sun 03/03/2024

Africa

The Meaning of Zong, Barbican review - didactic tale based on the 1781 massacre of 132 slaves

There’s a moment in the opening stretch of Giles Terera’s The Meaning of Zong where you think the former Hamilton star has written a piece about slavery that’s in much the same idiom as the hit musical. Music will indeed be a strong presence in...

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Sleepova, Bush Theatre review - sweet coming of age play with a soft centre

Can a play ever be a bit too much like real life? The thought came to me while watching Matilda Feyisayo Ibini’s entertaining new play Sleepova at the Bush. This latest opening is almost a bookend to the excellent Red Pitch, premiered at the same...

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever review - expanded Afro-dreams survive a star's death

Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa dies off-screen of an undisclosed disease, suffering “in silence” notes sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), actor and role as one at the end. Lost after one, uniquely iconic full-length film, recasting and digital resurrection...

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Album: Star Feminine Band - In Paris

The Star Feminine Band are from Benin, all of them under 18, the youngest only 12. They hail from a village in the north of their small country tucked between Togo and Nigeria. Their pop-inflected mix of high life, Congolese rhumba and other trans-...

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Album: Linda Ayupuka - God Created Everything

Africa is an endlessly surprising source of new music: sounds that grab you instantly, and combine the wisdom and grace of the ancestors with the creative and playful use the latest technologies. Linda Ayupuka is the latest singer to look out for,...

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The Rite of Spring, Pina Bausch/École des Sables, Sadler's Wells review - explosive and disturbing

Superstition, herd instinct, brutality, base terror. Whatever the precise narrative themes of Pina Bausch's response to The Rite of Spring – the most admired of dozens of dance settings of Igor Stravinsky’s score – it’s clear that it concerns...

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Album: Congotronics International - Where’s The One?

The album title ‘Where’s the One?’ is the question that often cropped up during the album’s creation. That’s to say, ‘the One’ is the opening beat of each bar that the western rock musicians often had trouble locating in the rich, complex brew of...

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Scholastique Mukasonga: The Barefoot Woman review - remembering Rwanda before 1994

To read Scholastique Mukasonga’s memoir, The Barefoot Woman, beautifully translated from the French by Jordan Stump, is to see simultaneously through the eyes of a woman and a child.The mother, the industrious and ingenious Stefania, watches her...

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Lingui: The Sacred Bonds review - female love finds a way

“Lingui” is the Chadian word for “sacred bonds, the common thread”, a social ideal put to the test here by an illegal abortion. Director Mahamet-Saleh Haroun – Chad’s artistic conscience, best-known for A Screaming Man – focuses for the first time...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Essiebons Special 1973-1984 Ghana Music Power House

One of the most interesting tracks on Essiebons Special 1973–1984 Ghana Music Power House is Joe Meah’s mysterious "Dee Mmaa Pe". It’s not mentioned in the compilation’s accompanying booklet, and Joe Meah doesn’t figure in any of the standard...

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Blu-ray: Running Against the Wind

There’s much to enjoy in Running Against the Wind: Jan Philipp Weyl’s contemporary Ethiopian epic is a visual treat, with excellent performances from its two young leads. And how often do we get to see a film in Amharic with English subtitles?We...

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Changing Destiny, Young Vic review – an epic literary discovery

The Young Vic, led by the inspiring figure of Kwame Kwei-Armah, is back. After a prolonged closure, during which this venue has passionately continued to work with young directors, the local community (including both delivering food and creative...

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