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Author: Descant Deb

90% #OutOf100 – Giles Terera’s Solo Show, The Ballad of Soho Jones

The Ballad of Soho Jones tells the story of Jones, who dwells in and around the streets of Soho with only a few shabby possessions, including a prized guitar, which he owns. Yet, it is not his home. “Music is my home,” he says emphatically. He walks everywhere, not just to get himself from A to Z, but also to transport himself from episodes of stress and depression to a place of better mental health. One year before, on a night when his beloved London succumbs to a deluge, he cannot find shelter and his walkabout takes him to...

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Idris Elba in Talks to Star Alongside ‎Jessica Chastain in New Aaron Sorkin Movie!

You can’t help thinking that film makers we admire seem to have been freed to cast their ‘dream leads’ by the diversity debate. When Aaron Sorkin says of his next movie venture, “The casting of Jessica and Idris in the two lead roles is any filmmaker’s dream come true… They’re two of the greatest actors of their generation, paired for the first time, and their chemistry will be electric.” If it comes to pass, it is set to further solidify Elba’s standing as the World’s Coolest Dude, since ‎Molly’s Game tells the real-life story of a long-running, exclusive high-stakes poker game run...

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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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