Kaleidoscope: Immigration and Modern Britain
Jun
12
to Sep 8

Kaleidoscope: Immigration and Modern Britain

Somerset House
12th June - 8th September

Many Rivers to Cross © Rhianne Clarke

Many Rivers to Cross © Rhianne Clarke

Featuring stills and moving image, Kaleidoscope showcases the works of ten photographers born or based in Britain, many with family origins abroad including Hong Kong, India, Jamaica and Russia, and explores what it means and how it feels to live as an immigrant, or a descendent of immigrants, in Britain today. Co-curated by writer, Ekow Eshun and Creative Director, Darrell Vydelingum the exhibition forms a celebration of immigration in everyday life.

Reflecting the multiplicity of voices that together form modern Britain, the exhibition takes individual and often intensely personal experiences to encourage a wider appreciation of the nation’s multiculturalism. The significance of immigrant communities forms a key focus, particularly how they influence the country’s identity, challenged now more than ever.

price: Free

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Get Up, Stand Up Now
Jun
12
to Sep 15

Get Up, Stand Up Now

Somerset House
12th June - 15th September

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Beginning with the radical Black film maker Horace Ové and his dynamic circle of Windrush generation creative peers and extending to today’s brilliant young Black talent globally, a group of around 100 interdisciplinary artists will showcase work together for the first time, exploring Black experience and influence, from the post-war era to the present day.

In this multi-sensory experience, historic works and new commissions will sit alongside items from personal archives, much of which has never been seen by the public before, tracing more than half a century of collective history. Curator Zak Ové – whose father Horace was the creator of the first feature film by a Black British director – has invited each artist to exhibit for becoming a true groundbreaker of their generation and their genre.

Price: £9:50 - £12.50

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Blues In The Night
Jul
18
to Sep 7

Blues In The Night

Kiln Theatre
18th July 2019 - 7th September 2019

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A man is a two-face, a worrisome thing who’ll leave you to sing, the blues in the night.

The Olivier and Tony Award nominated musical sees its first major London revival in 30 years. Directed by Susie McKenna and starring Olivier Award winners Sharon D. Clarke (Caroline or Change, Ghost, Amen Corner) and Clive Rowe (Guys and Dolls, Carousel), Blues in the Night is a scorching compilation of 26 hot and torchy blues numbers that frame the lives and loves of four residents of a downtown hotel. Featuring soul-filled songs by blues and jazz icons Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and many more, this will be a sizzling night to remember.

Price: TBC

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Barber Shop Chronicles
Jul
18
to Aug 24

Barber Shop Chronicles

Roundhouse
18th July - 24th August

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Newsroom, political platform, local hotspot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium. For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.

Directed by Olivier award-winning director Bijan Sheibani and designed by Rae Smith (War Horse), Barber Shop Chronicles is a heart-warming, hilarious and insightful new play that leaps from a barber shop in Peckham to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra over the course of a single day.

Price: £15 - £59.50

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Tree
Jul
29
to Aug 24

Tree

Young Vic
29th July - 24th August

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Tree  takes you on a thrilling journey in search of the soul and spirit of contemporary South Africa.  Created by Idris Elba, whose album Mi Mandelaprovides the soundtrack, and Kwame Kwei-Armah, this major world-premiere production, performed in the round, is also directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Music, dance and film combine with an exciting cast to explore the past, present and future of this country at a crossroads – all through the eyes of one young man on a journey of healing.

Price: £10 - £40

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Crossfire
Aug
1
to Aug 31

Crossfire

Malorie Blackman
8th August 2019

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Crossfire is the long-awaited new novel in legendary author Malorie Blackman's ground-breaking Noughts & Crossesseries - perfect for fans of The Handmaid's Tale and The Power.

Thirty-four years have passed since Sephy Hadley - a Cross - first met Callum McGregor - a nought. Their love was forbidden, powerful - and deadly.

Life is seemingly very different now for noughts and Crosses - including for Sephy and Callum's families. But old wounds from the past are hard to heal, and when you're playing a game as dangerous as they are, it won't be long before someone gets caught in the crossfire.

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Once on This Island
Aug
9
to Aug 31

Once on This Island

Southwark Playhouse
9th August - 31st August

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Once On This Island is a captivating calypso-flavoured re-telling of the Little Mermaid fairy tale. The story begins on a Caribbean island where villagers comfort a little girl with the legend of the romance of the peasant orphan Ti Moune, and a rich city boy whom she saves from death. The Island Gods have different plans for her story, but Ti Moune is destined to love too much for the human heart to bear.

Price: £16 - £27.50

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Black Men Walking
Aug
27
to Aug 31

Black Men Walking

Bernie Grants Arts Centre
27th Aug - 31st Aug

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“We walk. Though we are written into the landscape you don’t see us."

Eclipse Theatre Company presents Black Men Walking, directed by Dawn Walton, written by Testament.

Thomas, Matthew and Richard walk. They walk the first Saturday of every month. Walking and talking. But this walk…Maybe they should have cancelled, but they needed the walk today. Out in the Peaks, they find themselves forced to walk backwards through two thousand years before they can move forwards.

