In 2018, Curve, Bristol Old Vic Fement and The Lowry, Salford joined forces to offer three seed commissions of £2k each to three Artists of Colour (theatre makers or companies led by a majority of POC) to create ambitious new work for our theatres and beyond.

The commissions were named in memory of Naseem Khan OBE, author of the first ever Government inquiry into diversity in British culture (The Arts Britain Ignores, 1976); and lifelong champion of inclusion in theatre.

Meet the selected artists

Each of the artists selected to take part in the Naseem Khan Commissions was based in or had links to one of the partners areas – here in the East Midlands, the South West and Greater Manchester.

Trina Haldar

Trina Haldar is the Founder and Artistic Director of Mashi Theatre.

Mashi Theatre was set up in response to the lack of diverse work on offer, particularly for young people.

Mashi Theatre reawakens stories steeped in culture and hand them down to new generations. A Mashi is a keeper of stories and teller of tales. The company creates work that is Playful; Challenging; Universal & Inquisitive. Our aim is to bring people together through the telling of stories that transcend time and offer a fresh perspective.

Tales of Birbal (a Co-production with The Spark & supported by Z-Arts) toured Nationally in 2017. Mashi’s new show, Stripey Honey… is very Yummy (a commission by Big Imaginations, in partnership with The Spark Arts for Children) is set on the border of India and Bangladesh, home to the Bengal Tiger and local Honey Bees will tour the North West & Midlands in Spring 2019.

As a Freelance Theatre Director, Trina’s directing credits include productions at Curve Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Tara Arts, Soho Theatre and recently Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai, India.

Trina is also a Giggle Doctor with the Theodora Children’s Charity, former participant with the National Theatre- Step Change programme, The Optimists with China Plate and a Clore50 SC Alumni. She consults with Theatres and consortium to increase representation on and off our stages and has spoken at a number of platforms including the Guardians “Our Nations Theatre” conversations with Lyn Gardner and recently on Radio 4’s Front Row programme.

Trina is on the board of Theatre-Rites an award-winning company and leader in the creation of experimental theatre for children. 

Madeline Shann

Madeline Shann is a theatre-maker, writer, choreographer and performer. She trained in Drama at Exeter University, and Physical Theatre with Jasmin Vardimon Company and Royal Holloway University London. Her own work includes solo show Little Terrors and dance theatre ensemble piece Sex In Real Life. As a performer Madeline has worked with RashDash on The Darkest Corners, Featherweight on The Red Tree and Travelling Light on Igloo. As an assistant director her credits include Of Kith and Kin (Rob Hastie, Sheffield Theatres/Bush Theatre) and Black Men Walking (Dawn Walton, Eclipse Theatre/Royal Exchange Theatre).

Tribe Arts

Tribe Arts is a philosophically inspired, radical-political theatre company based in Leeds/Bradford. The company amplifies the stories and voices of the current Black and Asian generation and believes theatre needs to be rejuvenated into the 21st century. Tribe seeks to cultivate an environment for a renaissance in theatre-making and produce unexpected performances that reach towards transcendental experiences. Tribe anticipates being a movement and a brand, with far-reaching visions outside traditional theatre environments. Tribe trusts in constant questioning, revolution, change and empowerment, and wants to be a conduit for social conversation and healing. Tribe’s ambition is to extend outside of traditional performance spaces to connect, work, aid, represent, champion, motivate, educate and entertain communities, through powerful theatre and other interdisciplinary art forms.

Tribe Arts is spearheaded by two British Asian men, Tajpal Rathore & Samran Rathore (not related!). Aside from being actors, Tajpal is also a producer, writer and presenter; Samran is a writer and Spoken Word artist, and both have an interest in music and rhythm, incorporating much of these disparate skills and stylistic qualities into Tribe’s resultant work.