Two perspectives on Looking for Love

articleimage - Looking for love opinion

Looking for Love is the latest documentary from award-winning filmmaker Menelik Shabazz. The director of films as diverse as Burning an Illusion to the extremely popular The Story of Lover’s Rock, decided to put love and romance in the Black British community centre stage in his latest production.

Read more…

VAULT Festival to return in 2016


VAULT Festival has announced its return to London’s Leake Street tunnels for a fourth time in 2016 with a call for artist submissions across all disciplines. Curating London’s underground cultural scene since 2012, the six week festival in the labyrinthine tunnels under Waterloo brings together a carefully crafted programme of some of the brightest emerging creatives from across the country in panoply of live music, performance, debate, comedy and late night parties.

The announcement follows the enormous success of last year’s festival which saw over 33,000 guests and revellers pass through its doors and over £350,000 go back to the participating artists, a result of VAULT’S efforts to help emerging companies control how their work is brought to audiences.

In 2015 guests were able to choose from 100 different events across the six weeks; up to 20 events were on offer each night across the seven chambers. The 2016 edition will build further on the 2012, 2014 and 2015 incarnations, providing a thrillingly diverse range of diversions in the tunnels.

VAULT 2016 will again see an eclectic mix of performance disciplines cohere in a space for adventure, discovery and fun. The artistic programme will be available alongside The VAULT Bar, open to the public every night, and one-off events – both ticketed and free.

National artists and companies of all disciplines are invited to submit productions, original or previously performed, for consideration in the 2016 programme. The window for submissions closes on 17 August and the final programme will be selected by an all new panel. Submissions can be entered via the VAULT website below. The 2016 programme will be announced later this year.

For more information, visit: or follow @vaultfestival #vault2016.

VAULT Festival trailerView here

Bush Theatre call for unsolicited scripts

Bush Theatre - Front

The Bush Theatre’s twice-yearly open submission window for new scripts is now open until 11 September 2015. Submissions are open to playwrights from the UK and Republic of Ireland who do not currently have an agent and have a full length play that can be considered for production at the Bush Theatre. It is looking for plays that ask big questions of our time, represent the plurality of our culture and have a bold contemporary bite. From their home in Shepherd’s Bush, they are committed to championing playwrights and plays that represent the diversity of the city, the UK and the world.

Once playwrights have submitted their play, it will be read by a dedicated team of readers, made up of theatre professionals and led by the Bush’s Associate Dramaturg. The Bush Theatre is looking for new plays to produce in the first instance and will provide feedback to plays they are interested in developing further. They are also interested in starting new relationships with playwrights and writers not currently known to them.

Those submitting scripts are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Bush’s work, by visiting the theatre and seeing a play or reading those plays it has produced recently. BushGreen is the first port of call to get to know the Bush’s writers, read articles around its work and engage within a thriving community of artists.

For more information, visit:

Lover’s Rock Monologues returns

carroll -victor-janet-2014-WEB

Following two hugely successful runs at the Tricycle Theatre, Lover’s Rock Monologues returns for a strictly limited time. With personal stories interspersed with the inimitable songs of the era, three of the scene’s luminaries – Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson and Victor Romero Evans – illustrate the inside story behind the trailblazing cultural phenomenon.

Lover’s Rock is a hugely influential sub-genre of reggae. Born in London, Lovers Rock defined a generation in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. It gave women a voice in the traditionally male-dominated realm of reggae, and broke beyond the constraints of its genre, giving artistic inspiration to The Police, Culture Club, UB40 and countless others. Crucially, Lover’s Rock was an integral part of black British identity during a politically and socially unstable time.

The Tricycle reunites three of the movement’s most influential stars: multi award winning artist Janet Kay, who is entered in the Music Guinness Book of Records as the first British born black female to have a reggae song (Silly Games, 1979) at the top of the British Pop charts; Victor Romero Evans who has worked extensively on stage, screen, radio and as a recording artist, and is a founder member of the Black Theatre Co-operative; and Carroll Thompson who is, together with Janet, acknowledged as one of the Queens of Lover’s Rock. Carroll has won many awards, including Best Female Performer at the GLR Reggae Awards in 1983.

