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Book: Closure: Contemporary Black British Short Stories
Editor: Jacob Ross
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press
Price: £9.99

Review by Catrina Walters

Closure is a riveting anthology filled with talented published Black British writers, including Fred D’Aguiar (The Lonely Londoner) and Bernardine Evaristo (The Emperor’s Babe) who feature alongside emerging writers. The theme of human strife permeates the book and the stories take you through a world of emotions – from elation to sadness.

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Les Blancs

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Strained relations: Danny Sapani (Tshembe Matoseh) and Gary Beadle (Abioseh Matoseh). Photo credit: Johan Persson

Theatre: National Theatre
Play: Les Blancs
Playwright: Lorraine Hansberry
Director: Yaël Farber

Review by Irenosen Okojie

Les Blancs, Lorraine Hansberry’s largely unknown play, is an ambitious, geographically sweeping and provocative masterpiece on the ramifications of colonialism, and the power of revolution.

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Made Visible

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Who’s who?: Haley McGee (Deborah), Mia Soteriou (Ila) and Anjali Mya Chadha (Ayesha). Photo credit: Mark Douet

Theatre: The Yard Theatre
Play: Made Visible
Playwright: Deborah Pearson
Director: Stella Odunlami

Review by Irenosen Okojie

Deborah Pearson’s new play Made Visible at The Yard Theatre is an uncompromising and uncomfortable look at race through her lens as a white, middle class, well-travelled and educated woman.

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Interview with Mongiwekhaya

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Mongiwekhaya is a polymath. An actor, playwright, theatre-maker, filmmaker, puppeteer, poet and community arts mentor, he is driven by a desire to constantly create. In his 10 plus years as a creative practitioner, he has been involved in excess of 50 film and theatre productions, including being invited to perform with Cirque Du Soleil. He has worked with the Handspring Puppet Theatre Company on Ubu and the Truth Commission, and was artist-in-residence at the University of Western Cape.

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The Old Woman, The Buffalo and The Lion of Manding

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Telling the tale: Jan Blake (centre) with Kouame Sereba and Raymond Sereba. Picture credit: Chris Webb

Theatre: Canada Water Culture Space
Story: The Old Woman, The Buffalo and The Lion of Manding
Writers: Jan Blake, Kouame Sereba and Raymond Sereba
Artistic Advisor: Harmage Singh Kalirai

Review by Joy Francis

Storytelling is an intrinsic part of most cultures, none more so than on the African continent, with its numerous languages, dialects and tales, many of which are still unknown on these shores.

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Dirty Pakistani Lingerie

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Challenging convention: Writer/performer Aizzah Fatima.

Theatre: The Lowry, Salford
Play: Dirty Pakistani Lingerie
Playwright: Aizzah Fatima
Director: Erica Gould

Review by Carl Palmer

Writer/performer Aizzah Fatima has said that nobody expects Muslim women to be artists, let alone comedians. But you wouldn’t, as she did, give up a job with Google in New York if you had any doubts about your preferred career path. Dirty Pakistani Lingerie, Fatima’s sparkling one-woman comedy show, is ample proof that she made a sound decision.

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100 Days of Solitude

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Book: 100 Days of Solitude
Author: Daphne Kapsali
Publisher: dk press
Price: £10.99 (Amazon)

Review by Joy Francis

Daphne Kapsali took a risk. She left her job, her flat and her life in London to live on a remote Greek island (Sifnos) to write. The result is 100 Days of Solitude, which is a potpourri of styles: part memoir, part journal, part travelogue, but chiefly it’s a fish out of water tale.

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Tram 83

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Book: Tram 83
Author: Fiston Mwanza Mujila (translated by Roland Glasser)
Publisher: Jacaranda Books
Price: £8.99

Review by Reshma Ruia

Tram 83, (originally written in French), announces the arrival of a bold new voice in African literature in the shape of Fiston Mwanza Mujila.

Tram 83, Mujila’s debut novel, has already won a string of literary awards in France, Austria, UK and the USA, including the English Pen Award.

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Seven tips for writing horror

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In the last of our three part series on writing African horror, a leading voice on the genre Nuzo Onoh gives her seven top tips for writers’ aspiring to master scaring people for a living.

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I See You

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Feeling the oppression:Bayo Gbadamosi (Ben) and Jordan Baker (Skinn). Photo credit: Johan Persson

Theatre: Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court Theatre
Play: I See You
Playwright: Mongiwekhaya
Director: Noma Dumezweni

Review by Patsy Antoine

Having stepped in for Kim Cattrall, to great acclaim, in Linda and bagged the role of Hermione Granger in the stage version of Harry Potter, it seems there’s no stopping Noma Dumezweni. Now, it seems, her talents have found a new outlet.

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Interview with Rochenda Sandall

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Photo credit (image on the right): Mark Douet

Grimsby-born Rochenda Sandall has packed a great deal into the three and a bit years since she graduated from RADA in 2012. With no original plans to be an actress, a star turn in a school production of the musical Sister Act pointed her in the direction of drama school.

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