fri 20/07/2018

race issues

The Receptionist – London’s underground sex industry laid bare

When director Jenny Lu graduated from university, the promise of a big city career quickly turned into a series of rejections. Around this time, a close friend of hers committed suicide by jumping off a bridge – unbeknownst to their circle of...

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End of the Pier, Park Theatre review - thought-provoking play about comedy and race

Les Dennis was once a marquee name on Saturday night television as host of Family Fortunes, but since giving up the light entertainment lark he now plies his trade as an actor, and a very good one at that. If you've not seen it, give yourself a...

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Notes From the Field, Royal Court review - sobering report from the frontline of race

Anna Deavere Smith contains multitudes. As the solo performance artist recounts the testimonies she has selected from the more than 250 people she interviewed for this portrait of inequality and the criminal justice system in America, it is as if...

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Julie, National Theatre review - vacuous and unilluminating

It seems appropriate that an onstage blender features amidst Tom Scutt's sleek, streamlined set for Julie given how many times Strindberg's 1888 play has been put through the artistic magimix. Rarely, however, have the results been less illuminating...

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The Last Poets, Brighton Festival review - black power sets the night alight

The venom with which Abiodun Oyewole spits “America is a terrorist”, the key repeated line to “Rain of Terror”, has startling power. The piece is an unashamed diatribe against his nation. Beside him his partner Umar Bin Hassan rhythmically hisses...

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Rasheeda Speaking, Trafalgar Studios review - unsettling comedy, thorny racism

Conflict and comedy can be unpredictable bedfellows, and Chicago playwright Joel Drake Johnson’s 2014 play occasionally risks overstretching itself in its attempts to reconcile the two – although its immediate context, the world of office politics,...

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Stephen: The Murder That Changed A Nation, BBC One review - ‘He was a cool guy and everybody loved him’

When doctors told Doreen Lawrence her son had died she thought, "That’s not true." Spending time with his body in the hospital, aside from a cut on his cheek, it seemed to her he was sleeping. The death of a child will always be strange, and in the...

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Misty, Bush Theatre review - powerful meditation on how we tell stories

Arinzé Kene is having a bit of a moment. He won an Evening Standard Film Award for The Pass opposite Russell Tovey in 2016, is about to appear in a BBC drama with Paddy Considine, and has just finished lending his lovely tenor to Conor McPherson’s...

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Caroline, or Change, Hampstead Theatre review - Sharon D Clarke conquers

It's long been a theatrical given, especially in musicals, that characters need to be seen to change: a climactic duo in the eternally crowd-pulling Wicked makes that abundantly clear. ("Because I knew you," goes the lyric, "I have been changed for...

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Female Parts: Shorts, Hoxton Hall review - women speak out

Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day come three monologues written, directed and produced by women showing at Hoxton Hall. It’s kind of a treat, and kind of not.The current laser focus on gender risks the unwanted side-effect of alienating...

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Returning to Haifa, Finborough Theatre review - a bumpy journey into the Arab-Israeli past

This year the state of Israel marks its 70th birthday. Which means it will also be the year Palestinians remember the Nakba, the catastrophe, the mass dispossession. With that in mind, the Public Theater in New York commissioned this adaptation of a...

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Black Panther review - more meh than marvellous

Black Panther arrives with all the critics displaying superhero-sized goodwill for its very existence. It’s a big budget mainstream Marvel movie that not only features a nearly all-black cast, but it also has an African-American writer director (...

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