thu 23/01/2020

black culture

Just Mercy review - soul-stirring true story about race and justice in America

Just Mercy, the latest film from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), is based on a New York Times bestseller. It has a star-studded cast. It’s emotionally moving as well as intellectually accessible. But it’s no easy film to watch. “They can call...

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Fairview, Young Vic review - questioning the assumptions of race

Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview comes to the Young Vic with the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama under its belt, and a reputation for putting audiences on their mettle through a build-up of theatrical surprises that culminate in a denouement about...

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Is this Jimi Hendrix’s greatest posthumous release? Producer Eddie Kramer talks about a legendary live album

This week, one of the finest gems in the entire Hendrix catalogue finally sees the light of day in its full unedited glory – Songs for Groovy Children comprises all four sets from the Band of Gypsys New Year’s Eve 1969-70 residency at the Fillmore...

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The Last Black Man in San Francisco review - gentle gentrification blues

San Francisco has rarely looked more unattainably golden than in Joe Talbot’s Sundance prize-winning gentrification parable. Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) once belonged inside the city’s Californian Dream, symbolised for him by the grand Victorian-style...

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Shuck 'n' Jive, Soho Theatre review - a mixed bag, lots of promise

Shuck 'n' Jive is an hour-long two-hander about writing a play about being black in a white industry. The industry? Theatre. Performance. The stage.Simone (played by Olivia Onyehara), an opera singer, is from Lincolnshire. Cassi (played by Tanisha...

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The Last Tree review - young, angry, and black in '90s UK

Putting a radical spin on a fish-out-of-water story, The Last Tree explores troubling aspects of the African diaspora experience in an England riddled with xenophobia and black-on-black racism. Shola Amoo’s semi-autobiographical second feature is...

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Romesh Ranganathan, Brighton Dome review - transgressive, edgy and very likeable

One question springs immediately to mind on hearing that Romesh Ranganathan’s new stand-up show, The Cynic’s Mixtape, is touring: how does he find the time? Ranganathan has overtaken Jack Whitehall as Britain’s most media ubiquitous comic, with a...

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Alvin Ailey, Programme C review - black, beautiful, brilliant

The Ailey company is that rare thing – a dance legend that’s even better than you remember. While no one forgets their first encounter with America’s No.1 touring troupe and its unique mix of ballet, modern, jazz, street, and all-round athletic...

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Chiaroscuro, Bush Theatre review - music, sweet, sweet music

Identity politics has been around for decades. One of the great things about the Bush Theatre in West London is the fact that it not only stages new plays by a diverse range of playwrights, but also successful recent revivals of modern classics such...

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Sadler's Wells review - Still more Revelations

There is no equivalent of the Ailey phenomenon. This is a modern dance company with a New York square named after it. It’s a dance company that has performed at the inauguration of two presidents. Its calling card, Revelations, a suite of dances...

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CD: Kano - Hoodies All Summer

Of all grime's original generation, Kano has a strong claim to being the greatest rhyme-constructor in the old school hip hop sense of dense rhymes packed with multiple meanings. Add movie star looks and a penchant for fur coats in photoshoots and...

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Barber Shop Chronicles, Roundhouse review - riotous theatre at its best

Emmanuel (Anthony Ofoegbu) runs Three Kings Barbers in London. His assistant, Samuel (Mohammed Mansaray), is the son of his erstwhile business partner, who is currently in jail. Emmanuel is boss, surrogate father and — occasionally — verbal punching...

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