The first story from Revolution Mix – an Eclipse movement spearheading the largest ever national delivery of new Black British stories. Black Men Walking returns for a second UK tour following its huge sell-out success last year.

Price: £12 - £15

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Chiaroscuro
Aug
31
to Oct 5

Chiaroscuro

Bush Theatre
31st August - 5th October

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Chiaroscuro: (noun) the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting.

Aisha, Yomi, Beth and Opal couldn’t be more different, but when Aisha hosts a dinner party, the friends soon discover that they’re all looking for an answer to the same question. Does it lie in Aisha’s childhood? Or in Beth and Opal’s new romance? Who will tell them who they really are?

What starts out as a friendly conversation between women, soon turns heated when Yomi reveals what she really thinks about Beth and Opal’s relationship.

Price: £15 - £20

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Shuck 'N' Jive
Sep
2
to Oct 26

Shuck 'N' Jive

Soho Theatre
2nd Sept - 26th Oct

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Opera singer Simone very quickly discovers that London was not the BNP-free utopia she’d always dreamed of. Meanwhile, actress Cassi battles it out for the illustrious roles of ‘Sassy Friend’, ‘Spunky Slave’, and ‘Third Crack Whore From The Left’ at every audition.

Desperate to be seen as they are, not as the colour of their skin, they decide to take control and write their own story.

Price: £11 - £18

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Typical
Sep
3
to Sep 28

Typical

Soho Theatre
3rd Sept - 28th Sept

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What is the cost of a typical night out? An ex-serviceman who has spent his life fighting for his country finds new battles in a society fighting against him.

From the makers of 2018 hit Queens of Sheba comes this powerful new play by Ryan Calais Cameron confronting the daily tensions experienced by Black men as they negotiate life, while constantly feeling like their own lives are on the line.

Typical uncovers the man and the humanity behind a tragic real-life story, challenging traditional conceptions of Black manhood and highlighting the crisis of identity consuming Britain today.

Price: £11 - £18

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The Fishermen
Sep
3
to Oct 12

The Fishermen

Trafalgar Studios
3rd September - 12th October

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In a small Nigerian town Ben, Obembe and their two older brothers slip away to fish at a forbidden river. Unnoticed and carefree they continue until the prophecy of a madman changes the course of their lives forever.

Based on the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel by one of Africa's major new voices, New Perspectives’ critically acclaimed award-winning production of Chigozie Obioma’s powerful allegory of brotherhood, vengeance and fate adapted by Gbolahan Obisesan arrives in the West End for the first time.

Price: £20 - £30

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Until The Flood
Sep
4
to Sep 28

Until The Flood

Arcola Theatre
4th Sept - 28th Sept

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Missouri, 2014. Michael Brown, a black teenager, is shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.

A tidal wave of unrest sweeps across the nation, powered by a new activist movement called Black Lives Matter. Its ripples are felt all over the world.

In this gripping and revelatory drama, based on real-life interviews from the aftermath of the shooting, Dael Orlandersmith journeys into the heart and soul of modern-day America.

Confronting the powerful forces of history, race and politics, she embodies the many faces of a community rallying for justice, and a country still yearning for change.

Price: £10 - £27

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'Master Harold'... and the boys
Sep
21
to Oct 31

'Master Harold'... and the boys

National Theatre
21st September - TBC

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1950. Apartheid South Africa.

St George's Park Tea Room, Port Elizabeth, 1950. On a long rainy afternoon, employees Sam and Willie practice their steps for the finals of the ballroom dancing championship.

Hally arrives from school to hide out in his parents’ tea room. These two men have been unlikely best friends to Hally his whole life. But it is apartheid era South Africa: he’s Master Harold, and they are the boys.

Price: £15 - £88

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Our Lady of Kibeho
Sep
25
to Jan 29

Our Lady of Kibeho

Theatre Royal Stratford East
25th September - 2nd November

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In 1981 at Kibeho College in Rwanda, a young girl claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary who warned her of the unimaginable: Rwanda becoming hell on earth. She was ignored by her friends and scolded by her school but then another student saw the vision, and another, and the impossible appeared to be true.

Katori Hall’s Our Lady Of Kibeho presents us with a haunting insight into the true events that captured the world’s attention. A vibrantly theatrical meditation on faith and everyday miracles, it was hailed “the most important play of the year” by The Wall Street Journal when it premiered in New York in 2014.

Price: £10 - £35

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Woke
Oct
4
to Oct 5

Woke

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42 years apart, two women join in the struggle for civil rights.

Set against a powerful soundtrack of original music, gospel and blues, Woke travels to the 1970s and Black Panther Assata Shakur, then to present-day Ferguson in 2014 and college student Ambrosia.

Both challenge the American justice system, become criminalised through political activism, and ultimately are faced with the same choice: stay and fight, or flee?

Woke won the coveted Scotsman Fringe First Award for its premiere season, and was highly commended by the judges of the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award.

