LONDON – This February, The Upsetters are taking over the Bunker Theatre for one week to present a festival dedicated to celebrating artists of colour. This festival will mark the first ever Takeover Festival, an annual week-long touring festival which takes over a new theatre venue each year around the country with the aim of presenting new work by artists of colour while engaging with the next generation of young theatre-makers from culturally diverse backgrounds.
The Upsetters make theatre predominantly with artists of colour as a means to address underrepresentation and misrepresentation of people of colour on and off the stage.
At the moment, The Upsetters feel there is a clear bias which they want to overcome by creating brand new opportunities for those from underrepresented backgrounds to have their work performed. Too often, people of colour are told the talent isn’t out there. The Upsetters here to prove that wrong.
The Takeover Festival will feature new writing across a number of forms. Wakes by Sidney Belony focuses on the experiences of grief and bereavement between two young Black women, while Unburied by Jimin Suh tells the story of the forced transfer of a Korean family from Soviet Russia based on real events in 1937.
The Upsetters will also be hosting a poetry night with Zia Ahmed, Tyrone Lewis and Sarah “Rain” Kolawole along with a special guest performer to be announced at a later date. To wrap up the performances, The Upsetters will be putting their highly successful Scratch Night into the main event Saturday slot rather than hidden away on a dark day. The Upsetters have already lined up five brilliant emerging directors for the Scratch Night including Kwami Odoom, Aneesha Srinivasan, Yasmin Hafesji, Rebekah Murrell and Jasmine Teo. Plays will be selected via an open callout and will be announced on 10th February 2020.
The Upsetters will also be trying their hand at workshops, hosting five workshops where they pay young people of colour to attend. The Upsetters will be providing a £31.65
payment for a three-hour workshop at the London Living Wage rate, covering any loss of income while providing young people of colour with a chance to work with highly experienced industry professionals and workshop facilitators. Workshop facilitators will be covering a range of topics including Tobi Kyeremateng (Introduction to
Producing), Tuyet Van Huynh (Fundraising and Self Care), Chinonyerem Odimba (Writing Opening Scenes), Steven Kavuma (Introduction to Directing) and Ava Wong Davies (Experimenting with Theatre Criticism).
The Takeover Festival runs from 24th to 29th February at the Bunker Theatre. Tickets and full programme available here