In 2023, ATC produced its acclaimed TRANSFORMATION SEASON, an ambitious body of work that responded to a single artistic provocation: 


‘Can we transform the painful legacies of history into a future of hope and possibility?’ 


ATC’s Transformation Season embraced three very different approaches to that question.


FAMILY TREE – a poetic ritual-drama by Mojisola Adebayo that uncovered the hidden legacy of Henrietta Lacks, and toured to 12 places across the UK. 


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “Outspoken and magical … informs us with its history and moves us with its personal stories” (British Theatre Guide) 


TAMBO & BONES - the UK Premiere of a new play from USA that interrogated the intersection of race, performance and capitalism, containing a satire on minstrelsy, a hip-hop concert … and robots. The limited season at Stratford East in summer 2023 will be followed by national and international touring in 2024.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “A Stellar work of art” All That Dazzles


THE ARCHITECT - an immersive journey aboard a London bus, created by a collective of leading Black artists, in response to a seismic event in British history, and in association with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation. Headline event of the 2023 Greenwich + Docklands Festival.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “A truly transporting ride … surreal, captivating and ultimately life -affirming.” The Guardian (one of ten 5-star reviews)


The season was curated and directed by ATC Artistic Director & Joint CEO, Olivier Award winner  Matthew Xia: “Too often as a touring company, we appear to be a sum of parts: a show made in one place, another show pops up elsewhere. The truth is, that we are creating a body of work arising from a single artistic idea: transforming painful histories into a more hopeful future.” 


All three ATC productions in the Transformation Season champion a host of Black writers and creatives, adding a new wave of epic plays to the Black theatrical cannon.  


ATC Executive Director & Joint CEO Andrew Smaje adds: “Sometimes the work of touring companies can feel like it’s hidden under the place-based blanket of the brilliant venues we visit and make our productions with. This year, ATC is speaking loud and proud about our body of work in 2023, which will be produced and seen in towns and cities across the nation, from Plymouth to Glasgow, via Keswick and Ipswich, all created from ATC’s two bases in Bradford and Brixton.”  


Awards won in the Transformation Season: 


  • Family Tree won the most prestigious prize in Black British playwriting – the Alfred Fagon Award, in its 25th anniversary event at the National Theatre. The award was presented to playwright Mojisola Adebayo by Baroness (Floella) Benjamin 


Award nominations (to date): 


Stage Awards:

Producer of the Year (Transformation Season)

The Innovation Award (The Architect)



Best Lead Performance (Aminita Francis, Family Tree) 

Best Design (Simon Kenny, Family Tree) 

Best Director (Matthew Xia, Tambo & Bones)


UK Theatre Awards: 

Best Design (Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey and ULTZ, Tambo & Bones) 


Black British Theatre Awards: 


For Family Tree – 

Best Lead Performance (Aminita Francis, Family Tree) 



For Tambo & Bones – 

Best Director (Matthew Xia) 

Best Production (Actors Touring Company and Stratford East) 

Best Movement Direction (Kloé Dean) 



For Body of Work: 

Simisola Majekodunmi (including Family Tree) 

Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey (including Tambo & Bones) 


The season’s work covered on Good Morning Britain, Channel 4 News, Sky News, GB News, Talk TV and BBC News; on BBC Radio 4, World Service and regional radio; in Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Independent, Time Out, Evening Standard, Guardian, Financial Times and many regional publications.  


35% of our reviews were by Black-led media.  

50% of reviews were from regional publications 

98% of reviews were 4 stars or above 




  • 9 months of continuous producing  
  • Created by our small team of 3 full time and 2 part time staff 
  • Together with a huge team of theatre-makers, co-producers, the amazing ATC Board, and many more … 


Thank you to everyone who experienced, took part in and helped to make The Transformation Season so powerful, impactful and, yes, transformative 💙💙💙💙 



Transformation Season  facts and figures  


ATC’s Transformation Season reached: 

  • 15,163 audience members in the UK 
  • 1,600 participants in the UK and internationally (to date…) 


FAMILY TREE reached: 

  • 6,917 audience members 
  • 1400 participants in workshops (live and online) and panel discussions, including a special panel created by life sciences company Abcam especially for the production, led by historian and broadcaster David Olusoga  
  • The panel has so far engaged with an audience of nearly 700 online, with more to be added through cicrluation to secondary schools (UK), Asia Pacific branches of Abcam with captioning for Chinese and Japanese speakers). 


TAMBO & BONES reached: 

  • 6,386 audience members 
  • 250 participants in a special panel discussion led by actor and ATC supporter Adrian Lester 



  • 660 people across 12 performances on a London bus 
  • 1200 people for the free outdoor shows in Woolwich’s central square  
  • Total audience of 1860 

The Season in summary: 

  • 14 tour locations, including 
  • Coventry, Glasgow, Brixton, Edinburgh, Oxford, Sheffield, Nottingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Plymouth, Ipswich, Keswick, Newham and Greenwich
  • 95 performances 
  • 19 weeks of performances 
  • 78% of tour locations were outside London 
  • 30% of performances were in ACE-designated Priority Places (Newham)  
  • Family Tree enjoyed sell-out nights in Brixton, Bristol and Coventry 
  • Average attendance for Family Tree across all 12 venues = 52% (national average for new plays is currently 35%) 
  • Average attendance for Transformation Season = 57% (national average for new plays is currently 35%) 
  • The Architect sold out all 12 performances, with extra seats added for every show 
  • 180 freelance theatre workers were employed 
  • 60 volunteers took part 
  • 4 co-producers helped make the shows: Belgrade Theatre, Coventry; Brixton House; Stratford East; Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 
  • 5 new partnerships gave their support: Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation; life sciences company Abcam; and funders Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Garrick Trust and D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust 



We created Q&A panels and events on the themes of the season:  

  • 15 events 
  • Attended by over 1500 people 
  • Most after-show events were attended by more than 50% of the audience for the same evening’s performance (usually post-show Q&As attract 10% of the audience, at most) 
  • Tambo & Bones panel led by actor Adrian Lester attended by 70% of audience who gave the cast standing ovations at the beginning and end of the Q&A 

We commissioned: 

  • New plays from 5 writers – from established playwrights as well as those at an early stage of their writing career.

We raised: 

  • £15,000 from Trusts and Foundations 
  • £10,000 from business and individual donors 


… to support: 

  • Participatory and wraparound activity, enriching audiences’ experience and deepening understanding and engagement with the season’s themes 
  • Skills and professional development for emerging Black producers and directors who we were able to recruit to work alongside us to realise the season 

L-R: Mojisola Adebayo, Roy Williams, Bola Agbaje, Dexter Flanders, Vanessa Macauley, XANA, Dave Harris

Skip to content