Price: £13 - £15

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Getting The Third Degree
Nov
2
to Nov 3

Getting The Third Degree

Greenwich Theatre
2nd Nov - 3rd Nov

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 This compelling new drama tells the powerful and deeply moving story of Laurie Cunningham who came to prominence with West Bromwich Albion in the late 1970’s.

The first of the black footballing trio famously dubbed The Three Degrees – Laurie Cunningham, with his swaggering style and dazzling skills forced favourable comparisons with the legendary Pele. The first black footballer to sign for the mighty Real Madrid and only the second to win a full cap for England, he inspired a whole generation of young black players to follow in his pioneering footsteps. Getting

The Third Degree was commissioned by Kick it Out to recognise the 25th anniversary of its ongoing battle against discrimination in football. In dramatising Laurie Cunningham’s meteoric rise to stardom, Getting The Third Degree also explores how he and his fellow black players – Brendon Batson and Cyrille Regis – triumphed over the racial abuse and physical threats often orchestrated by The National Front through a potent combination of footballing brilliance, charismatic style and compelling dignity. Incorporating 1970’s funk, soul and blues, contemporary commentary and social and political speeches, Getting The Third Degree is a powerful piece of theatre that vividly recreates a tense and troubled period in the history of football and the wider society.

Price: £13.50 - £16

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Black Baller: Triple Bill
Nov
6
to Nov 9

Black Baller: Triple Bill

Theatre Royal Stratford East
6th November - 9th November

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Celebrating their eighteenth year, there’s always excitement when Ballet Black take to the stage. Their popular programme contrasts dramatic and inventive storytelling in a lively showcase of modern ballets. Led by Artistic Director Cassa Pancho, recent recipient of the Freedom of the City of London for her contribution to diversity in ballet, the company celebrates dancers of black and Asian descent.

Ingoma (meaning song), created by company dancer and choreographer Mthuthuzeli November is a fusion of ballet, African dance and singing. This premiere and Barbican co-commission portrays a milestone moment in South African history and imagines the struggles of black miners and their families in 1946, when 60,000 of them took courageous strike action.

Price: £10 - £33

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Queens of Sheba
Nov
18
to Nov 23

Queens of Sheba

Battersea Arts Centre
18th Nov - 23rd Nov

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At a London nightclub in 2015, the lives of a group of friends were changed forever when confronted with misogynoir - where sexism meets racism - in its most vicious form.

Four passionate women re-affirm the joys of sisterhood as they tell hilarious, moving and uplifting stories that shed light on the lives of everyday women battling what shouldn’t be an everyday problem.

Price: £10 - £12.50

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Messiah
Nov
27
to Nov 30

Messiah

Stratford Circus Centre Arts Centre
27th Nov - 30th Nov

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Chicago. 4th December, 1969. 4.45am.

Charismatic young revolutionary Fred Hampton lies sleeping next to his heavily pregnant girlfriend Deborah Johnson.

At just 21 years old, he’s negotiated non-violence pacts between street gangs, founded free public health clinics, and fed thousands of starving school children.

But in the darkness outside, 14 Chicago PD officers load their weapons...

Messiah is an explosive new play from Fringe First winners Bear Trap Theatre and Alfred Fagon Award-winner Paula B. Stanic, exploring the forgotten legacy of the ‘Black Messiah’ and the revolutionary power of young people.

Price: £13 - £15

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Fairview
Nov
28
to Jan 18

Fairview

Young Vic
28th November 2019 - 18th January 2020

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Following a ground-breaking, sell-out run in New York, Jackie Sibblies Drury’sFairview is an interrogation of our subtly destructive preconceptions. This radical examination of power is directed by Young Vic’s Genesis Fellow / Associate Director, Nadia Latif

It’s Grandma’s birthday and the Frasier family have gathered to celebrate. Beverly just wants everything to run smoothly, but Tyrone has missed his flight, Keisha is freaking out about college and Grandma has locked herself in the bathroom.

Price: £10 - £40

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Three Sisters
Dec
2
to May 31

Three Sisters

National Theatre
2nd December - Running time TBC

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Owerri, 1967, on the brink of the Biafran Civil War. Lolo, Nne Chukwu and Udo are grieving the loss of their father. Months before, two ruthless military coups plunged the country into chaos. Fuelled by foreign intervention, the conflict encroaches on their provincial village, and the sisters long to return to their former home in Lagos.

Price: £15 - £70

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One Under
Dec
10
to Dec 21

One Under

Arcola Theatre
10th Dec - 21st Dec

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Cyrus drives a Tube train. Sonny jumps in front of it. Desperate to arrive at the truth of what happened, Cyrus is brought to a troubling possibility: that all routes lead back to him.

Award-winning playwright Winsome Pinnock and acclaimed director Amit Sharma (The Solid Life of Sugar Water, National Theatre) join forces for this deeply powerful drama about searching for meaning in a complex world.

Graeae are world-renowned for placing D/deaf and disabled artists centre-stage. This brand new staging of One Under sparks a vital discussion about mental health and invisible disabilities, and features creative captioning and audio description at all performances.

