sun 20/05/2018

Africa

Reissue CDs Weekly: African Scream Contest 2

African Scream Contest 2 opens with a burst of distorted guitar suggesting a parallel-world response to The Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today”. Then, the song beds in and a James Brown groove plays off against spindly lead-guitar lines also...

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Taryn Simon: An Occupation of Loss, Islington Green review - divine lamentation

What a superb location for a performance! The flats on the north-east corner of Islington Green back onto a crummy atrium from which a staircase leads down to a vaulted, concrete pit (pictured below). A cross between a car park and a bull ring, or a...

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The Queen's Green Planet, ITV review - right royal arboreals

QCC isn’t the name of a new football club, nor some higher qualification for those toiling at the Bar, but stands for "Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy". Had you heard of it? On the eve of the Commonwealth conference, along came Jane Treays's gently...

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Daliso Chaponda, Touring review - uneven but entertaining

You may have seen Daliso Chaponda on Britain's Got Talent last year. He came third but, as he says, he was delighted as it brought him to a wider audience after working in comedy for 15 years – and made possible his first UK tour What the African...

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Civilisations: First Contact, BBC Two review - David Olusoga goes for gold

After the suave theatrical persuasions of Simon Schama and the earnest professorial shtick of Mary Beard, in episode six of Civilisations (BBC Two) it was the turn of David Olusoga, the third of the documentary's triumvirate of presenters. He began...

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Hamlet, RSC, Hackney Empire review - Paapa Essiedu's winning Dane

Shakespeare's death-laden play is alive and well and breathing with renewed force in Hackney, the last British stop for an RSC touring Hamlet that moves on from London to the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC in May. Let's hope the American capital...

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Civilisations, BBC Two review - no shocks from Schama

Lord Clark –  “of Civilisation”, as he was nicknamed, not necessarily affectionately – presented the 13 episodes of the eponymous series commissioned by David Attenborough for BBC Two in 1969; it was subtitled “A Personal View”, and encompassed...

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CD: Femi Kuti - One People One World

A superstar elsewhere in the world, particularly in West Africa, Femi Kuti still lives somewhat unfairly in his dad, Fela Kuti’s shadow in the West. While this might be somewhat inevitable to those with a limited taste for afrobeat grooves, One...

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Black Panther review - more meh than marvellous

Black Panther arrives with all the critics displaying superhero-sized goodwill for its very existence. It’s a big budget mainstream Marvel movie that not only features a nearly all-black cast, but it also has an African-American writer director (...

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Makala review - capturing human spirit on film

We follow Kabwita Kasongo on his morning routine, lingering over the shoulder as he treks through the village. A pastel sunrise greets vast landscapes, the morning breeze visible for miles around. He heads to a tree at the edge of a mountain, and...

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DVD/Blu-ray: I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature premiered at last year’s Directors' Fortnight in Cannes, and immediately marked the Lusaka-born, Wales-raised director down as a figure to watch. Putting her film into any category is more challenging, though, with...

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Big Cats, BBC One review - how cats conquered the world

Accepted wisdom seemed to be that in the animal world rats and cockroaches were the most adaptable and the most widely geographically distributed, followed by those pesky humans. But think again: the premise in this new three-part series is that the...

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