sat 18/05/2024

black culture

The Book of Clarence review - larky jaunt through biblical epic territory

The Book of Clarence comes lumbered with the charge of being the new Life of Brian, an irreverent spoof of the life of Christ destined to ruffle good Christians’ feathers. It turns out not to be the “new” anything, though: it’s refreshingly sui...

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Red Pitch, @sohoplace review - the ebullient tale of teenage footballers gets a rollicking transfer

The reviews of Tyrell Williams' debut play on its first and second outings at the Bush Theatre were universally enthusiastic, even ecstatic. Multiple awards followed, including a clean sweep of those for first-time or promising writers. So how does...

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For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Garrick Theatre review - exhilarating, moving show makes West End return

When For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy first moved to the West End in 2023, it felt like a risky venture. It had started in the tiny New Diorama, and later packed out the Royal Royal Court, but was a...

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Origin review - bursts of brilliance in an unwieldy frame

Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, about the key role caste systems play in subjugating whole racial groups, was a runaway success in the US in 2020. Here, the Pultizer-Prize winning black journalist is not so well...

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Shifters, Bush Theatre review - love will tear us apart again

For the past ten years, Black-British playwrights have been in the vanguard of innovation in the form and content of new writing. I’m thinking not only of writers with longer careers such as Roy Williams and debbie tucker green, but also of Inua...

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Entangled Pasts 1768-now, Royal Academy review - an institution exploring its racist past

In Titian’s painting Diana and Actaeon,1559, a cluster of naked beauties bathes beside a stream. Scarcely visible in the right hand corner is a black woman helping the goddess hide her nudity from Acteon who has stumbled into her private glade. The...

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Albums of the Year 2023: Janelle Monáe - The Age of Pleasure

It was a year of bleak and brutal conflict, ugly and stupid imposition of power, overt Fascism in the mainstream public sphere, decay of infrastructure and apocalyptic weather. So what better than a record of total pleasure? And Janelle Monáe’s...

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Dreaming and Drowning, Bush Theatre - dense and intense monologue about Black queer identity

Kwame Owusu’s 55-minute one-hander does just what it says on the tin: it features a young student who dreams he is drowning. But its brevity is no bar to its being a dense and intense experience, worthy winner of last year’s Mustapha Matura Award....

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Rustin review - a doubly liberated American life

This is a tribute to a forgotten hero, gay black Quaker Bayard Rustin (Colman Domingo), driving force behind the 1963 March on Washington, the vast peaceful protest that sanctified Martin Luther King as his oratory seemed to lift black America...

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Death of England: Closing Time, National Theatre review - thrillingly and abundantly alive

It’s closing time somewhere in the East End. Nah, not the pub, but at a small local shop. Inside, Denise is banging around with some big pans, while Carly is packing up the flowers. Their business is coming to an end and they are about to hand over...

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'The people behind the postcards': an interview with Priya Hein, author of 'Riambel'

Priya Hein’s debut novel, Riambel, is an excoriating examination of Mauritius’ socio-political structures and the colonial past from which they have sprung. Centred around Noemi, a young Mauritian girl who lives in the novel’s titular village slum...

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Ailey 2, Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury review - young, black and fabulous

Dance lovers with no access to a major city could feel genuinely hard done by were it not for Dance Consortium. This sainted organisation works to bring a company from overseas each autumn to a dozen or so large-scale theatres across the UK and...

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