Pandora’s Box returns to the stage

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Following sell-out shows at Arcola Theatre, the acclaimed, award-winning British-African family drama, Pandora’s Box, by Ade Solanke, embarks on its long-awaited UK tour. Nominated for this year’s $100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa’s biggest literary award, and nominated for Best New Play in the Off West End Theatre Awards, this moving tragicomedy about families, betrayal, choices and love is a must-see. This autumn offers the chance to catch this ‘touching, hilarious’ (The Stage) play that has been dazzling audiences with its ‘enthralling, brilliant’ (Public Reviews) story and performances. Pandora’s Box is funded by Arts Council England with additional funding from the Unity Theatre Trust. Directed by Shade Oladiti, co-produced by Jon Harris.

Date: On national tour until 1 November 2014
Venue listing and how to book : Go here
Website: www.sporastories.com


Wasafiri’s Words on the Water Literary Boat Trip

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In celebration of Wasafiri 30th birthday it is hosting Words on the Water: A Literary Boat Trip, a river cruise bringing together six of the best writers representing the diversity of London. Readings will cross continents and cultures, with author and The Guardian critic Sukhdev Sandhu, award-winning novelists A M Bakalar and Gabriel Gbadamosi and acclaimed poets Michelle Cahill, Zena Edwards and Ruth Padel. The event will be hosted by the Forward Prize winning poet Daljit Nagra. Each ticket holder will receive a free copy of Wasafiri’s 30th anniversary issue and a commemorative linen bag.

Date: Sunday 21 September 2014
Venue: The William B River Cruiser, Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment, London SW1A 2JH. Nearest tube: Westminster
Time: 2pm-2.15pm embarkation; 5.15pm-5.30pm disembarkation
Price: £15
To book: Click here
For more information: Click here
Website: www.wasafiri.org


Interview with Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan and Marlon Smith

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Words of Colour Productions’ executive director Joy Francis met with the award-winning writers of Channel 4′s acclaimed four part drama series RUN – Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan and Marlon Smith. Friends since their teens, their strong creative partnership secured them a Royal Television Society Award and a BAFTA award for their writing skills..

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Interview with Paulette Randall

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Paulette Randall is one of this country’s most successful female theatre directors. She has already made history as associate director for the London 2012 opening ceremonies alongside Danny Boyle, and as the first black woman to direct a play in the West End, August Wilson’s Fences in 2013. Yet despite her theatrical pedigree and solid reputation, she is not as well known as she deserves to be.

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Launch of Osargenews.com

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Angie Le Mar has been announced as the brand ambassador for Osargenews.com, a new portal which focuses on the African Diaspora. Using cutting edge technology and social media tools, the site will connect communities through the latest news, developments and cultural trends from across the globe as well as provide a forum for the exchange of views, ideas and experiences. It will deliver news twice daily to all African and African Diaspora countries (over 100 in total). Readers will be able to access a country specific newspaper via an interactive map. Subscription to the site’s newspapers is free. The site will also include sections on film and entertainment, a marketplace with African Diaspora related products for sale and the sites DNA testing products. Le Mar is developing several web series to be launched on the site, including Ladies Talk International.

Launch dates: Saturday 16 August 2014 (London); Saturday 13 September 2014 (New York)
Venue: Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR (London launch)
Time: 5pm-7.30pm
Website: www.osargenews.com
To book: Email to get on the guestlist at info@osargenews.com
Find out more: Click here


The House That Will Not Stand cast announced

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Tricycle Theatre’s artistic director Indhu Rubasingham has announced the cast for the UK premiere of Marcus Gardley’s The House That Will Not Stand. Set in New Orleans in 1836, following an era of French colonial rule and relative racial acceptance, Louisiana’s ‘free people of color’ are prospering. Beartrice has become one of the city’s wealthiest women through her relationship with a rich white man. However, when her partner mysteriously dies, the foundations of freedom she has built for herself and their three unwed daughters begins to crumble. For The House That Will Not Stand, Rubasingham will direct Ronke Adekoluejo (Odette), Ayesha Antoine (Agnes), Michele Austin (La Veuve), Martina Laird (Beartrice), Tanya Moodie (Makeda), Clare Perkins (Marie Josephine), Danusia Samal (Maude Lynn) and Paul Shelley (Lazare).

