Tangle | African & Caribbean Theatre

International Theatre for Local People
Tangle is South West England’s African Caribbean Theatre Company. We celebrate the work of artists of African, Caribbean and more than 50 other heritages.

Steering Through Stars, 2015

by Paula B Stanic
27 November 2015

Tangle Café @ Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects

Touring South West England, 2016

Tangle Company 2013

A new poetic commission in two parts by Paula B Stanic, Steering By Stars was a fun poetic piece about, inheritance, passing on, and sharing that drew inspiration from the themes of our 2015 Discovery Project, NAViGATiON:GLOBAL.

An aunt leaves her nephew and nieces a surprise that takes them on a big trip… Performed in Tangle’s distinctive township theatre inspired style, Steering Through Stars explored a metaphorical journey around and across the Atlantic Circle, drawing on influences from America, the Caribbean, Brazil and South Africa.

Directed by Anna Coombs, acapella songs from Brazil, South Africa, Trinidad and Canada are arranged by composer Allyson Devenish.

Performed by Tangle Company 2015 , our resident ensemble of African – Caribbean actor-singers, Steering Through Stars premiered at Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects Africa on 27 November 2015 as part of our annual Tangle Café night before touring South West England January to February 2016.

Short Biographies

Paula B Stanic - Writer

Paula grew up in East London. Work includes “What’s Lost” (2008 Alfred Fagon Award), “Pancras Boys Club” a promenade piece for 12 ex-offenders, co-written with Ben Musgrave & David Watson (Only Connect Theatre), “6 Minutes” Everything Must Go (Soho Theatre). “Monday” (Red Ladder) short-listed for the 2009 John Whiting award. Paula has written short plays for Soho, The Bush, Islington Community Theatre and Tangle Theatre Company. She was the 2010 Adrienne Benham writer-on-attachment at Theatre Centre. Her play for them “Under a Foreign Sky” ran at The Unicorn & toured schools & venues. She was one of  the writers on “Blair’s Children” (Cockpit Theatre 2013) one of Soho Theatre’s 6 writers in residence 2012-13 and writer on attachment at The National Theatre Studio. She is currently working on pieces for Tangle & Blazon Theatre company and is one of Eclipse Theatre Company’s Revolution Mix writers. She is also working on ideas for screen with Actorshop & Pampaset Productions.

Anna Coombs - Director

Anna Coombs has worked in London's West End, at Dublin's Abbey Theatre, with Peter Cheeseman at The New Vic, Stoke on Trent, at The Marlowe Theatre Canterbury and at The Oxford Playhouse. At Hall for Cornwall, Truro, she developed its producing, education and new writing programmes and directed Marlowe’s The Jew Of Malta with Joseph Mydell as Barabas – the first black actor to play a Marlowe protagonist in the UK. At HfC she produced RESPONSES (2007) ten original new plays in response to the English Renaissance, bricks & mortar (2008) with 40 African and European artists and Beach Combing (2009), 3 new plays at London’s Theatre503, and directed a number of new plays including BLOOD and Glass Heart by Victoria Field, Highfliers by Henry Darke and the first UK revival of Never Say Rabbit In A Boat by her friend and long time collaborator, the Cornishman Nick Darke, who died in 2005. This production was her tribute to Nick.

In May 2010 Anna took up an attachment at The National Theatre Studio, followed by a spell as resident director at NITRO. In 2011 she returned to The NT to direct Koa Odour Antony’s play Makmende Vies for President, in English, Sheng and Swahili, for The National Theatre African Playwriting Project. She has directed all of Tangle’s productions, most recently The Crossing (2012). She is a freelance casting director, specialising in African - Caribbean casting, a Research Associate in African Theatre at SOAS, University of London, and a Panellist for Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)’s Guest Projects Africa.

Allyson Devenish - Musical Director

As a native of Ottawa, Canada, Allyson began her musical career at the Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec followed by a B.Mus from Oberlin College (Ohio, USA), and at The Royal Academy of Music in London. She’s worked in live and recorded performance settings across Europe, Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean as well as in the UK.

Her credits as Musical Director include Looking At The Sun (BAC), Kismet (Arcola Theatre) and assisting on Porgy and Bess (Lisbon). She is currently an Artistic Associate and Music Director with Nitro and is the creative and directive force behind Nitrovox; an a cappella choir whose mandate is to commission and perform new works by black composers with a view to telling stories of the black experience. Allyson is the creator of syncopation, a chamber ensemble with the aim of researching and performing unknown, undiscovered and unheard music by black composers.

Written by Paula B Stanic

Directed by Anna Coombs

Musical Director and Arrangement: Allyson Devenish

Cast - Tangle Company 2015

For Biographies see 'Media'



Friday 27 November Tangle Café – London – Networking night
Wednesday 9 December Liskeard School & Community College, Cornwall
Wednesday 9 December Torpoint Community College, Cornwall
Thursday 10 December Wadebridge School, Cornwall
Thursday 10 December Treviglas Community College, Newquay, Cornwall
Friday 11 December Stoke Damerel Community College, Plymouth
Friday 11 December Plymouth school of Creative Arts, Plymouth
Monday 11 January Robert Blake Science College, Bridgewater, Somerset
Monday 11 January The Royal Oak, Crewkerne, Somerset
Tuesday 12 January West Chinnock Village Hall: Norton Sub Hamdon Primary School West Chinnock Primary School, Somerset
Tuesday 12 January The Space, Taunton, Somerset
Wednesday 13 January Swindon, Wiltshire
Tuesday 19 January Cliddesden Primary School, Basingstoke, Wiltshire
Thursday 21 January Newport Community Primary Academy, Devon
Thursday 21 January Instow Primary School, Devon
Thursday 21 January Kingsley School, Bideford, Devon – Junior and Senior
Friday 22 January Shirwell Community Primary School, Devon
Friday 22 January Bratton Fleming Primary School, Devon


Powerful, entertaining and riveting! 
David Webber, Lewisham
A feast for the senses, combining song, history and above all, good will.  The work also effectively entered the space of the audience to deliver in dance, action and narration.  A very effective script animated by a passionate troupe.
Morgan Dalphinis, Ilford
I loved it.  The way it used the space; the energy; the harmonies.  I could visualise the night sky and the stars.
Julie, London
Annegret, London
I had no idea what to expect this evening but was impressed and touched by the performances and inspiring nature of everyone involved with Tangle.
Tom Graham, Haggerston
Great job!  A warm atmosphere with vigorous performances.
Debo Adebayo, London
Splendid evening full of clarity, meaning and a wonderful sense of optimism. #joyous
Ben Newell, Nunhead
Brilliant, Inspiring and motivational.
Rachel Assaf, Dublin