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Dec 11, 2020

Leading black British theatre company Talawa, which will celebrate its 35th birthday in 2021, is releasing a series of short online films titled Tales from the Frontline that examine the experiences of black frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic through monologues compiled from the words of real people through interviews.

BTG Editor David Chadderton spoke to Talawa’s Artistic Director, Michael Buffong, who also directed the first of the films, after two of the proposed six films had been released: one from the perspective of a schoolteacher and the other from the words of an NHS recovery worker.

They spoke about the reasons behind a project that Michael believes is essential to make sure that the contributions made by black workers to the essential services that keep the country functioning during the current crisis are documented so that they are not forgotten. They also spoke about plans for Talawa’s 35th birthday celebrations next year, and about the impressive list of productions that Michael has directed at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre over nearly two decades.

Tales from the Frontline can be watched for free on Talawa’s web site and YouTube channel, although donations are being requested for the charity Black Minds Matter UK.

(Photo of Michael Buffong, credit: The Masons)