Price: £10 - £27

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Windows of Displacement
Dec
11
to Dec 12

Windows of Displacement

Stratford Circus Arts Centre
11th December - 12th December

Photo:  Ashley Karrel Photography

Photo: Ashley Karrel Photography

Choreographed and performed by Akeim Toussaint BuckWindows of Displacement is an autobiographically solo; blending dance, song and spoken word to explore ancestral memory and the shifting, increasingly urgent politics around the movement of people.

Born in Jamaica and now residing in the UK, Akeim explores imperialism, colonialism and displacement to create a captivating story of the past, present and future of humanity.

Windows of Displacement takes its audiences on a journey galvanising people power and reclaiming our collective responsibility.

Price: £13 - £15

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Poet in da Corner
Jan
30
to Feb 22

Poet in da Corner

Royal Court Theatre
30th Jan 2020 - 22nd Feb 2020

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In a strict Mormon household somewhere in the seam between East London and Essex, a girl is given Dizzee Rascal’s ground-breaking grime album Boy in da Corner by her best friend SS Vyper.

Precisely 57 minutes and 21 seconds later, her life begins to change – from feeling muted by dyslexia to spitting the power of her words; from being conflicted about her sexuality to finding the freedom to explore; from feeling alone to being given the greatest gift by her closest friend.

Step into a technicolour world where music, dance and spoken word collide, and discover how grime allowed Debris Stevenson to redefine herself.

Price: £12 - £35

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The High Table
Feb
8
to Mar 21

The High Table

Bush Theatre
8th February 2020 - 21st March 2020

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That’s actually what me and Leah came here to talk to you about. Look- there’s no easy way of saying this, but… Leah and I are getting married.

The dresses are chosen, the venue’s been booked and the RSVPs are flooding in. But with her wedding to Leah drawing nearer, Tara’s future is thrown into jeopardy when her Nigerian parents refuse to attend. This kind of love is unheard of, they say. It’s not African.

High above London, suspended between the stars, three of Tara’s ancestors are jolted from their eternal rest. Stubborn and opinionated, they keep watch as family secrets are spilled and the rift widens between Tara and her parents. Can these representatives of generations passed keep the family together? And will Tara’s decision ever get their blessing?

Price: £15 - £20

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Orfeus: A House Music Opera
Apr
14
to May 30

Orfeus: A House Music Opera

Young Vic
14th April 2020 - 30th May 2020

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Blurring the lines of opera, house music and theatre, Nmon Ford’s Orfeusmakes its World Premiere at the Young Vic, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright (Motown: The Musical).

Set in the near future, this unique production blends music genres and performance into a timeless version of Ovid’s legend. Orfeus confronts his true nature to save the beautiful poet Euridice from his father Pluto, the fascist ruler of a dystopian empire. Award-winning baritone Nmon Ford plays Orfeus. 

Price: £10 - £43

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Level Up
May
1
to Jun 6

Level Up

Bush Theatre
1st May 2020 - 6th June 2020

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It’s not safe here. In this place. This place where things only ever move in circular shapes like an old washing machine where all the clothes come out feeling exactly the same. and still slightly stained.

This is the place you grew up in, the place you want to grow out of. Get the coins. Beat the boss. Level up. But what happens when the consequences catch up with you? What happens when you’re not really the person behind the controller?

Price: £15 - £20

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Sucker Punch
Jun
19
to Jul 25

Sucker Punch

Theatre Royal Stratford East
19th June 2020 - 25th July 2020

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1981, South London. Thatcher’s Britain.

Jab. Double jab, cross. Jab, hook to body.

Leon and Troy are best mates trying to figure out their place in the world amid mounting unemployment and simmering racial tensions. After finding solace in Charlie’s gym, they start forging their path into the ruthless world of professional boxing.

Roy Williams’ bruising play examines what it was like to be a young black man in 1980s Britain and asks, how can you fight a system that’s desperate to see you fail?

Price: £10 - £35

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Hamlet
Jul
6
to Aug 22

Hamlet

Hamlet
6th July 2020 - 22nd Aug 2020

Image Credit: Cush Jumbo. Photo by Dean Chalkley. Concept by Émilie Chen

Image Credit: Cush Jumbo. Photo by Dean Chalkley. Concept by Émilie Chen

Cush Jumbo (The Good Wife, The Good Fight) makes her Young Vic debut as a new kind of Hamlet for this generation.

Following a succession of award-winning productions together, she reunites with her long-time collaborator, director Greg Hersov, to bring us Shakespeare’s great tragedy about power, politics and desire, reimagined for today.

Price: £10 - £43

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Is God Is
Jul
16
to Aug 15

Is God Is

Royal Court Theatre
16th Jul 2020 - 15th Aug 2020

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 “I wanna step on somethin for once. See what it feel like. Must feel good.”

When a letter arrives from the mother they thought was dead, twins Racine and Anaia travel from the Dirty South to the California desert and a yellow house with teal shutters.

They are on a mission to avenge her past and ready to take down anyone who stands in their way.

 “We ain’t killers”
“How you figure that? … Iss in the blood.”

