Tag Archives: London

British-Nigerian hit comedy opens in cinemas 10th October!

3 Oct

Gone Too Far!

dir. Destiny Ekaragha

Critically acclaimed comedy opens in cinemas nationwide on 10th October 2014!

Gone Too Far poster

Gone Too Far! tells a quintessentially British-Nigerian story. A must-see, receiving high praise by cinema-goers and the industry.

Named Best New British Comedy at the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival 2014 and dir. Destiny Ekaragha was nominated for Best Newcomer at the BFI London Film Festival in 2013. It was also named Best Independent Film at the influential Screen Nation Awards 2014.

Based on the Olivier Award-winning stage play by Bola Agbaje, first performed at The Royal Court, the warm, sparky Gone Too Far! is the feature debut of director Destiny Ekaragha and follows two estranged teenage brothers over the course of a single day as they meet for the first time, and struggle to accept each other for who they are.

GTF_Destiny_and_Bola_Production_shotWhen London teenager Yemi’s big brother Iku comes to live with him from Nigeria, his terrible fashion sense, broad Yoruba accent and misplaced confidence with the opposite sex threaten to destroy Yemi’s already limited street cred.

But when they’re forced to spend the day together on their Peckham estate, Yemi is forced to confront local bullies, the girl of his dreams and his own African heritage, and eventually together they learn the values of family and self-respect.

“Low-key, low-budget, high-intelligence, this is precisely the kind of film London ought to be producing.” **** Tom Huddleston, Time Out

Gone Too Far film clip imageThe film features an exciting and up and coming cast, including Malachi Kirby (Offender, My Brother The Devil) and Nigerian actor O.C. Ukeje, currently appearing in Half of a Yellow Sun alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor. Also starring are Shanika Warren-Markland (Adulthood, 4.3.2.1); Tosin Cole (Second Coming, Hollyoaks); Adelayo Adedayo (Some Girls); Golda John and comedian and presenter Eddie Kadi.

Check out the photos from the amazing film premiere!

Gone too far (27)Gone Too Far PremiereGone too far (24)

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Redefining African fashion at London Fashion Week

24 Feb

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Written by Eliza Anyangwe
Photography by Gem Hall Photography
In association with http://artslang.tumblr.com/

On 19th February, the Ubuntu International Project brought an African aesthetic to London Fashion Week.

For a continent so often defined by negative stereotypes, and its contribution to any art form (not least fashion) trivialised, if at all acknowledged, what Errol Hendrickse and Theo Omambala, the team behind Ubuntu, achieved was to create a space for African creativity at the heart of arguably the most creative show on the fashion calendar.

If the philosophy at the heart of the show, as stated by Hendrickse, is to create “a design aesthetic that has depth and meaning,” then these collections achieved that. And from all the raised phones, cameras and iPads clicking away incessantly, from the necks contorting to get a better glimpse of the garments and the excited whispers as each look came down the catwalk, there was no shortage of inspiration for many.

The show got off to a good start with Clinton Lotter‘s collection of dogtooth shift dresses, fitted jackets, pencil skirts and finger gloves in black and forest greens.  But soon I was more bemused than blown away; jewellery by Frankli Wild was by turn both fascinating, yet somewhat reminiscent of a crafts project.

For me, the stand out collection was by Jose Hendo, for the Ugandan designer’s innovative use of fabric – including barkcloth – the complex tailoring and the drama of each creation. I was also pleased to see a little playfulness from the designers behind Ayo van Elmar who stuck lit incense sticks into the kufi hats the models wore. With a nod to Katherine Hamnett’s use of the catwalk to raise awareness for political, economic and social issues, Jacqueline Shaw clad her models in t-shirts with slogans such as: “African grown and sewn,” highlighting the need for investment in Africa’s textile supply chain.

This was not a show laden with fashion that pushed technical and creative boundaries, but what Ubuntu at London Fashion Week was, was an opening for African designers onto the world. Conversely, it also offered a new lens through which Africa can be looked at.

The Ubuntu team are not intrepidly dipping their toe into fashion waters somewhere on the periphery of where the trend-makers are. They are boldly thrusting themselves and African designers into the mainstream fashion spotlight and are daring to challenge and redefine what the African aesthetic is at the same time.

Wanlov at Rich Mix – Review

14 Jun

Photograph by Iamthenublack

When only five of 15 musicians can play a gig because the others have had their visa applications denied for a festival that bills itself as helping you “discover the world and cross borders through music,” there’s a sad irony to it all. But one man’s border control is another man’s laissez passer.

On Tuesday 7 June, Ghanaian musician Wanlov the Kubolor took to the stage at the Rich Mix. Once the third act in a three band show, now headlining. The other bands – Kenya’s Winyo and Belo from Haiti, we’re told, are stuck in Italy, unable to gain access to the UK.

