Talawa Stories Radio Dramas Return to BBC Radio 4 For Second Season

Talawa Stories follows the success of the first series in 2021.

By: Dec. 05, 2023
Talawa Stories Radio Dramas Return to BBC Radio 4 For Second Season

Following a successful first series in 2021, Talawa Stories is returning to BBC Radio 4 with three fresh, powerful radio dramas in 2024.  The playwrights, plays and directors have been announced, bringing their unique and exciting works to the airwaves, presented by Talawa, the UK’s outstanding Black theatre company. 

The three selected playwrights are Babirye Bukilwa, who recently starred in BBC Three’s Dreaming Whilst Black, and will star in the channel’s hotly anticipated upcoming Domino Day; lydia luke, a finalist for the Women’s Prize for Playwrighting 2021 who recently was the assistant director for Talawa’s 2023 show Recognition; and Rashida Seriki, director of BBC Comedy’s Maneater, and writer and director on episodes of Channel 4’s We Are Lady Parts.  

Haunting and urgent, The Master’s House by Babirye Bukilwa sees four women – stripped of their identities and renamed April, May, September and December – plot their escape from the master’s house and the violence of patriarchy.  In lydia luke’s copper & lead, an explosive secret threatens to shatter a young Black couple’s love – and bodies – forever. luke’s poetic production, set in the Midlands in 1978, offers an alternate history against the backdrop of one of the harshest winters the UK has ever seen, tackling belonging, medical negligence and disposability.  Rashida Seriki’s BABYDYKE is a searing exploration of youthful romance, familial responsibility and negotiating independence, dissecting the complexities of navigating repressed sexuality as a young Black Londoner.  Tara’s dad thinks she loves the wrong people – but Tara, tired of pulling pints and babysitting her dad – faces a whole new reality when she falls for Phoenix. 

Three lauded Black directors take the helm of the Talawa Stories radio dramas. Directing The Master’s House is malakaï sargeant, a multidisciplinary artist and producer who has previously collaborated with bukilwa on their debut …cake at Theatre Peckham, which met with critical acclaim and was followed by YUMMY at Theatre Royal Stratford East; sargeant has also presented work at the Royal Court, Hackney Empire, Unicorn Theatre and the National Gallery.  Philip J Morris, Artistic Director of Trybe House Theatre, directs copper & lead.  Morris has directed plays for the RSC, as well as Of The Cut at the Young Vic, Sessions at Paines Plough and Soho Theatre, and Manorism, An adaptation by Yomi Ṣode at the Southbank CentreTian Brown-Sampson (The Lesson, Theatre503; In The Black Fantastic, Southbank Centre; Two Billion Beats, Orange Tree Theatre) directs BABYDYKE.  

Michael Buffong, Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company, comments, Talawa Stories moving into its second season doubles down on Talawa’s commitment to spotlighting the most exciting Black British talent and giving new audiences access to them.  The themes explored in this latest series of three radio dramas will no doubt thrill and challenge the listener. 

Talawa Stories follows the success of the first series in 2021, which saw three original audio drams by Sian Carter, Charles Entsie and Roberta Livingstone air to acclaim, with casts including Don Warrington, Sharon D Clarke and Alfred Enoch.  One of the radio dramas, Running With Lions, went on to have a stage life at Lyric Hammersmith in 2022.