Publishers at risk of being culturally irrelevant, claims new report

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In 2004, In Full Colour reported on the state of diversity in the publishing industry and put pressure on publishers to take cultural diversity more seriously. Instead of making progress, a new report just launched by Spread the Word, and edited by Danuta Kean, shows very little has changed.

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The Last Supper

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Paying his way: Jon Jacobs (Michael), Dan Spector (Gerald) and Brion Rose (Dr Kevin Adams).

Short film: The Last Supper
Director: Aaron Holly and Cathy Wang
Screenplay: Aaron Holly and Cathy Wang
Genre: Drama

Review by Joy Francis

The Last Supper attempts to tackle the stigma attached to homelessness, and the harsh reality of being old, isolated and facing death, with mixed results.

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Satans and Shaitans

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Book: Satans and Shaitans
Author: Obinna Udenwe
Publisher: Jacaranda Books
Price: £8.99

Review by Ola Awonubi

As a child growing up in Nigeria we would stand to attention at assembly under the eagle-eyed glare of our teachers and recite the National Pledge.

I pledge to Nigeria my country
To be faithful loyal and honest
To serve Nigeria with all my strength and defend her unity.
So help me God.

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The Royale

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The internal battle: Nicholas Pinnock (Jay Jackson). Photo credit: Helen Murray

Play: The Royale
Theatre: Bush Theatre
Playwright: Marco Ramirez
Director: Madani Younis

Review by Joy Francis

The Royale is inspired by the controversial life of the talented African American boxer Jack Johnson who, in the early 1900s, challenged the Jim Crow laws with his flamboyant lifestyle, love of white women and defeat of the white world champion James J. Jeffries.

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Brunel University African Poetry Prize

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Three of the six: Inua Ellams, Safia Elhillo and Nick Makoha.

This poetry prize, now in its third year, will award the winner £3000 aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. The prize is sponsored by Brunel University and Commonwealth Writers. Each poet had to submit 10 poems to be eligible. Out of the 733 entries, the judges came up with a shortlist of six poets, none of whom has yet published a full length poetry book.

The first winner of this prize was Somali poet Warsan Shire in 2013; the second winner was Ethiopian poet Liyou Libsekal last year. The prize works closely with the African Poetry Book Fund and Prairie Schooner poetry journal at the University of Nebraska, and the winners and most of the shortlisted poets of the past two years have all since had poetry pamphlets published with APBF in their ‘New Generation African Poets’ series in the USA, with both Slappering Hol Press and Akashic Books. The shortlisted poets are Safia Elhillo (Sudan), Inua Ellams (Nigeria), 
Nick Makoha (Uganda), Bernard Matambo (Zimbabwe), Ngwatilo Mawiyoo (Kenya) and Hope Wabuke (Uganda). The winner will be announced on 11th May 2015.

For more information on the poets, visit

Interview with Sharon D Clarke

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The many faces of Sharon D Clark. As Odessa in The Amen Corner at the National (left) and as Nurse with Audrey Brisson (Juliet) in Romeo and Juliet at the Rose Theatre. Photo credits: Richard H Smith and Mark Douet

Sharon D Clarke is one of our most versatile actors and performers. From TV drama (Singing Detective), musical theatre (We Will Rock You), Shakespeare (Romeo & Juliet), popular TV series (Holby City), to soaring dramatic plays (The Amen Corner), panto (Mother Goose) and even a club classic (Nomad’s I Wanna Give You Devotion), there is no question of her bottomless talent.

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#Storify of Words of Colour at WOW Festival 2015

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Beyond words: Editing masterclass for writers

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Beyond words: Editing masterclass for writers

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers

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Living with corruption: Meera Syal (Zehrunisa Husain). Photo credit: Richard Hubert Smith

Play: Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Theatre: National Theatre
Playwright: David Hare (based on the book of the same title by Katherine Boo)
Director: Rufus Norris

Review by Natalie Gormally

David Hare’s adaption of Katherine Boo’s non-fiction book Behind the Beautiful Forevers, provides us with a glimpse into the harsh and ruthless life in a Mumbai slum.

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Join Words of Colour at the WOW Festival

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Words of Colour Productions
@ the Women of the World Festival 2015

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Losing the faith: Navin Chowdhry (Kash) and Claire Calbraith (Natalie). Photo credit: Mark Douet

Play: Multitudes
Theatre: Tricycle Theatre
Playwright: John Hollingworth
Director: Indhu Rubasingham

Review by Esha Chaman

As the title suggests, Multitudes covers people of diverse backgrounds and their concerns and perceptions of Britishness. The timing of the play couldn’t be more apt with a forthcoming General Election in May and a national conversation focused on politics, immigration and radicalisation. All of which makes this play a conscientious triumph from first-time playwright John Hollingworth.

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