Price: £12 - £49

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White
Jul
13
8:30 AM08:30

White

Ovalhouse
13th July

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What are you when you are always the other? A show about identity, blending spoken-word with live vocal looping. Join Koko as she considers the concept of mixed-race privilege, tries to connect clashing cultures and explores what it means to be mixed in contemporary Britain.

Price: £10 - £16

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Chigozie Obioma in conversation and The Fishermen
Jul
7
3:30 PM15:30

Chigozie Obioma in conversation and The Fishermen

British Library
7th July

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A double-bill of mythic Igbo traditions including a staged reading and a conversation with Chigozie Obioma

Man Booker shortlisted novelist Chigozie Obioma discusses his writing, Igbo mythology and stories of the everyday. In a conversation with readings from The Fishermen and An Orchestra of Minorities, we explore blurred lines between myth and reality, thoughts on fatherhood and reworking ancient Greek classics with Igbo cosmology. The evening opens with evocative staged reading of The Fishermen, adapted by Gbolahan Obisesan. 

Chigozie Obioma was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria, and currently lives in the United States. He is an assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His debut novel, The Fishermen, is winner of the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Awards for Debut Literary Work, and the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction (Los Angeles Times Book Prizes); and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize 2015, as well as for several other prizes in the US and UK. Obioma was named one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015.

The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma
Adapted for the stage by Gbolahan Obisesan
Based on the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel by one of Africa’s major new voices, New Perspectives presents a staged reading Chigozie Obioma’s powerful allegory of brotherhood, vengeance and fate in a new adaptation by Fringe First-winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan.

Tickets include both the play and in conversation.

Price: £15 - £20

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New Daughters of Africa
Jul
6
7:00 PM19:00

New Daughters of Africa

British Library
6th July

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Celebrating Black women’s writing in a landmark anthology

25 years after Margaret Busby’s Daughters of Africa anthology, a new companion volume brings together the work of over 200 writers from across the globe – Antigua to Zimbabwe, Angola to the USA – to celebrate a unifying heritage, illustrate an uplifting sense of sisterhood and showcase the remarkable range of creativity from the African diaspora.

Margaret Busby is joined by Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Nadifa Mohamed, Namwali Serpell and Bernardine Evaristo to celebrate the global sweep, diversity and extraordinary literary achievements of Black women writers.

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is the author of Stay With Me, which was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Economist, and others.

Ghanaian born Margaret Busby co-founded Allison & Busby, publishing C L R James, Buchi Emecheta, Nuruddin Farah amongst many others, and became Director of Earthscan. She judges literary awards, including the Caine, Baileys and Commonwealth prizes, and others.

Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa (now in the Republic of Somaliland) in 1981 and moved as a child to England in 1986. Her first novel, Black Mamba Boy, based on her father's memories of his travels in the 1930s, was published in 2010.

Namwali Serpell is a Zambian writer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. Her first published story, Muzungu, was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009 and shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize for African writing. 

Bernardine Evaristo is the award-winning author of eight books and numerous other published and produced works that span the genres of novels, poetry, verse fiction, short fiction, essays, literary criticism, and radio and theatre drama. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London. 

Price: £10 - £15

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Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner
Jul
4
to Jul 27

Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner

Royal Court Theatre
4th July 2019 - 27th July 2019

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“112 Million People. That’s how many people follow her on Instagram – and counting…. As if she’s like a prophet. Or a material messiah or something…”

Holed up in her bedroom Cleo’s ignored 22 calls from Kara and has cut off contact with the rest of the world. It doesn’t mean that she’s been silent though – she’s got a lot to say. On the internet, actions don’t always speak louder than words…

“It’s like she’s mimicking us for bants and p and no one bats a fucking eyelid.”

Price: £12 - £18

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American Spy
Jul
1
to Jul 31

American Spy

By Lauren Wilkinson
4th July 2019

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'My most important secret - and this is how I met my sons' father - is that I was once a spy.'

It's 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She's brilliant and talented, but she's also a black woman working in an all-white boys' club, and her career has stalled with routine paperwork - until she's recruited to a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic, revolutionary president of Burkina Faso, whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention.

In the year that follows, Marie will observe Thomas, seduce him, and ultimately, have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, and a good American.

Inspired by true events - Thomas Sankara is known as 'Africa's Che Guevara', but his story is not widely known across the world - this novel is sweeping historical fiction with an enthralling espionage thriller at its core, and introduces a powerful new literary voice.

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Nine Foot Nine
Jun
30
8:00 AM08:00

Nine Foot Nine

New Diorama Theatre
30th June

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What would happen if most self-identifying women across the world grew to be nine foot tall? 

Cara and Nate are a hard-working young couple looking to start a family. They’re bumbling through the daunting world of pregnancy tests, maternity clothes and flat-pack cot-building, all the while trying to come to grips with having to create an actual human person. That is, until suddenly, inexplicably, a vast proportion of all the women in the world start to grow.

Price: £5

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Freeman
Jun
28
8:30 AM08:30

Freeman

New Diorama Theatre
28th June

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Inspired by the first man in America to plead Insanity as his defence.

Writer Camilla Whitehill (Where Do Little Birds Go?) and Strictly Arts examine the unspoken link between mental health and systemic racism. 

Throughout time and across waters, from William Freeman to Sarah Reed, six true stories are threaded together and told through physical theatre, spoken word, gospel singing, shadow puppetry and more. 

Price: £5

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Grey
Jun
27
to Jul 13

Grey

Ovalhouse
27th June - 13th July

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She is a strong, independent, black woman. She has a roof over her head. She has food in her fridge. She lives a good life. She’s also a little bit sad, a lot of the time. She doesn’t understand why.

Following her 5-star solo show, WHITE, Koko Brown brings you the second instalment of the Colour Trilogy, GREY. A candid show exploring depression and black women’s mental health. 

Blending spoken word and vocal looping, GREY is fully British Sign Language integrated and contains sensitive content.

Price: £10 - £16

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Othello Remixed
Jun
25
to Jul 14

Othello Remixed

Omnibus Theatre
25th June - 14th July

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O, beware, my lord, of jealousy 
It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on…

Shakespeare’s gripping tragedy is remixed by Intermission Theatre Company, breathing fresh life into the stories of Othello, Iago and Desdemona in this new production directed by Darren Raymond (Shakespeare’s Globe: Shakespeare In The Abbey, The Shakespeare Walks).

London 2019. Championship boxer Othello has chosen Michael Cassio to be his corner man. Rejected, Iago is riven with jealousy and deceit. Desdemona is in the center of their conflict which may (or may not) lead to a calamitous end.

In an explosive mashup of language, Othello’s story is staged in a modern day London boxing ring, urgently reinventing Shakespeare’s warnings of manipulation, division and revenge.

Price: £10 - £16

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David Olusoga: The Secret Windrush Files
Jun
23
7:00 PM19:00

David Olusoga: The Secret Windrush Files

Southbank Centre
23rd June

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The historian uncovers the hidden stories behind the Windrush scandal at an exclusive screening of his new BBC documentary, followed by a talk.

In The Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files, David Olusoga gives a platform to powerful and personal testimony from men and women of the Windrush generation, who arrived in Britain as children between 1948 and 1972, and exposes secret government files that reveal a scandal 70 years in the making.

Following the screening, Olusoga joins us on stage to delve into the history behind the scandal, as well as the research and discoveries that led to the making of his revelatory documentary.

Price: £15 - £20

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Windrush Sound Tours
Jun
22
to Jun 26

Windrush Sound Tours

British Library
22nd June - 26th June

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To mark Windrush Day, sound guides have curated site-specific sound tours of the British Library building. Explore individuals’ memories of the Caribbean and migration to the UK through the powerful voices and testimonies in the Library’s oral history collections.

These tours were curated as part of the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project, which aims to preserve and provide access to the nation’s rare and unique sound recordings. The British Library is home to the nation’s Sound Archive, an extraordinary collection of over 6.5 million recordings. Tours are led by Shani Page Muir, Ayomide Oluyemi and Korantema Anyimadu.

Price: Free

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The Wright Brothers
Jun
16
to Jun 17

The Wright Brothers

The Albany
16th June - 17th June

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Join co-creators Tyrone-Lee Davis and Kieran Shekoni, as they bring to you a story of friendship, laughter and love.

Imani is on a journey to find a date for her sister’s wedding, though she’s not been interested in meeting anyone since her last relationship ended. However with only 3 weeks till the wedding the pressure from friends and family is on! Enter 3 brothers with very different characteristics: money, looks and personality, which one will win her over!

To see if love prevails, come and watch this must see production that has something for everyone and will surely leave everyone going home smiling!

Price: £18.50

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Strange Fruit
Jun
12
to Jul 20

Strange Fruit

Bush Theatre
12th June - 20th July

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I go half way round the world and back thinking I’d made some sort of discovery and come back to find the same damn lies, the same white lies, the same black lies.

Alvin and Errol can’t picture much of a future for themselves. They’re young, Black and living in England in the 1980s, with an entire country and political system set against them. Instead they focus firmly on their past – the sunny Caribbean and heroic father they left behind when their mother brought them to England twenty years ago.

But when Alvin returns home from his grandfather’s funeral a new version of their past emerges and the two brothers are caught in a desperate struggle to unearth the truth about their existence.

Price: £15 - £20

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Shining Lights Black Women in Photography in the 1980's-90's
Jun
11
7:00 PM19:00

Shining Lights Black Women in Photography in the 1980's-90's

Autograph
11th June

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Joy Gregory uses Maxine Walker’s exhibition at Autograph as a starting point to highlight and celebrate the black women who were a driving force in independent UK photography throughout the 1980s and 90s.

Artists including, Zarina Bhimji, Sutupa Biswas, Maria Luiza Carvalho, Mona Hatoum, Mumtaz Karimji, Roshini Kempadoo, Jenny McKenzie, Ingrid Pollard, Menika van der Poorten, Maud Sulter, Mitra Tabrizian, Maxine Walker, Val Wilmer are just a few of the many women who were active.

