fri 09/12/2022

black culture

Derek Owusu: Losing the Plot review - the finest perfume

Derek Owusu’s debut That Reminds Me won the Desmond Elliot Prize in 2020. When asked what it was that she loved most about Owusu’s semi-autobiographical 117-page book, Preti Taneja, chair of the judges (and winner of the prize herself in 2018)...

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Blues for an Alabama Sky, National Theatre review - superb cast and production for this period hit

The cynical might think Pearl Cleage’s play had been expressly written to address the over-riding issues in today’s USA – abortion and contraception rights, gun control, homophobia, racism. But the cynical would be wrong, as Blues for an Alabama Sky...

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Album: Loyle Carner - Hugo

You’ll want to love Loyle Carner. There’s so much about what he gives and how he delivers it that’s disarming, charming, brilliant even. His lyrics across this album are very obviously from the heart and took real courage to hammer into shape. He...

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The Clinic, Almeida Theatre review - race and the status quo

As Dipa Baruwa-Etti’s latest play, The Clinic, reminds us, the Tory party has a strong showing of Black MPs – Badenoch, Cleverly, Kwarteng. It was finished long before the latest Cabinet appointments, but presciently picked those three names, all...

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DVD: Wayfinder

Road movies in England work better by foot. Slowing down finds the scale to explore our small island, tramping Chaucer’s pilgrim paths, not Kerouac’s roaring highway.Visual artist Larry Achiampong’s debut feature accordingly sends its heroine from...

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Album: Hudson Mohawke - Cry Sugar

The journey of Ross “Hudson Mohawke” Birchard has been truly one of the most extraordinary in modern music. From teenage scratch DJ champion and happy hardcore raver in some of Glasgow’s more feral club environments, in the late Noughties he quickly...

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Album: Beyoncé - Renaissance

There’s polarising discourse and there’s polarising discourse, and then there’s Beyoncé discourse. On the one hand, there’s “the Bey Hive”: the very model of a furious modern fandom who will boost her and monster her critics at a microsecond’s...

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The Darkest Part of the Night, Kiln Theatre - issues-led drama has its heart in the right place

Music plays a big part in the life of Dwight, an 11-year-old black lad growing up in early 80s Leeds. He doesn't fit in at school, bullied because he is "slow", and he doesn't fit in outside school, would-be friends losing patience with him.But he...

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The White Card, Soho Theatre review - expelling the audience from its comfort zone

We’re in New York City, in an upscale loft apartment, with that absence of stuff that speaks of a power to acquire anything. There are paintings on the walls, but we see only their descriptions: we learn that the owner (curator, in his word) really...

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The Fellowship, Hampstead Theatre review - strong clashes, too little drama

I live in Brixton, south London. A few days ago, the borough’s aptly named Windrush Square hosted events which celebrated the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants.With Windrush Day being 22 June, last week was originally...

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Jitney, Old Vic review - a directorial delight

It’s great to see August Wilson’s early play – the first of his “Century Cycle”, that remarkable decalogy that explored a century of Black American experience through the prism of the playwright’s native Pittsburgh – back on the London stage. It’s...

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Transgressive Records showcase, The Great Escape, Brighton review - five acts offer intriguing pop alternatives

Onstage at The Old Market in Hove, New York’s Mykki Blanco has been waving around a knot of garlic bulbs as if it were a wand or occult aspergillum. At some point during Blanco’s punchy rendition of 2016 single “Loner”, or possibly the dizzier “...

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