Creatives of colour are the Fela Kutis of our time

Media Diversified founder Samantha Asumadu on what feels like a burgeoning movement for black, brown and Asian theatre makers. There are a few perks to being the founder of Media Diversified and this week that perk was getting to see Barry Jenkins’ feature film If Beale Street Could Talk. It is in effect one of… Read More

Man Booker Prize Series: The Fishermen

by Sabo Kpade  Prefacing a book or the chapters within with proverbs and quotes could be a way of paying homage or unifying its themes. The Fishermen is not littered with them but the references to great works (Things Fall Apart, Moby Dick) and quotes from Yeats and Igbo and Ashanti proverbs soon come to seem… Read More

Review: Educating Rita

by Sabo Kpade Lenny Henry’s rebirth as a stage and screen actor is as surprising as it is admirable. By taking on Othello and Troy Maxson in Fences, roles that have been played by powerhouse actors he hasn’t chosen the easy route. In these productions, he played against his strengths as a stand up comic.… Read More

Interview with Lucian Msamati, the first Black Iago at the Royal Shakespeare Company

by Sabo Kpade One thing that tends to never change in past iterations of Othello are the central roles: Othello, the Black or “blackened” flawed general, and Iago, the scheming and racist subordinate. These characters have always been left intact, for their different races and ranks contribute to the strongest charge around which the entire… Read More

Review: Boi Boi is Dead, Watford Palace theatre

by Sabo Kpade  Boi Boi is Dead/Watford Palace theatre A formidable stage actor in his own right, Lucian Masmati directs debut playwright Zodwa Nyoni’s Boi Boi is Dead, a play about long brewing family tensions that are brought to a boil after the funeral of the eponymous character Boi Boi in Zimbabwe. His ex-wife Stella (Lynette… Read More

The bar has been set and theatre is going to have to raise its game to live up to The Royale

by Sabo Kpade   The Royale/Bush Theatre It is often proof of a show’s strength that only after it ends is one free from its power to unpick its machinations. Marco Ramizez’s Royale is one such play. Loosely based on the life of Jack Johnson and his 1910 fight against the retired undefeated champion James… Read More

Review: Play Mas, Orange Tree Theatre

by Sabo Kpade Play Mas/ Orange Tree Theatre There is a very telling scene in Mustapha Matura’s stage production Play Mas when Samuel (Seun Shote), an apprentice tailor, insists to his employer Ramjohn (Johann Myers) that Ramjohn is not African but Indian. Ramjohn, a descendant of indentured workers, refutes this claim in the firm belief… Read More

Foreign Gods Inc – A Review

by Sabo Kpade The friction between white colonists and indigenous Africans has been covered extensively, not least in the works of masters like Ngugi and, much more relatable here, Achebe. So there is a great deal of familiarity with such preoccupations in Foreign Gods Inc. That a modern day gallery in New York specialises in… Read More

Review: True Brits, by Vinay Patel

by Sabo Kpade Until a criteria on who is British is agreed upon, the question “who is British?” may never be fully answered. Vinay Patel’s one-man play True Brits, set in the years between the 7/7 bombings and the 2012 Olympics, is the story of Rahul, a young British-Asian played with conviction by David Mumemi. Before… Read More