In this talk, Gregory will reflect on the cultural landscape of the time and the publications, organisations, exhibitions, events and other work produced. Much of the material relating to this history is unarchived and may be lost. Systemic archiving before the internet was an unaffordable luxury for many, and the domain of established museums and institutions – where often these artists were under-represented.

Price: £4 - £5

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Calm Down Dear: Kind of Woman
Jun
7
to Jun 8

Calm Down Dear: Kind of Woman

Camden People’s Theatre
7th June - 8th June

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Kind of Woman is a new one-woman play about Ama, a young Swedish-born Ghanaian woman who has moved to London for University with her best friend.

On a night out, Ama meets her future boyfriend. What ensues is the fantasy turning into a nightmare. Ama goes from feeling adored and loved, to feeling like she is walking on eggshells. After the relationship, Ama begins to reflect on a version of a real Ghanaian ritual that her mother did for her when she was young and begins to wonder what kind of woman she is, and who she wants to be.

We go on a journey with her as she tries to navigate the effects of the relationship, realising that she alone can define who she is. The play is inspired by true events and is an exploration of love, self-love, emotional abuse and intergenerational Black female relationships.

Price: £8

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Custody
Jun
5
to Jun 22

Custody

Oval House
5th June - 22nd June

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When a young black man, Brian, dies in police custody, it sends shock waves across the community. Reeling from his death, Brian’s family struggle to make sense of their loss, whilst pursuing a lengthy court battle to find justice. Inspired by creator Urban Wolf’s own experiences with the police, this stark and timely new play explores how young black men are slipping through the cracks in society. 

Price: £10 - £16

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The Fear
Jun
5
to Jun 8

The Fear

The Bunker
5th June - 8th June

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This world premiere by award-winning playwright Roy Williams charts the life of Michelle, who struggles to rebuild her life after a brutal encounter. Moving through several decades, this is a resonant story that exposes some harsh realities. The Fear is about police violence, inequality and why black lives matter.

Price: £12 - £15

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Tell Me Your Secret
Jun
1
to Jun 30

Tell Me Your Secret

Dorothy Koomson
27th June 2019

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Pieta has a secret.
Ten years ago, Pieta was kidnapped by a man calling himself The Blindfolder who said he wouldn’t kill her if she kept her eyes closed for 48 hours. She never told anyone what happened to her, vowing to move on with her life. But when The Blindfolder starts hunting down his past victims, Pieta realises she may finally be forced to tell her deepest secret to stay alive . . .

Jody has a secret.
Fifteen years ago, policewoman Jody made a terrible mistake that resulted in a serial killer known as The Blindfolder escaping justice. When Jody discovers journalist Pieta survived an attack by him, she realises she may finally have found a way to catch him. But that would mean endangering at least two innocent people . . .

They kept quiet to protect themselves.
Will telling all save or sacrifice each other?

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My Guyana to Great Thames
Jun
1
2:00 PM14:00

My Guyana to Great Thames

Tate Modern
1st June

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Join us for a half-day conference with leading artists, academics and curators as they discuss the vital elements of Frank Bowling’s work. Three special panel discussions will assess Bowling’s remarkable six-decade career, and his relationship with Guyana, London and New York. Speakers will also consider Bowling's influences, his innovative use of paint, and the impact of his work on other artists.

Price: £12 - £18

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Bronx Gothic
Jun
1
to Jun 29

Bronx Gothic

Young Vic
1st June - 29th June

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Part theatre, part dance and part visual art installation, Okwui Okpokwasili’sBronx Gothic delves into her memories of growing up in the Bronx, before emerging into a breathtaking exploration of girlhood.

Created in collaboration with Peter Born, in this UK premiere, Bronx Gothic draws on inspiration from West African griot storytelling and the epistolary style of the Victorian novel to ask what it means to be brown in a world that values whiteness. 

Price: £15 - £25

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Apples and Snakes Presents: Thembe Mvula
May
31
7:30 PM19:30

Apples and Snakes Presents: Thembe Mvula

Tate Modern
31st May

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Drawing from her experiences as a first generation immigrant, Thembe’s poems transport the reader from seas to living rooms that form portals into sensory stories about family, loved ones and the self. She explores how she has navigated her sense of belonging from a childhood in South Africa, and then growing up in the UK. There is a vulnerability in her writing that is both brave and beautiful.

Thembe will read from her work, followed by a Q & A and book signing.

This event is presented by Apples and Snakes and Tate Enterprises.

Price: Free

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Funeral Flowers
May
29
to Jun 1

Funeral Flowers

Bernie Grant Arts Centre
29th May - 1st June

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Funeral Flowers follows the story of Angelique, a 17-year-old whose dreams of being a florist are a refuge from a complicated adolescence.

With her mum in prison, Angelique faces bullying, abuse and growing up in the care system. A visceral, captivating solo production written and performed by Fringe First and Filipia Bragança award winner Emma Dennis-Edwards

Price: £10 - £14

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J'Ouvert
May
29
to Jun 22

J'Ouvert

Theatre 503
29th May - 22nd June

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“What people you know can party through all of the earth’s elements?”

