Tobi Kyeremateng is no stranger to Black Ballad. As her career in theatre started to take off, she wrote for us about the possibility of Black-owned theatrical spaces. Since then, she penned a Guest Editor’s Letter in 2020 about her relationship with grief and five years ago we interviewed her, as part of our This Woman’s Work series.
In 2023, the present day, she recently became a BAFTA winning producer, so it was a perfect time to catch up with her on everything that she’s achieved since then.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Black Ballad: You started your career as an apprentice producer for Battersea Arts Centre. Talk us through your journey.
Tobi Kyeremateng: I can’t lie, it was all vibes. I had no plan. When I was in college, I studied Performing Arts. In secondary school, at the last minute, I decided I didn’t want to stay and study my A-Levels there. As I was applying to college late in the day, I picked something and was told the college didn’t facilitate the subject I wanted to do. However, they did a Performing Arts B-Tech, so I thought why not?
I realised I didn’t want to perform. That was a sticking point for me. I was unsure about what to do and googled theatre apprenticeships in London. I saw that the London Theatre Consortium were running different apprenticeships in several roles. I didn’t know what any of these roles meant, so I just applied for them all and then went through many interview rounds and group exercise stages.