sun 22/05/2022

race issues

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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First Person: playwright Chinonyerem Odimba on birthing her potent and timely new show

People often ask how long a play takes to make its way out of you. And it’s always a valid question because no matter how beautiful, soft, joyful, or short a play is, there is a wrestling match that takes place between the idea lodging itself...

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Clybourne Park, Park Theatre review - excellent revival of Bruce Norris's award-winner

Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park arrived at London’s Royal Court like a blazing comet in 2010, a bold kind of satire about race relations that was both sassy and savvy.Now it’s back for a run at the Park Theatre, N1. Twelve years on, we have learnt to...

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The Merchant of Venice, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - enormous empathy

The Merchant of Venice is a comedy, you say? Shakespeare, as ever, refuses to be confined to convenient boxes, his best plays’ extraordinary pliability and longevity a testament to the piercing eye he cast towards the slings and arrows that assail...

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Blu-ray: The Sun Shines Bright

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the John Ford scholar Tag Gallagher quietly observes in the penetrating – and deeply moving – video essay he contributes to Masters of Cinema’s Blu-ray disc of Ford’s 1953 masterpiece The Sun Shines Bright. It’s...

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Two Billion Beats, Orange Tree Theatre review - bursting with heart

“You could read at home,” says Bettina (Anoushka Chadha), Year 10, her school uniform perfectly pressed, hair neatly styled. “You could be an annoying little shit at home,” retorts her sister Asha (Safiyya Ingar), Year 13, all fire and fury in Doc...

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Wuthering Heights, National Theatre review - too much heat, not enough light

“If you want romance,” the cast of Emma Rice’s new version of Wuthering Heights say in unison just after the interval, “go to Cornwall.” They’re using the modern definition of romance, of course – Emily Brontë’s novel is full of the original meaning...

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