So it’s left to the self-professed ‘African Gypsy’ to entertain the crowd – and did he ever.

His motley crew take to the stage first: there’s a tall, thin and clean-shaven Frenchman on accordion, an Italian/Transylvanian fiddler – fairly squat and heavily bearded – and a Ghanaian on the Cajo drum. Let’s just say I wouldn’t have made him out to be a musician. Then appears the glue that holds them all together. Wanlov saunters onto the stage in a yellow and orange kikoi, what can only be described as a black tank top, a stripped tie and red plastic aviators. My senses are crying foul and not a single note has yet been played.

When the music does start, it’s an equally disorientating experience. You’re never quite within your comfort zone. Genres that shouldn’t work together are woven into the same lyrical tale. It is part Lagbaja, part Gogol Bordello. But when I start to think this is a ride I need to get off, the drum kicks in and I’m back to bobbing my head to the rhythm, cursing myself for being so fickle, cursing the artist for being so darn brilliant.

Wanlov walks this fine line between the audacious and the absurd expertly. He takes his audience on trust and on a strong beat just far enough into alien territory then reels them back in again…until, just when you think it’s safe, he starts singing about squirrels. And about how to hit on girls – devoutly religious girls, Romanian girls, all girls.

But you’d be foolish to dismiss Wanlov on his appearance or his sense of humour. He is a consummate entertainer and an incredibly sensitive and intelligent musician. Throughout the gig, the pace builds and builds and each musician is given time to shine. This is music for music lovers. And before you get the chance to pigeon-hole him lyrically, he performs For the River, a song about pollution in Ghana’s rivers and Human Being, a beautifully melodic tune about being a global citizen.

By the end of the concert, I’m reeling. In one last act of generosity, perhaps for the audience, perhaps for his own amusement, he calls his friend and other half of the Fokn Bois crew M3nsa (well, what he actually says is: “man like menstruation”) on to the stage for an amped up version of Kelewele Pimping. The performance is infectious and ridiculous and I am left wanting more.

But it’s time to go and before he leaves, Wanlov gives a “special shout out to the visa control office.” And I am inclined to agree with him. Had the authorities not refused entry to the others, I may never have heard Wanlov and M3nsa sing the grammatically and politically incorrect “thank God I’m not a Nigerians,” among other delights.

Eliza Anyangwe is a freelance writer at the Guardian and blogs at Product of my past

Top Afrocentric New Year’s Eve parties

21 Dec

New Year’s Eve at the Africa Centre

The first person to email outerglobe@yahoo.co.uk and mention “Out of Africa” will win a pair of tickets!  What a great way to see out the old and welcome in the new!

Thabani will play from his new album “CHILD OF INDEPENDENCE” as well as from the classic MIND IS A REBEL. What better way to start 2011 than grooving to one of the UK’s finest with your friends!! Thabani’s superb African soul brew and his rebel lyrics will fortify you and uplift you far on into the New Year!”

Date: 31st December 2010
Time: 8pm-5am
Venue: Africa Centre, King St, Covent Garden, London WC2 8JT
Tickets: £15  from contact@quartierfrancais.com


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NYE Tropical Ballroom 2010


Celebrate a new year at the tropical theme warehouse with London’s top live bands and DJs

Live: London Afrobeat Collective – A dirty dozen of battle-hardened musicians from all corners of the globe driving the new afrobeat craze sweeping through the Tropical Ballroom!
Hot Dog Corn Dog – Hot gypsy swing band
DJs: Hugo Mendez (Sofrito)
Koichi Sakai + MC Clapper Priest – Japan meets Jamaica super rave dancehall set

Date: 31st December 2010
Venue: The New Empowering Church, 1a Westgate Street, Hackney E8 3RL
Time: 9pm – 5am
Tickets: £15 adv, £20 otd
Tickets are available online now. Please click here for more information.

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NYE2010: TROPICALISTA

This New Year’s Eve two of London’s acclaimed global music promoters and regular Rich Mix collaborators are coming together for a seriously hot Tropical, Urban, Latin and Afro vibes line-up.

Movimientos vs Hackney Globe Trotter present:

TROPICALISTA at Rich Mix
A New Year’s Eve extravaganza of Tropical vibrations with a global flavour!

From Afro to Latino – global party music all night long + YOUR MUM VISUALS transform Rich Mix into a Tropical paradise.

See the venue as never before!

Date: 31st December 2010
Venue: RICH MIX,  35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
Time: 8pm – 4am
Tickets: £15 Adv / £20 door

Book tickets online or call  Rich Mix Box Office on 020 7613 7498

What is democracy? What does it mean for a country to be truly free?

