tue 07/07/2020

black culture

Les Blancs, National Theatre at Home review – triumphant revival of forgotten classic

Lorraine Hansberry’s debut, A Raisin in the Sun, was the first drama written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, where it opened in 1959. It is now an American classic, but it’s her last play, Les Blancs, that in the current context of the...

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On the Record review - #MeToo turns its lens to the music industry, gives the mic to women of colour

On the Record, the latest documentary from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (acclaimed directors of The Hunting Ground), dives into the sexual misconduct allegations against music mogul Russell Simmons, the so-called ‘Godfather of Hip Hop.’ It...

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'We must channel the energy and pain that is being expressed right now': Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE on time for action on diversity in classical music

The worldwide reaction to the horrific murder of George Floyd via the renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement is not a minority issue. It concerns people of all ethnicities, education and economic backgrounds who want a better, fairer world...

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Small Island, National Theatre At Home review – big-hearted story hits every beat

A British-Jamaican man is confused. It's the Second World War, and he signed up for the RAF on the understanding that he would serve as a pilot overseas. But instead he's ended up as ground crew in a grey Lincolnshire village. "You are overseas,...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 9: Alan Bennett revisited, and so is Oz

The government may occupy shifting sands when it comes to handling Covid-19, but the arts thank heavens continue to step up to the plate with a dizzying array of online options. This week's output mixes a soul musical from 1970s Broadway alongside a...

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Album: Footsie - No Favours

Footsie might not have the profile of a Skepta or Wiley, or even his Newham Generals partner and recent IKEA advert soundtracker D Double E. But anyone halfway schooled in grime will know that both as MC and producer he's a key player from grime's...

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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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Selah and the Spades, Amazon Prime review - boarding-school cliques go gangster

“They always try to break you down when you’re 17,” says queen bee Selah (Lovie Simone) in Tayarisha Poe’s impressive directorial debut. As leader of the Spades, one of the five Mafia-style ruling factions in the exclusive Haldwell boarding-school...

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Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All, Netflix review - epic two-parter on pop's first superstar

Coming in at around four hours, in two parts, this 2015 documentary is ostensibly about Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, but really, via the prism of his existence, it’s as much about America’s journey through the first two thirds of the 20th century....

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Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am review - a fitting tribute to a masterful storyteller

When the Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison died last year, it was a chance to celebrate the remarkable life of a storyteller who shook the literary establishment. Her work, including her debut novel The Bluest Eye, broke radical new...

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Album: Shabaka & the Ancestors - We are Sent Here by History

Londoner Shabaka Hutchings's other main groups, The Comet Is Coming and Sons Of Kemet, are pretty modernist. They incorporate dub, post-rock, post punk and rhythm patterns that recall London pirate radio sounds into the playing of his ensembles,...

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The Photograph review - star-powered romance mostly simmers, sometimes soars

The Photograph, from writer-director Stella Meghie, tells twin tales. The first is all flashback and follows Christine (Chanté Adams, pictured below with Y'lan Noel), a young photographer balancing love and ambition. The second follows...

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