sat 15/08/2020

race issues

Everything: The Real Thing Story, BBC Four review - brilliant but long overdue

This documentary is bittersweet viewing on quite a number of levels. First, it’s got all the glory and tragedy of the most compelling music stories: a Liverpool band struggling from humble beginnings, trying to find an identity, fraternity and...

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Imagine... My Name is Kwame, BBC One review - interesting but incomplete

Filmed, as one would, well, imagine, prior to lockdown, Imagine .... My Name is Kwame hearkens to what now seems a bygone era of full and buzzy playhouses and adventurous theatre-making that was about the live experience and not some facsimile...

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The Talk, Channel 4 review - coping with the legacy of racism

Shall we talk about racism? Currently we seem to be talking about it all the time, and it’s the question non-white parents in Britain sooner or later find themselves pondering as they watch their children grow up in our increasingly confrontational...

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The Merchant of Venice, BBC iPlayer review – a parable on the limits of tolerance

Ah, 2015. Those halcyon days of packed theatres. Thank God the RSC had the presence of mind to film Polly Findlay’s production of The Merchant of Venice, now streaming on BBC iPlayer. Condensed into just over two hours, it’s a thoughtful take on...

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Coincoin and the Extra-Humans review – God's gunk

It’s no accident that the eponymous young antihero of Coincoin and the Extra-Humans loses his virginity to the daughter of a French white nationalist in a field close to a sewage farm. The stench of racism pervades the hilarity of Bruce Dumont’s...

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Theatre Unlocked 1: George Floyd remembered, a classic transformed, and a call to action re climate change

We're easing out of lockdown, haircuts are being had, and the theatre continually shape-shifts to accommodate these changing times. All credit to the 14 writers who have conjoined forces in urgency and haste to create 846, a collection of audio...

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Clemency review - devastating death row drama

“All we want is to be seen and heard,” explains a lawyer to a death row inmate, paraphrasing a line from Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, from which Chinonye Chukwu’s new film Clemency takes inspiration.Chukwu’s film, like Ellison’s...

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Album: The Chicks - Gaslighter

I have had an obsessive-loop Dixie Chicks tune for every eventuality of my life so far – “Ready To Run” for a big break up; “Wide Open Spaces” for road tripping; “Cowboy Take Me Away” for whimsical love affairs; “Not Ready To Make Nice” for general...

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Hamilton, Disney+ review - puts us all in the room where it happened

The movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights was meant to hit cinemas this summer, but, in response to Covid-19, has been put back to 2021. Instead, we get the early release on Disney+ of Miranda’s Hamilton – filmed, NT Live style,...

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On the Record review - #MeToo turns its lens to the music industry, gives the mic to women of colour

On the Record, the latest documentary from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (acclaimed directors of The Hunting Ground), dives into the sexual misconduct allegations against music mogul Russell Simmons, the so-called ‘Godfather of Hip Hop.’ It...

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Small Island, National Theatre At Home review – big-hearted story hits every beat

A British-Jamaican man is confused. It's the Second World War, and he signed up for the RAF on the understanding that he would serve as a pilot overseas. But instead he's ended up as ground crew in a grey Lincolnshire village. "You are overseas,...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 10: Epic plays from the National Theatre and Broadway alongside voices raised in protest

As lockdown continues, National Theatre at Home has announced its final sequence of plays, and several of the very best are being saved for last. That certainly applies to this week's offering, Small Island, whose dissection of Britain's racist past...

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