Welcome In The Autumn At Tara Theatre

An eclectic mix of talks, poetry, theatre, dance and family shows is promised

Tara Theatre in Earlsfield has announced its new season with an eclectic mix of talks, poetry, theatre, dance and family shows.

The new season includes the return of the latest production from Black Theatre Live, the Tara Theatre-led consortium of eight venues committed to promoting BAME touring theatre.

Coming-of-age tale Big Foot (1st – 4th November) is Joseph Barnes-Phillips’ semi-autobiographical show traversing the highs and lows of teenage life in South London as Rayleigh attempts to balance the pressures of family, status and romance. Guyanese folk stories combine with grime in this humorous and passionate story about the knotty path towards responsibility and manhood.

Directed by Louise Townsend, Neil Gore’s We Are The Lions, Mr Manager! (21st – 24th November) tells the true story of one woman’s inspirational fight against workplace discrimination and reductive gender stereotypes. Jayaben Desai, who lead the strike at the Grunwick film processing factory between 1976 and 1978, was recently included in the Radio Four Women’s Hour Power list of those who have massively influenced female lives over the past 70 years.

Leading a dispute that turned into a national movement, Desai defied the factory boss with the words, “What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo. But in a zoo there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your fingertips, others are lions who can bite your head off. We are the lions, Mr Manager!”

As part of its autumn season, Tara will also welcome Bhuchar Boulevard’s new family-friendly production of Child of the Divide (7th – 11th November), which originally premiered at Wimbledon's Polka Theatre in 2006 to critical acclaim. Marking the 70th anniversary of the partition of India, it’s the story of Pali, a Hindu boy who accidentally loses his father amid the upheaval that ensues along the newly-formed border. Taken in by a Muslim family, Pali is given a new life, faith and name. But when his father returns to claim him, Pali must decide who he really is and where he belongs.

Tara’s family-friendly offerings continue with their collaboration with Forest Tribe Dance to present Prince of Fire (17th November), a new take on the Diwali story. The production for children will include dance, puppetry and projections in which the forces of light and darkness – plus a monkey army – do battle.

Created and performed by Zimbabwean born Scott Sparrow, ‘Ivan’ is a one man physical comedy about the tragic life of the failed dancer Ivan Popczieski coming to Tara Theatre on 5th – 6th October.

Meanwhile one-off performances coming to Tara this autumn includes Afro-Guyanese poet John Agard’s move from page to stage with Roll Over Atlantic, a satirical retelling of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the ‘New World’ (18th October). Set against a backdrop of insect buzzes and ocean murmurs, Agard blends the voices of Columbus, a native shaman and politically-engaged mosquitos with calypso rhythms and cabaret irreverence.

Re-opened in September 2016 by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Tara Theatre has garnered a range of awards, including The Stage Sustainability Award, London Construction Best Project Design Award & the London Architecture Culture & Community Award. It has also been shortlisted for the World Architecture & the Peter Brook Empty Space Awards this year.

To book tickets go to tara-arts.com.

September 29, 2017

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Above: The new theatre