View the Lover’s Rock Monologues audience reel – View here

Date: Monday 20 – Friday 25 July 2015
Venue: Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR
Time: 7.30pm (3pm Saturday matinee) 
Price: £15 – £27


Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni_OudeLibertas_enlarged_illustrator

A philandering, womanising leading man. A string of scorned female lovers. A loose-lipped servant. Murder, revenge and finally retribution. The infamous story of Don Giovanni is re-imagined as you’ve never seen it before. Adapted to the South Africa of today, this unique production condenses Mozart’s mesmerising tragicomedy and combines it with storytelling in modern English and Afrikaans. With just seven soloists and a piano, this company, who have previously toured rural South Africa, emphasis that experiencing opera is possible anywhere, and accessible to everyone.

Date: Monday 6 – Friday 11 July 2015
Venue: Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR
Time: 7.30pm (3pm Saturday matinee)
Price: £17 – £29

Interview with Zackary Momoh

articleimage - Zackary Momoh

The youngest actor ever to play Othello: Zackary Momoh. Photo credit: Johan Persson

Appearances at the National Theatre, including Sir Nicholas Hytner’s critically acclaimed Othello, a handful of stage credits, and a guest lead in BBC1’s Holby City, suggests that Zackary Momoh has enjoyed a great start to his acting career.

Read more…

The Motherf**ker with the Hat

articleimage - The Motherf_ker With the Hat

Cursing in New York: Flor De Liz Perez (Veronica) and Ricardo Chavira (Jackie). Photo credit: Mark Douet

Play: The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Theatre: Lyttelton Theatre, National Theatre
Playwright: Stephen Adly Guirgis
Director: Indhu Rubasingham

Review by Patsy Antoine

If in-your-face theatre that’s brash and gutsy doesn’t appeal, you may want to side-step the Indhu Rubasingham directed The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Stephen Adly Guirgis’s first Broadway play. If that’s the case, you may well curse the decision.

Read more…

Interview with Ashley Zhangazha

articleimage - Ashley Z

A man for all seasons: Ashley Zhangazha.

Ashley Zhangazha could be called a renaissance man. Despite still being in his twenties, he has performed in some of the classic plays with big name directors, such as Hamlet (Manchester Royal Exchange), Venice Preserv’d  (The Spectators Guild), Henry V with Jude Law (Michael Grandage Company) and Macbeth (Sheffield Crucible). He can sing (tenor), dance (tap and ballet) and direct (Young Vic).

Read more…


articleimage - hang

Not enough words: Shane Zaza (One) and Claire Rushbrook (Two) with Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Three). Photo credit: Stephen Cummiskey

Play: hang
Theatre: Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court Theatre
Playwright: debbie tucker green
Director: debbie tucker green

Review by Patsy Antoine

One of the things I’ve always loved about debbie tucker green is her ability to reveal the shattering effects of an implied act of violence on its victims, diving beneath the surface of grief and anger to get at the raw pain and helplessness below. hang is no exception.

Read more…

Staying Power: Black Britain on Screen

Staying Power-Black Britain on Screen_Twitter

The Black House 1973-76, London. Photo credit: Colin Jones, courtesy of Autograph ABP.

This summer, Brixton’s Black Cultural Archives, (BCA) in partnership with Ritzy Picturehouse, presents a season of film screenings, paying homage to the cinema of black identities in the British frame. Inspired by BCA’s current exhibition Staying Power, the festival is a capsule collection of iconic snapshots; a time-traveller’s journey from the 1950s to 2015, reflecting Black culture’s evolving space in Britain’s landscape and beyond. This season of critically acclaimed feature films, rarely seen shorts, documentaries and dynamic live BCA salon debates invite you to explore and challenge: A Question of Belonging, LOVE?, Black Genius, Revolt & Revolution, Soul Cinema: Mirroring The Black Atlantic and what it means to be Black In The Digital Age.

For the latest updates follow @bcaheritage, #BCAFilmFest or

Date: Monday 8 June – Saturday 25 July 2015
Venue: Bernie Grant Art Centre, Town Hall Approach, London N15 4RX
Time: 7.30pm – 11pm

Violence and Son

articleimage - Violence and Son

Like father, like son? Moorst (Liam) and Jason Hughes (Rick aka Violence). Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Play: Violence and Son
Theatre: Royal Court, Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Playwright: Gary Owen
Director: Hamish Pirie

Review by Esha Chaman

Despite being unnecessarily drawn out at times, Gary Owen delivers an unflinching observation on how violence and aggressive machismo is tragically passed on from father to son.

Read more…