Temba Theatre Company

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Temba Theatre Company was founded by Alton Kumalo in 1972. The initial aim was to produce new black writing from the UK and South Africa. The word Temba is said to mean 'Hope' in Zulu. Temba staged the first British production of Sizwe Bansi is Dead by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona, as well as many world premieres, including Black Slaves, White Chains by Mustapha Matura.

In 1984 Alby James took over as Artistic Director and sought to create new audiences for the company. More world premieres were put on, including Back Street Mammy by Trish Cooke, Glory! by Felix Cross and Streetwise by Benjamin Zephaniah. Staff at Temba collected press cuttings about their own activities but also about theatre and other cultural events involving black and Asian people and some political issues, such as the cultural boycott of South Africa and UK arts funding. The company closed in 1992, due to the withdrawal of funding by the Arts Council of Great Britain.

From the guide to the Temba, theatre company and the Black Theatre Collection: records, 1973-1992, (V&A Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance)

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Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Temba, theatre company and the Black Theatre Collection: records, 1973-1992 V&A Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance
Role Title Holding Repository
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associatedWith Arts Council of Great Britain corporateBody
associatedWith Kumalo, Alton person
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Theater--Great Britain--History--20th century
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