The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama is pleased to announce the forthcoming production of Lie With Me, playing from 14-16 August in the Embassy Theatre. Presented by Talawa Young People’s Theatre, Lie with Me explores what happens when all the promises you make to yourself and others are broken. Set in a surreal hospital, group dynamics crumble in the face of betrayal whilst physical theatre and a haunting soundscape combine to create an evening of powerful drama.
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama has had an on-going and fluid relationship with Talawa Theatre Company for a number of years. Initiated by Senior Lecturer in Voice at Central, Claudette Williams, the collaboration between Talawa and Central has grown in its reach and is a valued partnership. Currently the relationship is linked to various staff and areas of the School’s work including the taught degrees and the programme with TYPT, which Central has hosted in the Embassy since 2012.
TYPT is Talawa’s programme for emerging theatre makers engaging both performers and offstage crew. A year-long project involving a series of events and opportunities for participants, it begins with a four-week intensive devising process and culminates in a professional production. During this process participants work with a range of practitioners to develop their skills.
By its very nature, engaging young BME theatre-makers in a devising process, TYPT productions always make a direct comment on what it is to be young, Black and British, and they further explore where these identities intersect with a range of contemporary issues. The relationship between Central and Talawa, and the work they do together, contributes to the work the School does in conjunction with partners to examine and enhance BME students’ experiences and the experiences of all students as they engage in a broad education in the field of drama, theatre and performance.
Central’s relationship with Talawa seeks to promote a link with a company who identify as ‘Britain’s primary Black led theatre company’ and a company with a dynamic and high quality range of practices. The relationship also allows the two organisations to learn from one another. By working with Talawa, Central is able to provide an opportunity for non-BME members of the School to understand more fully a perspective of Black theatre. In terms of Talawa, the TYPT participants work with teachers and technicians from the School and gain an insight into what Central is like as an institution.
Both Central and Talawa are keen to build on the relationship that they have established and allow it to form a platform for future collaborations. During the course of the research, several ideas have been presented as potentially fertile areas for development with a number of practical suggestions about how both organisations could develop more practical outputs through further use of existing expertise and resources.