#AdventwithClowns Day 23 – ear for eye (BBC iPlayer)

debbie tucker green’s extraordinary ear for eye receives a striking cinematic treatment 

“You shouldn’t have to be unshakeable son”

I was blown away by debbie tucker green’s ear for eye when I saw it at the Royal Court back in 2018 and was highly intrigued to hear that she would be adapting it for the screen. tucker green has previous – Random was similarly reworked and filmed – and there’s an episodic structure to this new piece that means it transfers well.  

It’s a blistering look at the Black experience in both the UK and the US, split into three parts. A communal sharing of stories, a two-hander that rips into white privileges, a video installation that simply presents us with the US laws that codified slavery. Unstinting in its essential truths that are so often ignored, it is uncompromising and unmissable.

ear for eye is available to watch on BBC iPlayer

News: debbie tucker green’s ear for eye gets release date

ear for eye will world premiere at BFI Southbank on 16 October and exclusively the same evening on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer

The 65th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express has announced a groundbreaking joint launch with the BBC for the much anticipated second feature from filmmaker and playwright debbie tucker green. Her latest film, ear for eye, will world premiere at the BFI Southbank on Saturday 16 October and exclusively the same evening on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer. 

tucker green has adapted her highly acclaimed 2018 Royal Court stage production for the screen, with backing from BBC Film, BBC Two and the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery. It’s the second feature film from the BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning writer and director.

Continue reading “News: debbie tucker green’s ear for eye gets release date”

The finalists of The ONCOMMs 2021

The OnComm is the new award for online shows from across the UK (and beyond) and was introduced in
May 2020. 

1. Recording pre-lockdown (direct)
(i.e. with little or no editing)
Going Viral / Daniel Bye
Hysteria / Spymonkey
Jane Clegg / Finborough Theatre
The House Of Bernarda Alba / Graeae

2. Recording pre-lockdown (edited)
(i.e. with significant editing)
Bubble / Theatre Uncut
Cyprus Avenue / Royal Court & Abbey Theatre
SeaWall / Simon Stephens
The Encounter / Complicité Continue reading “The finalists of The ONCOMMs 2021”

TV Review: I May Destroy You

The best TV show of the year? Definitely so far…Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You is just superb

“Just look in the mirror, you know what I mean? It’s really uncomfortable and unnerving for everyone”

Has ‘the grey area’ ever seemed so interesting? Probing into the complexities of real life and fully embracing the fact that there are rarely ever any simple answers, Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You has felt like a real breath of bracingly fresh air.

Sexual consent for straights and gays, dealing with trauma on a personal and institutional level, the perils of buying into social media hype, portraying the scale of casual sex and drug use whilst acknowledging its inherent pitfalls, examining how we bury memories from both the recent and distant past and that’s just scratching the surface. Continue reading “TV Review: I May Destroy You”

News: My White Best Friend goes online via the Royal Court

Writer Rachel De-Lahay and director Milli Bhatia have commissioned ten writers to pen letters that say the unsaid, for a new, online version of their festival My White Best Friend (and Other Letters Left Unsaid).

Produced by Tobi Kyeremateng with support by the Royal Court Theatre, the online festival will run over a week with a pre-recorded letter by Rachel De-Lahay read each night alongside two letters by some of the most exciting voices in the UK read live. Continue reading “News: My White Best Friend goes online via the Royal Court”

News: the National Theatre announces 9 new productions for 2020-21

Lots of exciting news coming out of the National Theatre today, including actors Nicola Walker, Giles Terera and Kristin Scott Thomas, directors Simon Stone, Lynette Linton and Nicole Charles, and returns for Small Island, Beginning and The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The National Theatre has today announced nine productions that will play on the South Bank in 2020-2021 alongside previously announced shows. These run alongside their international touring productions, three plays that will tour to multiple venues across the UK and a West End transfer. The NT also announces today that it will increase the quantity of low-price tickets on the South Bank by 25%, with 250,000 available across the year at £20 or less.

© Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

In the Olivier Theatre the critically acclaimed production of Andrea Levy’s epic novel Small Island directed by Rufus Norris returns following a sold-out run in 2019. Adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson, the revival will run from late October 2020 with casting to be announced. Continue reading “News: the National Theatre announces 9 new productions for 2020-21”

Review: Girls Like That, Unicorn Theatre

“And it wasn’t planned, but we all just turn away, like, turn our backs”

The encroachment of social media and cyber-bullying into the classrooms and lives of young’uns today is proving to be fertile ground for writers as Evan Placey’s Girls Like That follows on from Kathy Rucker’s Crystal Springs in the late summer in exploring the ramifications of lawless behaviour in this uncharted territory. Placey’s play centres heavily in St Helen’s School, where the girls have known each other since the earliest days of primary, but such ties prove easily sundered when naked pictures start to be passed around digitally.

The boy gets away with it, he’s a real hottie and a stud in the making. But Scarlett isn’t so lucky, the girls she thought were her friends slut-shame her mercilessly, calling her a whore and worse, and relish the opportunity to make her life a misery. A company of six young women capture brilliantly the fierce energy of social groupings like these, the speed with which teasing becomes taunting, and the shifting power dynamics that exist within. This Friday morning performance was full of school parties and I wonder how much of it resonated with their own experiences… Continue reading “Review: Girls Like That, Unicorn Theatre”

Review: Dancing Bears – Charged, Soho Theatre

Part of the Charged season at Soho Theatre

“You got to show them that you ain’t messin’ around”

I can’t really say too much about Dancing Bears as I heard so very little of it. Sat where I was by the staircase up to the bar, the ambient noise of chatter and the music playing obscured most of the dialogue for me and in a tightly packed space, there was nowhere I could have moved to without causing considerable disruption. Compared to Dream Pill (for which I was sat on the opposite side of the room) where the level of hubbub helped the piece as it was set in the basement of a similar establishment, I could not see the same logic as we were set in a non-specific outdoor scenario where the noise made no sense to me. Additionally, our seats were awkwardly placed so much of the action with the injured Aaron was lost to us too: so all in all it was a shocker of an experience and really rather unsatisfactory.

Which was a shame as from what I could see of the play, it was interestingly set up. Looking at gang violence both through the perspective of young men, as the performers all initially arrive in hoodies playing boys, one by one they strip off the tops to become young women, sisters, girlfriends, comrades of the boys who ostensibly are sick of the lifestyle thrust upon them by men, only to form their own equally damaging little group, capable of just as much horrific violence. Ony Uhiara managed to stand out amongst the din with a physically intimidating performance as both a boy and girl whose lives are dominated by the idea of their gang as ‘family’ and unable to accept anything but total dedication.

Review: Dream Pill – Charged, Soho Theatre

Part of the Charged season at Soho Theatre

“You will like working here…”

Part of Charged 1, Rebecca Prichard’s Dream Pill tells the harrowing story of two young Nigerian girls, 9 and 10, who have been somehow locked into the sex-slave industry and kept prisoner both physically and mentally, playing on their spiritual beliefs which have been manipulated against them. It uses the setting of the downstairs restaurant well as the play is set in a cellar beneath some less than salubrious establishment and the faint hubbub of the Soho Theatre bar thus serves an effective purpose.

Danielle Vitalis as the bolshier, more gregarious Bola drives much of the narrative, her plain speaking presenting harsh truths to us with a, but Samantha Pearl as the more timid Tunde gives one of the most affecting performances of the whole six plays, Clearly damaged by her experiences, yet still hungry for affection and approval, she broke my heart with her wide eyes and hushed speech. Director Tessa Walker has them walking throughout the audience, addressing the audience directly and in such an uncompromising manner that one ends up not begrudging the temporary if unconscionable ‘relief’ provided by the dream pills they receive in return for services rendered.