Topher Campbell

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Topher Campbell
Alma materUniversity of Sussex
OccupationFilm director, theatre director, screenwriter, commentator, actor

Topher Campbell is filmmaker, theatre maker and writer. His work focuses on sexuality, masculinity, race, human rights, memoir and climate change. He is a former artistic director of The Red Room Theatre Company and past chair of the Independent Theatre Council UK.[1][2] He is a recipient of the 2005 Jerwood Directors Award[3] and is co-founder of rukus! Federation a Black LGBTQ Charity. In 2017 he was Longlisted for the Inaugural Spread the Word Life Writing Prize[4] for his forthcoming memoir Battyman.  In 2000 he co-founded rukus! Federation a Black Queer arts charity with photographer Ajamu X. This culminated in the internationally recognised rukus! Archive currently held in the London Metropolitan Archives. His films have appeared in festivals worldwide including his first film The Homecoming[5] a meditation on art Black masculinity and sexuality. His latest film FETISH,[6] a collaboration with 2014 Mercury Music Prize Winners Young Fathers[7] is an audacious naked performance shot on the streets of New York. As actor Topher has starred in Isaac Julien’s Trussed,[8] Campbell X’s Stud Life[9] and Ian Poitier’s Oh Happy Day.[10] Topher is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Patron of Switchboard. In 2017 Topher was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Sussex for his work in the arts and Black LGBTQ advocacy. It is the first Honorary Doctorate to be given to an openly Black Gay man in the UK.[11]


rukus! Federation[edit]

In 2000, alongside artist/photographer Ajamu X,[12] he set up rukus! Federation Ltd.[13] A company dedicated to presenting the best in work by Black Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual, Transgender (BLGBT) artists, rukus! projects include the play Mangina Monologues and the UK's first and only Black LGBTQ Archive now housed at the London Metropolitan Archive. In 2008 rukus! received the Archive Landmark Award by the London Metropolitan Archives.[14]



  • Blood Knot (Derby Playhouse) (1990)
  • Woza Albert (1991)
  • Necklaces (Talawa Theatre Company) (1992)
  • Flamingo Theatre London (1992)
  • Moor Masterpieces (West Yorkshire Playhouse) (1996)
  • Wicked Games – (West Yorkshire Playhouse) (1996)
  • Good Copy – (West Yorkshire Playhouse) (1996)
  • Jar the Floor – (West Yorkshire Playhouse) (1997)
  • Pantheaon of the Gods – (Young Vic Theatre) (2001)
  • Dead Funny – (Nottingham Playhouse) (2001)
  • Unstated (2008)
  • Oikos (2010)
  • Protozoa (2010)


As Writer[edit]

  • For Coloured Boys
  • Black and Gay in the UK
  • On Freedom: Powerful Polemics by Supporters of Belarus Free Theatre
  • Brothas 2.0 part or Outlaws to Inlaws (Kings Head Theatre London)

As Executive Producer[edit]

  • Oikos, a Journey in Wood (2010)


  • Jerwood Directors Award (2005)[17]
  • London Metropolitan Archove Award (2008)
  • Small Projects Award (2010)[18]
  • Nominated for the Urban Intervention Award 2010[19]
  • Nomination for the AKA Theatre Event of the Year Award[20]


  1. ^ Nancy, Groves (9 April 2013). "Arts head: Topher Campbell, chair, Independent Theatre Council". The Guardian.
  2. ^ "Scrap artistic directors, urges Red Room boss" The Stage. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  3. ^ "Jerwood Directors Award". 2005 Jerwood Directors Award.
  4. ^ "Life Writing Prize". Spread the Word. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Watch The Homecoming: A Short Film about Ajamu". BFI Player. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  6. ^ "The Black Body in Performance: a screening of FETISH". Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  7. ^ Bromwich, Kathryn (25 February 2018). "Young Fathers: 'Everybody has a dark side. We're all complicit…'". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Trussed". Isaac Julien. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  9. ^ Stud Life (2012) - IMDb, retrieved 25 April 2020
  10. ^ Oh Happy Day (2007) - IMDb, retrieved 25 April 2020
  11. ^ Walters, Tom. "Sussex marks historical LGBT+ progress". The University of Sussex. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Ajamu X", Wikipedia, 31 March 2020, retrieved 25 April 2020
  13. ^ "Topher Campbell Profile". London: The Guardian. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  14. ^ "City of London Landmark Award Archive". Archive Landmark Award.
  15. ^ "Watch The Homecoming: A Short Film about Ajamu". BFI Player. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  16. ^ "The Black Body in Performance: a screening of FETISH". Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  17. ^ Austin, Jeremy (19 July 2005). "Young directors benefit from Jerwood Award". The Stage.
  18. ^ "Köbberling & Kaltwasser wins AJ Small Projects award".
  19. ^ "Urban Intervention Award Berlin 2010 – "Understanding a Different City"".
  20. ^ Staff, Editorial. " Awards Nominees Announced".

External links[edit]