June 11th, 2012

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Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, National Theatre

Photo credit: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/42-33345217/uk-errol-johns-moon-on-a-rainbow

Cut and pasted from the National Theatre Website:

Moon on a Rainbow Shawl by Errol John

For the teeming populace of Old Mack’s cacophonous yard in Port of Spain, Trinidad, it’s a cheek by jowl existence lived out on a sweltering public stage. Snatches of calypso compete with hymn tunes, drums and street cries as neighbours drink, brawl, pass judgment, make love, look out for each other and crave a better life. But Ephraim is no dreamer and nothing, not even the seductive Rosa, is going to stop him escaping his dead-end job for a fresh start in England.

Set as returning troops from the Second World War fill the town with their raucous celebrations, Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, written in 1953, depicts a vibrant, cosmopolitan world that is as harsh as it is filled with colour and warmth.

Raks's Reaction

This closed on Saturday 9 June. I saw it much earlier in the run and, although I had been looking forward to it, I was disappointed by the play. I was not in the least bit inspired to write about it. I saw it for the second and final time on Friday 8 June.

This, as per usual, is a very personal reaction to the play.

I thought the acting across the whole of the ensemble cast was OUTSTANDING, and I wanted to mention in particular Martina Laird playing Sophia Adams.

However, I had a real issue with the play. I was not at all sure why the National Theatre had chosen to stage this particular play now.

I found the portrayal of Black men in the play deeply disturbing and very depressing. They were all complete bastards and they did not have one single redeeming feature amongst them. There was a lot of violence perpetrated against the women by the men, some of it so brutal that it caused a sharp intake of breath across the whole of the audience. Whilst I am not at all saying that all men are perfect (far from it!), they are not as bad as this play portrays them to be and I just do not think this is a play I would take Black boys and young Black men to see, despite the outstanding acting.

To summarise, I am glad that this has now closed; I personally would never pay to see this play again ... roll on the RSC's Black Julius Caesar!
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Cut Trident Not Public Services - Act Now!

Cut Trident. Time to scrap nuclear weapons. Take a minute & ask your MP to sign up! http://act.cnduk.org/lobby/63 I have done so, courtesy @CNDuk

Please contact your MP and asking them to sign EDM 96 on Trident Replacement - calling for the government to scrap spending plans on new nuclear weapons.

Cut and pasted from the CND website:

In 2006, the government’s White Paper on Trident Replacement estimated a cost of £11-14 billion for new nuclear weapons submarines. That cost of the subs is now likely to be £25-26 billion. The total cost of the whole programme, including lifetime costs, will exceed £100 billion. At a time of massive government spending cuts, many people believe this to be an appalling waste of tax payers' money.

Polls show a majority of the British population opposed to Trident, but the government still refuses to reconsider possession of nuclear weapons and to assess whether we really need them for our security or not. First the Strategic Defence and Security Review assumed Britain has to have nuclear weapons. Now Lib Dem Defence Minister Nick Harvey’s Trident Alternatives Review is likely to do the same – even if it considers alternative nuclear options to Trident submarines. We welcome the review but don't want it to make the same mistake as the SDSR. The non-nuclear option has to be on the table.

A full defence review considering the use of nuclear weapons in national security, needs to take place before a decision is taken on constructing new submarines.

Follow the link for all the information:
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Sherlock Holmes – A Study in Fear!, Greenwich Theatre

Cut and pasted from the Greenwich Theatre Website:

Sherlock Holmes – A Study in Fear!, Greenwich Theatre
Tue 2 - Sun 7 October 2012

The world’s most successful detective takes on the world’s most notorious villain... Sherlock Holmes, brilliant, flawed and inclined to justice, finally confronts Professor James Moriarty, brilliant, flawed and wholly inclined to evil!

When Holmes arrives unexpectedly at the door of his old friend and colleague Dr Watson, at the beginning of this hugely entertaining new version of the classic Conan Doyle tale, he begs the good Doctor’s assistance for one final case... and an exhilarating evening of mystery, chase, disguise and detection are the inevitable result, culminating in a breathtaking showdown at the tumultuous Reichenbach Falls.

Based on The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and starring Ian Sharrock and Nicholas Briggs.

Follow the link for the full production details and to book tickets: