fri 23/10/2020

black culture

London Symphony Orchestra, Hasan, LSO St Luke's review - dances great and small

Big orchestras to serve the late romantic masterpieces and contemporary blockbusters still aren’t the order of the Covid-era day, even in streamed events, at least not in the UK. The London Symphony Orchestra is so far unique in bigging up the...

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Miss Juneteenth review - a ray of Texan sunshine

Beauty queen pageants have long been ripe for parody, from their plastic glamour to the Machiavellian competitiveness. Miss Juneteenth opts for a much more nuanced approach, using the pageant as a focal point for a mother and daughter navigating...

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Album: Alicia Keys - Alicia

Alicia Keys is a puzzling mixture. On the one hand she’s the hyper-achieving, multi-platinum, 752-Grammy-winning America’s sweetheart, all dimply smiles, positive-thinking ultra sincerity and the kind of showbiz over-emoting and singing-technique-as...

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Rocks review - impressively well-crafted neo-realist drama

Rocks is a beautifully made slice of neo-realist filmmaking which deserves to get a wide audience but may well slip off the radar in the current climate. It really should be experienced in a cinema as the camerawork by Hélène Louvart is stunning and...

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Kaleidoscope Collective, Wigmore Hall online – playing with panache, as if to a live audience

If it all comes across as vividly as this on screen, imagine what it would have been like to witness in person. Which quite a few of us very nearly did, until we had to be disinvited owing to changed government guidelines. Hopefully the move back to...

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Lovecraft Country, Sky Atlantic review - Misha Green, Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams take us on horror-driven road trip

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for a series like Lovecraft Country (Sky Atlantic) in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Here we have a spectacular show in which fantasy, horror and America’s racist legacy collide with remarkable...

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Project Power - so-so attempt to reinvent the superhero genre

What if there was a pill you could pop that gave you superpowers? The only catch is that, while it might make you invisible or bullet-proof, it might also boil your brain or make you explode with just one hit.That’s the premise of Henry Joost and...

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Album: Burna Boy - Twice as Tall

There’ve been plenty of global breakout successes from Nigeria in the past decade; D’banj, Davido, Wizkid and more – but by far the most recognisable to the international audience is Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy. And doesn’t he know it. His last album...

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Everything: The Real Thing Story, BBC Four review - brilliant but long overdue

This documentary is bittersweet viewing on quite a number of levels. First, it’s got all the glory and tragedy of the most compelling music stories: a Liverpool band struggling from humble beginnings, trying to find an identity, fraternity and...

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My White Best Friend (And Other Letters Left Unsaid), Royal Court review – raw but generous

The strength of the response to the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter campaign has provoked some theatres to create provocative new work. Often, the keynote is personal feeling. One recent example is the Bush Theatre’s Protest: Black Lives...

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Clemency review - devastating death row drama

“All we want is to be seen and heard,” explains a lawyer to a death row inmate, paraphrasing a line from Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, from which Chinonye Chukwu’s new film Clemency takes inspiration.Chukwu’s film, like Ellison’s...

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Les Blancs, National Theatre at Home review – triumphant revival of forgotten classic

Lorraine Hansberry’s debut, A Raisin in the Sun, was the first drama written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, where it opened in 1959. It is now an American classic, but it’s her last play, Les Blancs, that in the current context of the...

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