Tiata Fahodzi – (ti∙a∙ta fa∙hoon∙zi) - meaning theatre of the emancipated - is a British African theatre company founded in 1997 by Femi Elufowoju Jr. It receives funding as a National Portfolio Organisation of the Arts Council England.
Arts Council England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It was formed in 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain was divided into three separate bodies for England, Scotland and Wales. The arts funding system in England underwent considerable reorganisation in 2002 when all of the regional arts boards were subsumed into Arts Council England and became regional offices of the national organisation.
Previous artistic directors include Femi Elufowoju Jr (1997-2010) and Lucian Msamati (2010-2014). Natalie Ibu became the company’s third artistic director in 2014.
Aimed at an all-inclusive British audience, the company’s mission statement is to challenge, reflect and explore the experience of the changing African diaspora in contemporary Britain through the medium of engaging, entertaining, world-class professional theatre.
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
A diaspora (/daɪˈæspərə/) is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. In particular, diaspora has come to refer to involuntary mass dispersions of a population from its indigenous territories, most notably the expulsion of Jews from the Land of Israel and the fleeing of Greeks after the fall of Constantinople. Other examples are the African transatlantic slave trade, the southern Chinese or Indians during the coolie trade, the Irish during and after the Irish Famine, the Romani from India, the Italian diaspora, the exile and deportation of Circassians, and the emigration of Anglo-Saxon warriors and their families after the Norman Conquest of England.
Fahodzi is noted for showcasing new British African talent with many artists gaining their first professional experiences with the company before achieving success at the national and international level. These artists include Bola Agbaje, who is now a Laurence Olivier Award winning playwright and Adetomiwa Edun, now internationally known as an actor, most notably as Sir Elyan in the TV show Merlin .
Bola Agbaje is an award-winning playwright of Nigerian origin.
The Laurence Olivier Awards, or simply the Olivier Awards, are presented annually by the Society of London Theatre to recognise excellence in professional theatre in London at an annual ceremony in the capital. The awards were originally known as the Society of West End Theatre Awards, but they were renamed in honour of the British actor Laurence Olivier in 1984.
A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes plays.
In 2015 Tiata Fahodzi became a resident company at Watford Palace Theatre, gaining an operational base for the first time in its history.
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Talawa Theatre Company is a Black British theatre company founded in 1986. The core of the company's work is championing reinterpretations of classic plays, developing new writing and directing talent, and producing plays from and about the African diaspora and Black British Community. The Company is a National Portfolio Organisation, supported by funding from Arts Council England in recognition of consistently high-quality artistic work and audience development, with an uplift in its grant for the period between 2018 and 2022.
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Lucian Gabriel Wiina Msamati is a British-Tanzanian film, television and theatre actor. He played Salladhor Saan in HBO series Game of Thrones and was the first black actor to play Iago at the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2015 production of Othello.
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Femi Elufowoju Jr. is a British Nigerian actor, performer, and director. After Alton Kumalo's Temba Theatre Company, he is the second theatre director of African descent to establish a national touring company in the UK. His stage work has been featured at the Royal Court Theatre, the Royal National Theatre, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Manchester's Royal Exchange, the Theatre Royal, Stratford East and the Soho Theatre, and he has worked under such notable theatre directors as Sir Richard Eyre, Nicholas Hytner, Yvonne Brewster, John Retallack, Annabel Arden, Jude Kelly and Annie Castledine.
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