sat 01/10/2022

race issues

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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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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We (Nous) review - a low-key look at life in the suburbs of Paris

Director Alice Diop read an article by Pierre Bergounioux in which he described how he began writing to draw attention to his overlooked neck of the woods – Correze, in central France. It was a lightbulb moment for her: “My approach as a film-maker...

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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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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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DI Ray, ITV review - Parminder Nagra battles killer gangs and cultural stereotypes

Somehow or other, fictional representations of the police have become an off-the-cuff index of changing times and evolving values. Dixon of Dock Green’s cops were stern father figures who knew right from wrong and considered it their duty to give...

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Marys Seacole, Donmar Warehouse review - frustrating yet unflinching

Inspiration jostles irritation in Marys Seacole, Jackie Sibblies Drury's Off Broadway hit from 2019 that has arrived at the Donmar as part of a banner season of late for Black American writing in the capital (cf. "Daddy": A Melodrama at the Almeida...

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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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'Daddy' A Melodrama, Almeida Theatre review - production exuberance carries a new play of promise

Danya Taymor’s production of “Daddy” A Melodrama has a huge exuberance: a tour de force in itself, it's also a scintillating introduction to the work of Jeremy O Harris. The young American dramatist earned considerable attention, and acclaim for the...

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Blu-ray: Shoot the Messenger

“Everything bad that has happened to me has happened because I’m black,” laments teacher Joseph Pascale (David Oyelowo) in Shoot the Messenger, directed by Ngozi Onwurah in 2006 from a script by the late Sharon Foster. Handsomely produced and...

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