Carnival is here. The streets of Notting Hill are alive with history, and amongst the pulsating soca, dazzling colour, and endless sequins and feathers, Jade and Nadine are fighting for space in a world they thought was theirs.

A timely reflection on the Black British experience and sexual politics of Carnival, J’Ouvertis a piercing, hilarious and fearless story of two best friends, battling to preserve tradition in a society where women’s bodies are frequently under threat.

A rhythmic, vibrant testimony to womanhood and freedom, J’Ouvert marks the debut play of Yasmin Joseph, one of Theatre503’s 503Five Writers In Residence. It is also the directorial debut of actor Rebekah Murrell (Nine Night, National Theatre, Trafalgar Studios), with the two combining forces with producer Tobi Kyeremateng to create an exciting new theatre company to bring this story to life.

Price: £10 - £18

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The American Dream 2.0
May
25
3:00 PM15:00

The American Dream 2.0

Young Vic
25th May

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From multi award winning playwright Emma Dennis-Edwards, comes this politically charged dystopian play about hope, idealism and humanity.

In the Land of Acirema, a paradise rarely known, Alex arrives with hopes of a new beginning with a progressive community in this idyllic world. Through this cautionary tale of morality we soon learn that all that glitters isn’t gold, but will Alex be able navigate Acirema or will it consume her?

Price: Free

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Look at your Palm
May
24
to May 25

Look at your Palm

Oval House
24th May - 25th May

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Look At Your Palm is a piece that explores identity struggles in a socially divided world. This is not a show of who is wrong or right but rather about perspectives and nuances, diving straight into why people fight for the things they believe in.

Price: £11.50 - £15

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Glass Menagerie
May
23
to Jul 13

Glass Menagerie

Arcola Theatre
23rd May - 13th July

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©Idil Sulkan

“A fire-escape landing’s a poor excuse for a porch.”

Summer, 1937.

Austerity turns up the pressure on the people of St Louis, for none more so than its African American community.

Crowded amongst the tenements, Amanda Wingfield demands that her two children will lead a better life.

Femi Elufowoju jr. directs a radical new interpretation of Tennessee Williams’ shattering play.

Price: £10 - £26

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King Hedley II
May
17
to Jun 15

King Hedley II

Theatre Royal Stratford East
Friday 17th May 2019 - Saturday 15th June 2019

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1980s Pittsburgh, a city in decay. Against the backdrop of Reagan’s America, King, an ex-con, is trying to rebuild his life and start a family.

He’s got hopes and dreams of opening a video store and building a new life. If only he can get ten thousand dollars together, if only he can catch a break. In his dusty backyard he plots and plans with his friend Mister, but is this all a pipe dream?

Featuring Lenny Henry as smooth-talking hustler Elmore, August Wilson’s touching and angry King Hedley II is a quest for redemption for one man and a whole community.

Price: £10 - £32

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Salt.
May
14
to Jun 1

Salt.

Royal Court Theatre
14th May 2019 - 1st June 2019

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A journey to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. 

In February 2016, two artists got on a cargo ship, and retraced one of the routes of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle – from the UK to Ghana to Jamaica, and back.

Their memories, their questions and their grief took them along the bottom of the Atlantic and through the figurative realm of an imaginary past.

It was a long journey backwards, in order to go forwards.

This show is what they brought back.

“We imagine that we are on a journey, that life is a journey, but we are home from the beginning. This is not an easy thing to accept.“

Part of artist Selina Thompson’s wider body of work looking at Black British identity, the award-winning salt. focuses on grief, home, afropressism, the Black Atlantic, the forgetting of the UK’s colonial history and the impact that has on the daily life of Caribbean communities in the UK today.

Price: £12 - £25

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Yvette
May
14
to Jun 1

Yvette

Bush Theatre
14th May - 1st June

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“I see the way that butters-fat-lipped-troll-Patrice looks at him, now she’s the kinda lighty that finks she’s too nice.”

Evie is thirteen and lives in Neasden with her Mum. She wants to tell us about something… her crush on Lewis, trying to be a woman, friends, virginity, garage remixes, hello kitty underwear… an ‘Uncle’ lurking in the corner of her story.

She wants to make us laugh, she’s pretty good at it. She wants to tell us something, but she daren’t let it out.

Based on a true story, Yvette is a one-woman show with original music about a stolen childhood and growing up with a secret. Commissioned by Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Association with Hull 2017.

Price: From £10

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In Conversation: Damon Young
May
13
7:30 PM19:30

In Conversation: Damon Young

Young Vic
13th May

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With Death of a Salesman and Bronx Gothic exploring aspects of the American psyche on our stages this Summer, we are pleased to welcome US author and commentator, Damon Young, for an evening of lively discussion around the intersection of masculinity, blackness and feminism as part of YV:ID, a festival of digital and live events exploring identity. 

This event follows the UK release of Damon’s book What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker, a funny and provocative chronicle of his efforts to survive while battling and making sense of the various neuroses his country has given him. 

Price: Free

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