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Author: Descant Deb

87% #OutOf100 – Talawa’s, King Lear, Triumphs @ The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Many of our TBB Favourites tell us about their work outside of London and for once we had the pleasure of being right there with many of them at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, as the Talawa Theatre Company staged its first production of Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear in 22 years! For those of you not so familiar with the tale, Lear (Don Warrington) is the vain, aging king of Britain who chooses to divide his kingdom between his three daughters. First, and before the whole court, he wishes to hear how much they love him. Righteously, he settles...

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On VJ Day TBB Remembers the West African Burma Boys’ Sacrifice for Empire in WWII

I have raised a V sign or two over the years for VE Day (Victory in Europe); the unconditional surrender of Germany – on May 8th, 1945. I’m aware of the Caribbean and African-American contributions to both World Wars. Much later I came to understand that after the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (August 6th) and Nagasaki (August 9th) and the death of 129,000 inhabitants, VJ Day – Victory in Japan – was agreed on August 15th, which then brought World War II to a complete end. What I didn’t know until this year, was that VJ...

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72% #OutOf100 – Population by Elizabeth Stephens

Population is a post-apocalyptic tale set in an alternative future for Earth and the human race. American author Elizabeth Stephens is an emerging new voice in speculative fiction, re-igniting the wonder of the ‘what if‘ of other life forms long before the excitement of the New Horizons images of Pluto, or the now very real possibility of KOI-314c being Earth’s twin planet a mere 200 light years away. Stephens is obviously a fan of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy/Horror genres and has combined the two in creating the very unique Others from an old, familiar predator. She has resisted the temptation of...

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The British Blacklist Attends the 2015 Jameson Empire Movie Awards

Empire is the biggest movie magazine in the world… Probably. We gave you a little history when we discussed the awards fortunes of black British talent last year in our Caste As Black series [1]. This year, we thought we’d write from a slightly different angle, starting with a little more history. After its launch in 1989, Empire gained a reputation for advanced, in-depth movie news and exclusives as well as consistent and generally considered reviews of film, DVDs and games. In 1996, the seven year-old magazine took film appreciation to another level with the help of sponsor Sony Ericsson and subsequently, Jameson Irish Whiskey, in 2009. The Empire movie awards was born, based purely on the motivation of the magazine’s readership to vote for their favourite movie-related categories. It proved a risk well-taken, since it turns out that the Empire readership is a highly motivated demographic. Whilst reflecting the mainstream award favourites in some respects, the expression of the (mainly) UK movie magazine-buying public’s actual preferences makes this a unique and completely open competition. From the wide initial vote, a shortlist of nominees is compiled, then the public is asked to vote again from that shortlist and a winner is created. For example, in 2013, Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins earned him the ‘Best Actor’ Empy over Daniel Day-Lewis who took home both the Academy Award and the BAFTA...

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85% #OutOf100 – The Royale @ Bush Theatre…

I thought carefully about how I would tell you all about this one. Every night until April 18th, Nicholas Pinnock is starring in The Royale – a remarkable and completely unique piece of theatre, in which we are possibly gaining a glimpse of a transition from career to super-stardom. We caught up with him a few days before we attended Press Night, during which he confessed to playing the main protagonist as neutrally as possible to allow us, the audience, to take what we would from the theatre. So, this is what I got. Jay Jackson is a successful boxer, making money...

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Winston Ellis Talks Beverley, Fatherhood and Gives TBB a Media Exclusive!

Having enjoyed the short film Beverley, we at TBB were delighted to be given the chance to interview two of the cast members. If you’ve read the film review, you’ll know that as well as Laya Lewis, we were keen to talk with Winston Ellis who plays Travis Thompson, Beverley’s father. We thought it would be tricky because of his work commitments, but, he made it happen… Thank you so much for giving us a bit of your time. I know you’ve got a super-busy schedule… It’s a real pleasure. I’ve been looking forward to it. Anything I can do...

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DescantDeb Speaks to Laya Lewis, Lead Actress in Cass Pennant Produced Short ‘Beverley’

Having enjoyed the short film Beverley after being invited to a screening which took place after the film’s premiere in January, we at TBB were delighted to be given the chance to interview two of the cast members. A brief overview – Short Film Beverley is written by Alexander Thomas, highlighting the identity problems young people of mixed nationality in urban areas face on a day-to-day basis in Britain before multi-culturalism. Set against the backdrop of Britain’s 2-Tone music era of 1980. Laya Lewis plays the title role and is already something of a household name, despite being at the...

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