thu 25/02/2021

Africa

Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre at Home review - still lively after all these years

Barber shops – as we are all starting to appreciate in this time of lockdown – fulfil an emotional as much as a cosmetic role: having a haircut can represent a new beginning, a moment for reflection, or even an informal confessional. As the hugely...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 5: A solo show for the ages, Ibsen refreshed, and yet more frolicsome cats

No one can accuse the gods of streaming of failing to cast a wide net. That's even more so with an array of streaming opportunities over the next week that ranges from Off West End Ibsen given a second chance to shine to an online encounter with,...

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Album: Fra Fra - Funeral Songs

Rituals of death call for music: to see the spirits of the dead off on their journey to the other side, to express the grief of those left behind or to celebrate the cycle of life and death. Fra Fra are a quartet from the predominantly Muslim...

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The High Table, Bush Theatre review - party on in Lagos and London

Queer people of colour face a double discrimination: racism and homophobia. Against this sickness of negation and stupidity one of the best antidotes is a culture of celebration. And in this theatre can play its part. At the Bush, last September,...

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Talking About Trees review - friendships formed through film

What’s the appeal of cinema? It can transport us to fantasy lands, or open our eyes to new perspectives. But one aspect that’s less discussed is how it brings people together. Going to the cinema is a social stimulus, a shared experience that sparks...

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Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting, BBC Two review - is it too late to get population growth under control?

We hear plenty of debate about climate change and its disastrous potential, but the ballooning growth of the world’s population may be the most critical issue facing humankind. Chris Packham thinks so (“it’s undeniably the elephant in the room,” he...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Sault - 7

Music has never felt more important. While politicians debated our future, badly and in heated, farce-to-farce debates, the electorate went to war with each other – on social media mainly. The atmosphere is toxic and we’re surrounded by the bodies...

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Three Sisters, National Theatre review - Chekhov in time of war

Inua Ellams’ Three Sisters plays Chekhov in the shadow of war, specifically the Nigerian-Biafran secessionist conflict of the late 1960s which so bitterly divided that newly independent nation. It’s a bold move that adds decided new relevance...

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Ant Middleton and Liam Payne: Straight Talking, Sky 1 review - when the commando met the pop star

“What is wrong with us? What are we doing here?” Liam Payne asked the camera, as we neared the end of his jaunt round picturesque Namibia with his quizmaster Ant Middleton. The short answer would be “it’s for the publicity, you idiot,” but of course...

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Vampire Weekend, O2 Academy, Birmingham review – clean-cut Americans fail to ignite

By the time Vampire Weekend reached Birmingham on their latest UK jaunt, they had unfortunately managed to mislay their support band, the colourful Songhoy Blues. This was a great shame, as the Malians would surely have added a bit of colour to the...

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CD: Aziza Brahim - Sahari

Last month this Western Saharan singer-songwriter stood on stage at London’s Jazz Café and turned the venue into a hallowed holy space with just her voice and the rhythm she summoned from her tabal drum. Translated from the orginal Arabic, two lines...

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The British Tribe Next Door, Channel 4 review - risible culture-clash farrago

What’s the most ridiculous programme that Channel 4 has ever made? Sex Box? The Execution of Gary Glitter? Extreme Celebrity Detox? Whatever, The British Tribe Next Door is up there vying for supremacy.The Moffatt family, from Bishop Auckland, have...

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