Interview with R. A. Villanueva

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Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

R. A. Villanueva is a Brooklyn-based poet, educator and editor whose book Reliquaria has been highly praised. A senior language lecturer in the Expository Writing Program at New York University, and a founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, he has won many awards for his work, such as the 2013 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and the 2013 Ninth Letter Literary Award for Poetry. He has also secured fellowships from Kundiman and The Asian American Literary Review, and scholarships from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

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Call for book and theatre reviewers

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Words of Colour Productions is looking for writers to review plays, books and films for its website. As our profile increases, so are the requests to review the latest theatre performances, book releases and movies.

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Writing a legacy

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My mother Guemesh Isaak wrote two novels, translated traditional folk stories and rewrote the lyrics for Ruhus Gama (may your wedding be blessed), a song performed by the legendary Eritrean singer Haile Gebru. It is now the most famous Eritrean wedding song, still played today all over the world.

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Diversity workshop at Free Word Centre

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The Free Word Centre is running a diversity workshop for arts organisations, particularly literature and literacy organisations, looking to invigorate, refresh or kickstart their approach to diversity. The session will provide advice and structured support for organisations that want to increase diversity in their staff, audiences, and artistic programmes. The seminar-style session will enable participants to recognise where aspects of their organisation’s existing practices may inadvertently be creating barriers to certain people, identify priority areas and create a strategic approach to address these and communicate confidently and clearly with colleagues and the public about diversity and what it means to your organisation. This workshop will be run by Tonic Theatre.

Date: Monday 22 June 2015
Venue : Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Time: 10am – 12.30pm
Price: £10
Website: Book here


México20: New Voices, Old Traditions

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The México20 anthology brings together the work of 20 young Mexican writers under the age of 40 to an international readership. Join three of the featured writers, Laia Jufresa, Brenda Lozano and Daniel Saldaña París, as they discuss with journalist Maya Jaggi their work, the anthology, the vast literary tradition of Mexico and how brave new styles are capturing an era of shifting boundaries. México20 is part of the year-long celebrations of Mexico in the UK and the UK in Mexico in 2015.

Date: Friday 29 May 2015
Venue : Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Time: 7pm – 8pm
Price: £5, £4 (conc)
Website: www.englishpen.org/event/mexico20/


Everyman

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Under moral pressure: Chiwetel Ejiofor (Everyman). Photo credit: Richard Hubert Smith

Play: Everyman
Theatre: National Theatre
Writer: Carol Ann Duffy
Director: Rufus Norris

Review by Joy Francis

Watching the reworked 15th century morality and miracle play Everyman in the wake of the General Election, and amid the hype of Big Brother 2015, feels strangely apt.

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Blood

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Love under scrutiny: Adam Samuel-Bal (Sully) and Krupa Pattani (Caneze). Photo credit: Robert Day

Play: Blood
Theatre: Soho Theatre (then on tour)
Playwright: Emteaz Hussain
Director: Esther Richardson

Review by Natalie Gormally

Set in an East Midlands Pakistani community, Blood is billed as “a 21st century urban love story”. Performed by just two actors, it’s also a story about family, religion and the dissonance between traditional cultural boundaries in modern day British life.

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beneverunerstoost

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Play: beneverunerstoost (rehearsed reading)
Theatre: Royal Court
Playwright: Nick Gill
Director: Vicky Featherstone

Review by Natalie Gormally

With the elections over and the country faced with five years of Tory rule, did our political leaders captivate us with persuasive arguments, or did they just bore us with stage-managed events, sterile photo opportunities and familiar soundbites?

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The Spalding Suite

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Calling all ballers: KM Drew Boateng, Jason York, Marcquelle Ward and Emmanuel Akwafo. Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Show: The Spalding Suite
Venue: The Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre
Writer: Inua Ellams
Director: Benji Reid

Review by Esha Chaman

The Spalding Suite is a slick tribute to basketball which bounces between emotional lows and comedic highs, and reduces the audience to utter silence or howls of laughter over 60 minutes.

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Interview with Cyril Nri

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The many faces of Cyril Nri. Photo credit: Mark Douet

Cyril Nri is one of this country’s most versatile actors. From the start of his career in the early 1980s with the Royal Shakespeare Company, acting opposite greats like Max Von Sydow, to burning up our TV screens as Superintendent Adam Okara in The Bill, Graham in the acclaimed BBC series This Life, and most recently as Lance in Russell T Davies’s groundbreaking Channel 4 drama Cucumber. Currently touring in the David Hare classic The Absence of War as Oliver Dix, Nri talks to Joy Francis about politics, how he dealt with the public outpouring of grief at Lance’s murder, and why he believes there needs to be colour blind casting.

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Result

Result

Nothing but the football. The cast of Result. Photo credit: Greg Goodale

Play: Result
Theatre: Pleasance Theatre, Islington
Playwrights: Alex Clarke and Michael Clarke
Directors: Alex Clarke and Michael Clarke

Review by Joy Francis

Recent media coverage of the beautiful game continues to pick holes in its glamorous image, with young footballers on trial for rape or being demonised for demanding more money. What isn’t so readily under scrutiny are the mental health challenges facing young players.

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