tue 07/04/2020

race issues

Sondheim at 90 Songs: 4 - 'America'

Ever since I heard the quintessential prog rock group The Nice do a psychedelic instrumental version of “America” in 1968, I have loved this song. Later on, I was better able to appreciate Sondheim’s lyrics, whose satirical sharpness and superb...

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The Special Relationship, Soho Theatre review - informative, but uninspiring

Since 2000, Esther Baker's Synergy Theatre Project has worked with prisoners, ex-offenders and young people at risk of offending to produce powerful dramas about some of the most fraught social situations you can imagine. The latest show, written by...

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Berlinale 2020: Berlin Alexanderplatz review - a contemporary twist on a classic

Burhan Qurbani isn’t the first director to bring Alfred Döblin’s seminal 1929 novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz, to the screen. First, there was the Weimar Republic era adaptation that Döblin himself worked on. Fifty years later, Rainer Werner...

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Pass Over, Kiln Theatre review - fierce critique of racist brutality

The Black Lives Matter movement is such an important international protest that it is odd how few contemporary plays even mention it. Since the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has been around since 2013, following the acquittal of George Zimmerman who...

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The High Table, Bush Theatre review - party on in Lagos and London

Queer people of colour face a double discrimination: racism and homophobia. Against this sickness of negation and stupidity one of the best antidotes is a culture of celebration. And in this theatre can play its part. At the Bush, last September,...

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Death of England, National Theatre review - furious but fabulous

Is this an angry island? Although the British national character (if there is such a thing) has traditionally been one of reserve, repression and restraint, more recently it has become increasing passionate and full of anger. More a clenched fist...

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Imran Perretta, Chisenhale Gallery review - a deeply affecting film

“I forgive you,” he said. “I forgive you… for the bombs.” Spoken by a young Muslim in measured tones that can’t hide his fear, these chilling words recall a random encounter with a stranger. Written and directed by Imran Perretta and based on...

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Kunene and the King, Ambassadors Theatre review - a Shakespearean voyage through the legacy of apartheid

John Kani’s Kunene and the King is history in microcosm. Its premiere at the RSC last year, in this co-production with Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre, coincided with the 25th anniversary of the end of apartheid, offering a chance to assess the momentous...

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Queen & Slim review - a stylish and raw tale of outlaws on the lam

There’s a palpable rage to Melina Matsoukas’ first feature film Queen & Slim, starring Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith. Cast in the mould of Bonnie and Clyde, it’s a film that has you clinging to the arms of your seat...

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Rags: The Musical, Park Theatre review - a timely, if predictable, immigrant tale

“Take our country back!” is the rallying cry of the self-identified “real” Americans gathered to protest the arrival of immigrants. It could be a contemporary Trump rally – or, indeed, the nastier side of current British political discourse – but in...

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Just Mercy review - soul-stirring true story about race and justice in America

Just Mercy, the latest film from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), is based on a New York Times bestseller. It has a star-studded cast. It’s emotionally moving as well as intellectually accessible. But it’s no easy film to watch. “They can call...

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Seberg review - lightweight script, heavyweight performance

It’s 1968, and Seberg leaves her husband, Romain Gary (Yvan Attal) and son, Alexandre (Gabriel Sky) for an audition in Hollywood. She seems happy to be going. Touching down in LAX she joins a group of black activists, led by Hakim Jamal (Anthony...

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