mon 04/07/2022

race issues

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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Conundrum, Young Vic review - inscrutable and ungraspable

Conundrum is a tricky play. Written and directed by Paul Anthony Morris, founder of Crying in the Wilderness Productions, it’s an extended meditation on Blackness and what it means to live in a racist society. Anthony Ofoegbu is the star of the show...

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Death of England: Face to Face, National Theatre at Home review - anti-racist trilogy ends with a bang

One of the absolute highpoints of new writing in the past couple of years has been the Death of England trilogy. Written by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer, these three brilliant monologues have not only explored vital questions of race and racism,...

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Get Up, Stand Up!, Lyric Theatre review - knockout performance, undercooked book

Can we turn off the script and simply leave the music to do its soul-stirring bit?  That's likely to be a not uncommon response to Get Up Stand Up!, which gives Bob Marley much the same biomusical treatment currently on view in Tina across...

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Rice, Orange Tree Theatre review - whip-smart, but unsure where it stands

“Careful, there’s a hole in the floor.” The warning’s an unusual one, passed along conscientiously by the stewards at the door of the tiny Orange Tree Theatre.The hole in question is long and angular and will soon be filled with water, stretching...

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White Noise, Bridge Theatre review - provocative if not always plausible

"I can't sleep": So goes the fateful opening line of White Noise, the Suzan-Lori Parks play disturbing enough to spark many a restless night in playgoers who are prepared to take its numerous provocations on board. To do so requires various...

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First Person: Andrea Levy's husband recalls her path toward becoming a novelist

The opening sentence of Andrea’s 2010 historical novel The Long Song is in the voice of Thomas Kinsman, who is introducing the reader to his mother, July."The book you are now holding in your hand was born of a craving," Kinsman declares. "My mama...

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Extract: The Breaks by Julietta Singh

How do we mother “at the end of the world”? Among the ruins of late capitalism, climate catastrophe, and entrenched white state violence?Julietta Singh “admit[s] that at a conceptual level there is a crucial part of me that wants to throw in the...

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Curious, Soho Theatre review - a young playwright puts herself centre-stage

Jasmine Lee-Jones has a hard act to follow – namely, herself. Her award-winning 2019 debut play, seven methods of killing kylie jenner, announced the arrival at the Royal Court of a blistering writing talent whose two sparring women made...

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