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Building international links is an essential part of Sustained Theatre’s work because artists thrive on creative dialogue with other practioners from a range of backgrounds and perspectives. Sustained Theatre artist’s want more opportunities to share skills and knowledge with artists from outside of Britain. Artists play a crucial role in crossing creative and cultural boundaries. Developing partnerships with the British Council and other organisations in Britain and overseas is key to Sustained Theatre’s international work.

Pervaiz Khan’s  time as the Sustained Theatre International Broker has come to an end and  he has moved to South Africa. Three individual artists, all with experience in international collaborations, will be taking the lead for  international work :  Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh - Northern Europe,  Samir Bhamra - India and Jenni Lewin-Turner - South Africa. They will be looking at ways  of engaging and networking ST artists in international opportunities.

Writer Napo Masheane

Sustained Theatre International Update


South Africa

 In January SANPWP (South African New Plays Writing Programme) was launched at Wits University Theatre by Paul Mashitile, South African  Minsiter for Arts & Culture. SANPWP is a partnership between Sustained Theatre, SA Department of Arts Culture, British Council & Wits Theatre.

 The call out has gone out in South Africa for Phase 2 of the SANPWP. By early June the South African writers  taking part  in the July workshops at the National Arts Festival Grahamstown will be selected. The process of  building links between writers  in the UK and writers in SA will then get underway. There has been a very positive response from writers who are part of the Sustained Theatre Network who want to get involved in the exchange of work and ideas.


Since we  began discussions with the British Council about the UK/India residency scheme  the political and financial climate has changed considerably and has impacted on budgets and staffing. It is now clear that it is not possible for the scheme to proceed.

British Council colleagues value the engagement from the Sector and will continue   to  welcome proposals for   programmes that are already up and running such as Connections through Culture.

Northern Europe

Over a number of years Sustained Theatre and Riksteatern (Sweden’s national touring theatre)  have developed ongoing links. Riksteatern is interested in Spoken Word, Physical Work and Urban Work from the UK. Riksteatern staff will be  at Decibel 2011, networking events and meetings will be arranged with Sustained Theatre artists.

UK Tour October 2010 - Verbalized was a unique collaboration between 10 UK & South African performance poets.

BandBazi Sustained Theatre network member BandBazi (www.bandbazi.co.uk) is working on a UK India collaborative project.

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka
Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka talking about his childhood in Nigeria, creativity and inspiration.

Beyond Words - South African Performance Poet Tour 2009
Beyond Words Tour - In October/November 2009 a group of South Africa’s leading poets toured England for the first time.. It was a collaboration between Sustained Theatre and Apples & Snakes. The tour was supported by Arts Council England & Department of Arts & Culture – South Africa

Below are links to video clips of performances, interviews & workshops 

Performance Poetry
Keorapetse Kgositsile
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers
Donata Mattera
Lebo Mashile

Interviews with Poets 
Interviews 1 Keorapetse Kgositsile
Interviews 2 Phillippa Yaa De Villiers
Interviews 3 Don Mattera
Interviews 4 Lebo Mashile

Masterclass & Skills Exchange Workshop
Masterclass - Keorapetse Kgositsile
Skills Exchange Workshop - Lebo Mashile & Phillippa Yaa De Villiers

Josette Bushell Mingo – UK Artist Working in Sweden

Artistic Director of Tyst Teatr (National Swedish Theatre for the Deaf based at Riksteatern in Stockholm) and Push in UK, was interviewed when a delegation of British artists from Sustained Theatre visited the Riksteatern to discuss the possibilities of setting up a Northern European touring network and explore potential collaborations between UK and Swedish artists.

Following the Sustained Theatre consultation, Baroness Lola Young’s Whose Theatre….? Report was published in 2006, in which specific recommendations were made on international connections and developments.

Read The Whose Theatre....? Report