sun 20/05/2018

race issues

The Last Poets, Brighton Festival review - black power sets the night alight

The venom with which Abiodun Oyewole spits “America is a terrorist”, the key repeated line to “Rain of Terror”, has startling power. The piece is an unashamed diatribe against his nation. Beside him his partner Umar Bin Hassan rhythmically hisses...

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Rasheeda Speaking, Trafalgar Studios review - unsettling comedy, thorny racism

Conflict and comedy can be unpredictable bedfellows, and Chicago playwright Joel Drake Johnson’s 2014 play occasionally risks overstretching itself in its attempts to reconcile the two – although its immediate context, the world of office politics,...

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Stephen: The Murder That Changed A Nation, BBC One review - ‘He was a cool guy and everybody loved him’

When doctors told Doreen Lawrence her son had died she thought, "That’s not true." Spending time with his body in the hospital, aside from a cut on his cheek, it seemed to her he was sleeping. The death of a child will always be strange, and in the...

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Misty, Bush Theatre review - powerful meditation on how we tell stories

Arinzé Kene is having a bit of a moment. He won an Evening Standard Film Award for The Pass opposite Russell Tovey in 2016, is about to appear in a BBC drama with Paddy Considine, and has just finished lending his lovely tenor to Conor McPherson’s...

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Caroline, or Change, Hampstead Theatre review - Sharon D Clarke conquers

It's long been a theatrical given, especially in musicals, that characters need to be seen to change: a climactic duo in the eternally crowd-pulling Wicked makes that abundantly clear. ("Because I knew you," goes the lyric, "I have been changed for...

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Female Parts: Shorts, Hoxton Hall review - women speak out

Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day come three monologues written, directed and produced by women showing at Hoxton Hall. It’s kind of a treat, and kind of not.The current laser focus on gender risks the unwanted side-effect of alienating...

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Returning to Haifa, Finborough Theatre review - a bumpy journey into the Arab-Israeli past

This year the state of Israel marks its 70th birthday. Which means it will also be the year Palestinians remember the Nakba, the catastrophe, the mass dispossession. With that in mind, the Public Theater in New York commissioned this adaptation of a...

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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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Collective Rage, Southwark Playhouse review - a rollicking riot

“Pussy is pussy” and “bitches are bitches” but Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage at Southwark Playhouse smashes such tautologies with roguish comedy in a tight five-hander smartly directed by Charlie Parham.The play is set in New York and follows the...

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Afua Hirsch: Brit(ish) review - essential reading on identity

Usually extracts in newspapers should stimulate the appetite of the reader to get with it; this is a rare moment when the glimpses afforded to Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging have peculiarly maligned a complex and amply...

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Kiri, Channel 4 review - transracial adoption drama muddies the waters

“I’m black – I need to find out how black people live.” So reasoned Kiri, sitting in the back seat of the car driven by her social services case worker. She was on the way from her prospective adopters, a white middle-class couple who already...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Detroit

Detroiters razed sections of their own city as surely as Rome did Carthage, during five summer days in 1967. It took, amongst others, the 101st Airborne – victors at the Battle of the Bulge, then just back from Vietnam – to crush America's worst...

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