Best of London Feb-April

Some stuff I’m going to over the next few months that I thought you might like:

Antigone at Theatre Royal Stratford East
From 19th February
In ancient Greece, Creon has his own understanding of power and loyalty. When his treacherous nephew is killed, Creon refuses to let him be buried but he’s challenged by his niece, Antigone, whose principles propel her to inspire a revolution. In Roy William’s version he looks at the world of contemporary gangs in London. I know how that sounds but in this Guardian interview (yeah, I know how that sounds too) he says: “Creon learns this lesson but at great cost. It is a dominant male culture, in which girls are seen as accessories for their boyfriends and often exploited.” So there’s a level of awareness to his writing that banishes the usual anxieties over a reimagining like this one. Image credit: Robert Day

out spoken
Out-Spoken at The Forge
Tuesday 24th February
Reliably good mix of poetry and music hosted by The Ruby Kid aka Daniel Randall and Anthony Anaxagorou.This month they showcase work by Chimene Suleyman, Adam Kamerling and Dorothea Smart. I’ve been to a hot ton and this is probably the best spoken word night in London.

Chill Pill at Canada Water Culture Space
26th February
If you’re going to Out-Spoken as well, be warned, there’ll be cross-overs. Adam Kamerling, for example, is performing at both. There probably will be some repeated material, not necessarily from Adam, but it’ll still be worth it. This particular Chill Pill brings together Raymond Antrobus, Deanna Rodger and Simon Mole. I hope Mole does “I was cycling down the Edgware Road”

Monologue Slam at Theatre Royal Stratford East
2nd March
There’s certainly an element of poetry to this but essentially it does what it says on the tin: fills an evening with some spectacularly good monologues from actors fine-tuning their talents and sharing their successes.

amin wadud jummah banner

Inclusive Jummah Salah with Dr. Amina Wadud at St. John’s Church
6th March
This is gonna be HUGE. Dr. Amina Wadud, one of the most thoughtful, no nonsense writers of our time is coming to the UK to lead an inclusive Friday prayer at St. John’s Church. Friday prayers are one of the most significant combinations of spirituality and community in Islamic practices and this one, organised by the Inclusive Mosque Initiative, will proactively make efforts to include everyone. Here’s to blasting the lazy, exclusionary practices of the past.

Women of the World Festival at Southbank Centre

1st-8th March
A week celebrating International Women’s Day on 8th March with some truly exceptional panels (others look completely trite: Caitlin Moran AND Shazia Mirza?? No thanks). There’s one on Saturday about immigration, featuring Shami Chakrabarti and Ghada Rasheed, which I’m glad is being included in a discussion about feminism. I also want to make it to ‘Disability and Feminism’ by Claire Cunningham who confronts the “widely-held assumption that disability is a negative state in which to exist.” There’s also ‘Beyond the Booty?’ about the over-sexualisation of black women featuring a key note address by  Dr. Shirley Tate.

radiant vermin
Radiant Vermin at Soho Theatre
From 10th March
This twisted tale from Philip Ridley sees his writing paired up with David Mercatali’s direction. They last coupled up for Vanilla Jungle which was superb! Gross, freaky, completely captivating, it left a thick residue and I reckon Radiant Vermin will be more of the same.

If you’re Muslamically inclined, there’s this in April:
Muslim Leadership in Britain Conference at University of Central Lancashire
1st April
This is about leadership in Muslim communities in the UK. It’s happening up north which I think will help conversation steer away from a London-centric focus. There’s also a specific bit on northern perspectives. Slightly annoyed that there is a female leadership talk billed as something that warrants its own section rather than being addressed at every stage of the conference. Then again, it may be necessary at this stage of reforming hierarchical community structures.

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