wed 24/04/2019

race issues

Mo Amer and Guz Khan, Leicester Square Theatre review - racism examined from both sides of the Atlantic

Well this is a nice change from the standard stand-up fare. Not many comics have a DJ introduce them with a cracking set of his own, and even fewer tour as part of a double bill with material that moves seamlessly from one set to the other as they...

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Blood Knot, Orange Tree Theatre review - defining apartheid-era drama delivers afresh

London's impromptu mini-season devoted to the work of Athol Fugard picks up real steam with Blood Knot, Matthew Xia's transfixing take on one of the benchmark titles of the apartheid era and beyond. I first encountered this play during its Tony-...

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Minding the Gap review – profound musings on life

Where would you go for a devastating study on the human condition? The home movies of teenage skaters would be very low down on that list. But most of those movies aren’t filmed, compiled and analysed by Bing Liu, the director of Minding the Gap....

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If Beale Street Could Talk review - love defies racism in James Baldwin adaptation

Films that show a young couple’s love deepening are rare because without personal conflict there’s no narrative progression. They're especially rare in the current mainstream American cinema since romantic dramas are commercially risky, though LGBTQ...

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Green Book review - is this Oscar hopeful too good to be true?

With five nominations, Green Book is cruising optimistically towards Oscar night, but it’s not all plain sailing for director Peter Farrelly’s mixed-race fairy tale about a posh black musician and his thuggish Italian minder. The film is being...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

Janelle Monáe had already established herself as pop’s next great innovator with The ArchAndroid and Electric Ladyland, two albums full of earworms, high production and retro-futuristic lyrics. This all-too-brief musical career seemed in jeopardy...

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The Long Song, BBC One, series finale review - a stirring adaptation

There was a ruthless logic to the scheduling of The Long Song (BBC One). Broadcast over three consecutive nights, this fleet-footed adaptation of Andrea Levy’s novel set during the era of abolition in 19th-century Jamaica swiftly gathered momentum...

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Caroline, or Change, Playhouse Theatre review - Sharon D Clarke is superlative

With the politics of hate alive and well both sides of the Atlantic, this seems a good time to revive Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's 2003 musical, which is set in Civil Rights-era Louisiana. This production was first seen at Chichester Minerva...

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Nine Night, Trafalgar Studios review - hilarity and heartbreak

This is Natasha Gordon’s first play, and in it she has created an entire world. A world of grief and laughter, conflict and closeness. A world that is very specifically located within Britain's Jamaican community, yet one whose themes of loss and...

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The Hate U Give review - American teen drama takes on Black Lives Matter

Starr Carter is 16 years old and her life straddles two very different worlds, the posh prep school she goes to with its privileged white students and the troubled black neighbourhood she lives in with her family. And like its heroine, The Hate U...

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Porgy and Bess, English National Opera review - strength in depth on Catfish Row

After exhausting years of financial and artistic crisis-management at the Coliseum, English National Opera urgently needed an ironclad, feelgood success. This season’s opener, a somewhat idiosyncratic take on Strauss’s Salome, was unlikely to fit...

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Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, V&A review - gaming for all

Design/Play/Disrupt at the V&A covers a wide variety of games that are spearheading the gaming world at the moment. It takes a closer look at eight of the most innovative and different games that have changed the world of gaming in the last five...

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