Date: 17 October-22 November (previews from 9 October)
Venue: Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR
Price: £10-£28 (concs available)
Website: www.tricycle.co.uk
To book: 020 7328 1000


Bush Theatre launches BushGreen Live

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BushGreen Live is a series of events to enhance and complement the company’s core programming. Taking a variety of formats, including late-night events and post-show debates, BushGreen Live events will be incorporated into the programme over the coming year, with the intention of offering a range of opportunities for writers, directors, creatives and interested audiences to engage more deeply with the Bush’s work. As part of this programme is the Perseverance Drive Live Events and later in the year Albion. On 4 August is the Debate. The panel includes Huma Munshi, Hassan Mahamdallie and Robin Soans who will explore themes from the play such as ‘Is goodness without God good enough?’ and ‘What place is there for religion in an ever changing London?’ The events are supported by Kudos Film & Television, partner of playwriting at the Bush Theatre. BushGreen Live events will form part of the theatre’s 2014 season and will be programmed alongside all main stage productions.

Date: Events until October 2014
Venue: Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London W12 8LJ
Programme: 4 August 2014, Perseverance Drive Debate at 10pm. Visit the website to find out more.
Price: £5
Website: www.bushtheatre.co.uk


Interview with Nuzo Onoh

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Coventry-based, African horror writer Nuzo Onoh is breaking new ground with her intriguing novel The Reluctant Dead. Steeped in the Igbo tradition, Onoh is championing the genre and believes it’s time for female horror writers to be recognised more widely. Born in Enugu, in the Eastern part of Nigeria (formerly known as The Republic Biafra), she lived through the Biafran War (1967 – 1970), an experience that continues to influence her writing.

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Perseverance Drive

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Finding redemption: Leo Wringer (Eli Gillard) and Clint Dyer (Josh Gillard). Picture credit: Richard Davenport

Play: Perseverance Drive
Theatre: Bush Theatre
Playwright: Robin Soans
Director: Madani Younis

Review by Natalie Gormally

Perseverance Drive is an absorbing play about a fragmented West Indian Pentecostal family, brought together by death and torn apart by conflicting attitudes towards faith.

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SI Leeds Literary prize longlist

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Chair of the judging panel, the award-winning author of Pao, Kerry Young.

The SI Leeds Literary Prize for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian women has announced its 12 strong longlist from promising and accomplished writers, covering a wide range of genres and subjects.
They longlisted authors are:

• Red Is For Later and Other Stories – Farah Ahamed
• Bloody’s In The Bible – Muli Amaye
• Hanging From The Hammer Of The Bell – Season Butler
• Those Who Understand – Azma Dar
• Stories My Mother Told Me – Katy Massey
• The Khan – Saima Mir
• The Spaces Between Us – Emma Norry
• A Mouthful Of Silence – Reshma Ruia
• The Queen – Anita Sivakumaran
• The Constellation Of Us – Mahsuda Snaith
• Secrets Of The Land – Atuki Turner
• Blue In Green – Kit de Waal

The judges for the longlist were Elise Dillsworth of The Elise Dillsworth Agency, Gail Bolland for SI Leeds and Kadija George. The six shortlisted manuscripts will be selected from the longlist by the judging panel, chaired by head judge author Kerry Young. The shortlist will be announced in early September with the prize ceremony to take place on the 15 October 2014 as part of the Ilkley Literature Festival.

Website: www.sileedsliteraryprize.com


Shutters

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Women in the spotlight: Joanna Kirkland and Yolanda Kettle. Photo credit: Skirmantas Petraitis

Play: Shutters
Theatre: Park Theatre
Playwrights: Brooke Allen, Philip Dawkins and Susan Glaspell
Director: Jack Thorpe Baker

Review by Maria Teresa Sette

A kaleidoscope of women’s lives as they grapple with intricate family dynamics, social prejudices, love and grief is at the heart of Shutters – Snapshots of life behind closed doors.

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