tue 26/09/2017

race issues

What Shadows, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh review - compelling, urgent, unashamedly provocative

You’ve got to hand it to David Greig. The artistic director of Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre has shown quite a knack for surfing the zeitgeist with his programming – and more importantly, tackling urgent political issues in a properly theatrical way.He...

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'No matter where our intersections lie, we are all fundamentally connected'

Trouble in Mind, written by Alice Childress, the black actress, playwright and novelist, first opened at New York’s Greenwich Mews Theatre in November 1955. The show made Childress the first African-American woman to win an Obie Award for an off-...

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DVD/Blu-ray: My Beautiful Laundrette

This rerelease of Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette comes as part of the wider BFI programme marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, and its presence in that strand, as one of the foremost works of its time...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Daughters of the Dust

Julie Dash’s remarkable 1991 film tells the story of the Peazant family, the descendants of freed slaves who live on the Georgia Sea Islands, an isolated community on the South-Eastern seaboard of the USA, more in touch with African traditions than...

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Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Wyndham's Theatre review – searing stuff

Broadway so frequently fetes its visiting Brits that it's nice when the honour is repaid. That said, it's difficult to imagine audiences anywhere remaining unmoved by Audra McDonald's occupancy – "performance" seems too mundane a word – of the...

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An Octoroon review - slavery reprised as melodrama in a vibrantly theatrical show

Make no mistake about it, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a playwright to watch. London receives its first opportunity to appraise his vibrant, quizzical talent with this production of An Octoroon, for which he received an OBIE in 2014 (jointly with his...

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No Dogs, No Indians, Brighton Festival review – poor production shoulders too big a task

A whacking great story has gone largely untold in British theatre: the legacy of colonialism in India, including the cultural ghosts the British left behind. With the 70th anniversary of Indian independence just round the corner this summer, poet...

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I Am Not Your Negro, review - 'powerful portrait of James Baldwin'

The Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro is a chronicle of the pioneering writer and Civil Rights activist James Baldwin. Its director Raoul Peck mirrors the intellectual challenge that Baldwin set his audience: the film demands that you...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Two Rode Together

Two Rode Together (1961) depicts the humanising of Guthrie McCabe (James Stewart), a corrupt, mercenary border town marshal, as it builds to a denunciation of white racism. John Ford, who made the film as a favour to Columbia Pictures (and for a $...

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Othello, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

There's no reason why ruffs and candles shouldn't mesh with bursts of contemporary speech, song and lighting, given a defter hand than director Ellen McDougall's. Shakespeare's timeless issues of racism and sexism have plenty of mileage in them,...

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Roots, BBC Four

Those of us who saw the first, 1977 TV adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots in our teens still remember the shock and horror at its handling of a subject about which we knew little, American slavery. We know a lot more now, but the visceral reaction to...

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Hidden Figures

Sometimes a film can transcend its formulaic confines. That's triumphantly the case with Hidden Figures, a largely prosaically told reworking of the outsider-versus-the-system paradigm that gains piquancy from the story it has to tell and the...

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