sat 01/10/2022

black culture

The Clinic, Almeida Theatre review - race and the status quo

As Dipa Baruwa-Etti’s latest play, The Clinic, reminds us, the Tory party has a strong showing of Black MPs – Badenoch, Cleverly, Kwarteng. It was finished long before the latest Cabinet appointments, but presciently picked those three names, all...

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DVD: Wayfinder

Road movies in England work better by foot. Slowing down finds the scale to explore our small island, tramping Chaucer’s pilgrim paths, not Kerouac’s roaring highway.Visual artist Larry Achiampong’s debut feature accordingly sends its heroine from...

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Album: Hudson Mohawke - Cry Sugar

The journey of Ross “Hudson Mohawke” Birchard has been truly one of the most extraordinary in modern music. From teenage scratch DJ champion and happy hardcore raver in some of Glasgow’s more feral club environments, in the late Noughties he quickly...

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Album: Beyoncé - Renaissance

There’s polarising discourse and there’s polarising discourse, and then there’s Beyoncé discourse. On the one hand, there’s “the Bey Hive”: the very model of a furious modern fandom who will boost her and monster her critics at a microsecond’s...

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The Darkest Part of the Night, Kiln Theatre - issues-led drama has its heart in the right place

Music plays a big part in the life of Dwight, an 11-year-old black lad growing up in early 80s Leeds. He doesn't fit in at school, bullied because he is "slow", and he doesn't fit in outside school, would-be friends losing patience with him.But he...

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The White Card, Soho Theatre review - expelling the audience from its comfort zone

We’re in New York City, in an upscale loft apartment, with that absence of stuff that speaks of a power to acquire anything. There are paintings on the walls, but we see only their descriptions: we learn that the owner (curator, in his word) really...

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The Fellowship, Hampstead Theatre review - strong clashes, too little drama

I live in Brixton, south London. A few days ago, the borough’s aptly named Windrush Square hosted events which celebrated the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants.With Windrush Day being 22 June, last week was originally...

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Jitney, Old Vic review - a directorial delight

It’s great to see August Wilson’s early play – the first of his “Century Cycle”, that remarkable decalogy that explored a century of Black American experience through the prism of the playwright’s native Pittsburgh – back on the London stage. It’s...

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Transgressive Records showcase, The Great Escape, Brighton review - five acts offer intriguing pop alternatives

Onstage at The Old Market in Hove, New York’s Mykki Blanco has been waving around a knot of garlic bulbs as if it were a wand or occult aspergillum. At some point during Blanco’s punchy rendition of 2016 single “Loner”, or possibly the dizzier “...

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Album: Kendrick Lamar - Mr Morale & the Big Steppers

Kendrick Lamar is so breathlessly revered it’s sometimes hard to pull apart what’s going on in his records. It’s sometimes felt like he might become the rap game Radiohead: exploratory, aware, hugely technically accomplished, endlessly thematically...

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For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Royal Court review - Black joy, pain, and beauty

The title is so long that the Royal Court’s neon red lettering only renders the first three words, followed by a telling ellipsis. But lyrical new play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy lives up to its weighty...

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Shedding a Skin, Soho Theatre review - feel the love

Love is the most difficult four-letter word. And platonic love is perhaps the hardest kind of emotion to write well about. But it’s the central subject of Amanda Wilkin’s Shedding a Skin, and she describes it beautifully. This 2020 Verity Bargate...

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