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Handbags at dawn. Marian Bailey (Queen), Stella Gonet (Thatcher). Photograph by Tristram Kenton

Play: Handbagged
Theatre: Vaudeville Theatre
Playwright: Moira Buffini
Playwright: Indhu Rubasingham

Review by Samantha Watson

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to eavesdrop on the private conversations of two of Britain’s most iconic and influential female figures? Playwright Moira Buffini attempts to do just that with former PM Margaret Thatcher and the Queen in her cleverly crafted production Handbagged.

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The fall of a rock star. Andrew Scott (Paul) with the cast of Birdland. Photograph by Richard Hubert Smith

Play: Birdland
Theatre: Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court Theatre
Playwright: Simon Stephens
Director: Carrie Cracknell

Review by Natalie Gormally

Multi award-winning playwright Simon Stephens reunites with actor Andrew Scott in his latest production Birdland, on the role excess, money and fame plays in the downfall of a rock star.

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Hopelessly Devoted

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Love in a difficult climate: Cat Simmons (Chess) and Gbemisola Ikumelo (Serena). Photograph by Richard Davenport

Play: Hopelessly Devoted
Theatre: Tricycle Theatre
Playwright: Kate Tempest
Directors: James Grieve and Stef O’Driscoll

Review by Mesha McNeil

Hopelessly Devoted, Kate Tempest’s third theatrical offering, is set in a women’s prison. Directed by Stef O’Driscoll and James Grieve of the Paines Plough theatre company, the play explores the depths of the incarcerated psyche through love, separation, isolation and redemption.

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The Kilburn Passion

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Universal stories: The Tricycle Theatre Young Company in The Kilburn Passion.

Play: The Kilburn Passion
Theatre: Tricycle Theatre
Playwright: Suhayla El–Bushra
Director: Emily Lim

Review by Irenosen Okojie.

The Kilburn Passion, part of the recent Tricycle Theatre’s Takeover Festival by the Tricycle Young Company of 19 to 25 year olds, is an updated version of the medieval passions which explored themes around Jesus’ crucifixion.

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Can a Dead Woman Weep

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Book: Can a Dead Woman Weep
Author: Olivene Marie Howell
Publisher: Olivene Marie Howell via YPS Publishing

Review by Joy Francis

Writing your first book is always nerve-wracking. Deciding to self publish, an approach which in the US alone has seen a 59 per cent increase, is even more so. New writer Olivene Marie Howell has taken the plunge with her debut novel Can a Dead Woman Weep, a door stop at two pages shy of 500, tackling class, immigration, mental health, poverty and family estrangement.

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Interview with Jade-Marie Joseph

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Tricycle Young Company (l-r Jack Murphy, Rob Killalea, Joseph Russell, Yolanda Mercy, Alex Rand, Jessica Alade, Luke Thomas, Jade-Marie Joseph and Itai Ankrah. Photo credit: Richard Davenport

From Sunday 30 March to Friday 5 April 2014, the Tricycle Theatre will throw its doors open to its Young Company in the first Tricycle Takeover Festival. Young people aged 11-25 from Brent have developed an inventive programme taking in the whole building – from the theatre space to the foyer. Among the highlights is a film festival for emerging talent and The Kilburn Passion, a specially commissioned piece by the playwright Suhayla El Bushra, herself an alumna of the youth theatre.

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Creative Industries Showcase

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This free event taking place at Channel 4 studios in London is for BAME students and recent graduates considering a career in the creative industries. Now in its third year, guests will learn more about working in the creative industries from some senior leaders in the sector. The industry experts who will be on hand to give advice include, Sathnam Sanghera, features writer, The Times, Genevieve Ampaduh, head of digital marketing, Sony Music / Syco, Farzana Baduel, managing director, Curzon PR, Angela Jain, director of digital channels & acquisitions, ITV and Natalie Jerome, publishing director, HarperCollins.

Date: Monday 31 March & Wednesday 30 April 2014
Time: 6pm-8pm
Venue: Channel 4 , 124 Horseferry Road, Westminster, London SW1P 2TX
Price: Free
Booking: Find out more
Website: www.creativeaccess.org.uk

We Are Proud to Present…

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Recapturing the past: Ayesha Antoine (Black Woman) and Kingsley Ben-Adir (Black Man).

Play: We Are Proud to Present A Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915
Theatre: Bush Theatre
Playwright: Jackie Sibblies Drury
Director: Gbolahan Obisesan

Brooklyn playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury has adapted her critically acclaimed play We Are Proud to Present to suit a British audience for its European premier at the Bush Theatre.

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Writer-in-waiting (part 10)


Our writer-in-waiting has been on the Royal Court Theatre’s Critical Mass Programme, Invitation and Super Groups and has been informally attached to the Clean Break Theatre. She has had rehearsed readings of her plays at the Royal Court Theatre, Soho Theatre, Young Vic, Young Actors Theatre and Tristan Bates Theatre. In the final blog on her journey to writing success, she leaves us on a promising note.

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Memoirs of a once reluctant writer

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For many years Diane Corriette was a frustrated writer. She stepped out of her comfort zone by attending one of Words of Colour Production’s early workshops in writing for magazines back in 2007. After a few false starts she stumbled across flash fiction and has never looked back. A digital marketing specialist, Corriette helps local business owners build a web presence using WordPress blogs. With a passion for writing she shares her flash fiction memoir stories on her blog Pen, and will be publishing more of her own work from April 2014. Corriette reveals her challenging but rewarding journey to writing her memoirs.

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Interview with Jackie Sibblies Drury

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Photo by Sebastian Venuat

Brooklyn-based playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury first planned to be an actor. After realising that she would prefer to never leave the rehearsal room she switched to writing plays, with almost immediate success. A graduate of Brown University’s MFA playwriting programme, she received a Weston Award and the David Wickham Prize in Playwrighting. Her latest play, We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884 – 1915, won the Edgerton New Play Award and is now having its European Premiere at the Bush Theatre in London. Sibblies Drury tells Joy Francis about her aversion to performing in front of people, her love of British theatre and why she hates the term “post racial America”.

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