1
Dates of Creation 1985-2005
Physical Description 23 files

Scope and Content

Records relating to the general management of the theatre company including committee minutes and correspondence, business plans and some company histories. More information may also be found in the Fundraising files. The management of individual productions will be found in Artistic Management.


Statutory records and related correspondence

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/1
Dates of Creation 1985-1987
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Records relating to official foundation and development of the company, including Memorandum and Articles of Association and related correspondence.


Memorandum and Articles of Association

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/1/1
Dates of Creation 1986
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Photocopy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association


Correspondence regarding Charitable status and changes to the Memorandum and Articles of Association

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/1/2
Dates of Creation 1985-1987
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Correspondence regarding obtaining Charitable status and the related changes to the Memorandum and Articles of Association.


Board minutes from 1988 to 2004

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/2
Dates of Creation 1988-2004
Physical Description 8 files

Scope and Content

Minutes from Board meetings concerning the general management of the company.


Board minutes from 1988 to 1994

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/2/1
Dates of Creation 1988-1994
Physical Description 1 file

Board minutes for 1995

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/2/2
Dates of Creation 1995
Physical Description 1 file

Board minutes from 1996 to 1997

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/2/3
Dates of Creation 1996-1997
Physical Description 1 file

Board minutes from 1998 to 2001

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/2/4
Dates of Creation 1998-2001
Physical Description 1 file

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers will be restricted until 31st December 2008.


Board minutes from 2002 to 2004

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/2/5
Dates of Creation 2002-2004
Physical Description 3 files

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers will be restricted until 31st December 2011.


Board members manual

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/2/6
Dates of Creation c1990
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Board members manual, designed by the Arts Council of Great Britain for arts organisations.


Minutes of Annual General Meetings from 1987 to 2003

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/3
Dates of Creation 1987-2003
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Minutes relating to the Annual or Extraordinary General Meetings.


Minutes of Annual General Meetings from 1987 to 2003

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/3/1
Dates of Creation 1987-2003
Physical Description 1 file

Minutes of Finance sub-committee from 1991 to 2003

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/4
Dates of Creation 1991-2003
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Minutes from the meetings of the Finance sub-committee. Financial information can also be found in Finance records (TTC/2) and also Board minutes (TTC/1/2).


Minutes of Finance sub-committee from 1991 to 2003

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/4/1
Dates of Creation 1991-2003
Physical Description 2 files

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers will be restricted until 31st December 2010.


Minutes of the Personnel sub-committee from 1996 to 2003

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/5
Dates of Creation 1996-2003
Physical Description 1 file

Scope and Content

Minutes of the sub-committee to deal with personnel matters.


Minutes of the Personnel sub-committee from 1996 to 2003

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/5/1
Dates of Creation 1996-2003
Physical Description 1 file

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers will be restricted until 31st December 2033.


Committee correspondence from 1987 to 2003

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/6
Dates of Creation 1987-2003
Physical Description 5 files

Scope and Content

Correspondence relating to the Board of management and various other committees.


Committee correspondence from 1987 to 1992

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/6/1
Dates of Creation 1987-1992
Physical Description 1 file

Committee correspondence from 1993 to 1995

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/6/2
Dates of Creation 1993-1995
Physical Description 1 file

Committee correspondence for 1996

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/6/3
Dates of Creation 1996
Physical Description 1 file

Committee correspondence for 1997 to 1998

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/6/4
Dates of Creation 1997-1998
Physical Description 1 file

Committee correspondence for 1999 to 2003

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/6/5
Dates of Creation 1999-2003
Physical Description 1 file

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these papers will be restricted until 31st December 2010.


Business and Development Plans

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/7
Dates of Creation 1991-1997
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Business plan and development plan. Other material relating to business planning can be found in the Capital Project files within the Fundraising material (TTC/9/4).


Business Plan for 1991 to 1994

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/7/1
Dates of Creation 1991
Physical Description 1 file

Development plan for 1997 to 1999

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/7/2
Dates of Creation 1997
Physical Description 1 file

Company histories

Reference Number(s) GB 71 TTC/1/8
Dates of Creation 1996-2004
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Various histories and profiles of the company.