2 Aug

Calamity Jane reviews Welcome to Thebes by Moira Buffini for OoA


Welcome to Thebes is a phenomenal play and relevant portrayal of the struggle between rich and poor, oppressed and oppressor. It exemplifies the role of theatre in political commentary.

©NOBBY CLARK

Abandoned with no infrastructure, poorly educated people, no trained police and no health provision in the aftermath of war, democracy is traded for survival. The Athenian model of democracy becomes a bargaining tool to secure economic aid before Thebes is left destitute and without the tools to decipher its new freedom. The self righteous indignation of the fleeing Athenians is embodied by their ignorant and grotesque leader, Theseus, sensationally played by David Harewood.

Ten days before independence from its former Athenian rulers, the search for a new future in which the people of Thebes determine their own destiny begins. In this incredibly poignant and relevant play, Moira Buffini explores the perplexities of an emerging democracy not assumed but bestowed upon a people by their former imperial masters. Set against a backdrop of a crumbling empire, Thebes, a war ravaged State scrabbles with its own conscience and bloody history as it steps into a new dawn of political rule.

Date: until 12th September 2010
Time: various
Venue: National Theatre, Olivier Theatre,   South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
Info: 020 7452 3000 | National Theatre

****Special Summer Offer****

Call 020 7452 3000 quoting ‘Summer £20 offer’ or book online at the National Theatre and enter promotion code 2916, then select date and tickets.
Valid with top price tickets, 26 July-26 August. Subject to availability.

Top 5 Afrocentric NYE parties in London 09/10

28 Dec

Here is our list of the best parties to go to and celebrate the arrival of the new decade 2010!

Whatever you do, have a Happy New Year!!

 

1. The Grand African Ball 2009 – Kizomba UK NYE Party

Party until 6 am with explosive duet DJ Marito (Kizomba UK resident) + Fufuxo firing the best Zouk & Kizomba tunes as well as Semba, Cabo-Love, Funana, Soukous, Coupe-Decale, N’dombolo, Kuduro & other Afro-Latin, Caribbean and Urban beats.

Info also available on the Facebook event page:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=203273286304&ref=ts

Tickets & info on  http://www.kizombauk.com

2. The Rumba Caribe New Years Eve Party

 

The best Tropical DJ lineup in London – DJ Lio (Paris/Cameroon), DJ Loco (London/Colombia), DJ Marito (Portugal) & special guest DJ Jimmix (Paris/French Caribbean).

The night will feature selected music genre’s spread over two rooms…

Tickets, dinner reservations, seating reservations & info on http://www.tropikalmusic.co.uk

Info also on the Facebook event page :

http://www.facebook.com/mark.wimmers?ref=profile#/event.php?eid=220209719127&ref=mf

3. SAMBALANCO & TYPICALLY TROPICAL NYE

A bargain busting, wall shaking, live afro-tropical disco dub mashup

YAABAFUNK LIVE  (10.30pm)(Afrobeat, High-Life & Afro Funk.
London’s best!)
SOUL JAZZ SOUNDSYSTEM SAMBALANCO

Info also available on the Facebook event page:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=183734818721&ref=ts

Tickets & info on http://www.sambalanco.co.uk/ 

 

4.   Ambas’sadas New Year’s Eve Black & White Party

Club 1920, in the trendy district of Clerkenwell,London boasts of 2 floors.

New and classic R&B/Hip-Hop,funky house beats,a healthy dose of upfront Kwaito plus a touch of Bashment  on the basement floor.All musical tastes to keep everybody up on their feet.

Info also available on the Facebook event page:

 http://www.facebook.com/event.php?r1bf698a7&eid=218236898938&refid=25

5. Amplified’s Pre New Year’s Throwback

AMPLIFIED returns with its Annual Pre New Year’s party on 30th December, with a new venue and refreshed line up

Tickets & info on http://www.amplified-online.co.uk/events_new.php

CALL FOR WRITERS! with the Albany, London

7 Sep

albany-logobGet your work seen! The Albany is looking for bright new writers who want to see their work on stage. Five scripts will be selected to be performed by professional actors as rehearsed readings at a new writing night, Freshly Squeezed, in the Albany studio on 25th November 2009 to a public audience.

And there’s more…

One piece will be chosen on the night by the audience and expert panel to be developed further – the writer will be given the opportunity to have a priceless one to one session with an established playwright.
What we are looking for…
Open to writers of any level of experience and age and from all backgrounds. We are particularly interested in writers with a poetry/spoken word background, but all styles, topics and genres are welcome as long as it is written to be performed!
What you need to do to take part…
Submit ten pages of your writing – that can either be a short piece or an extract of something larger. Each piece submitted will be carefully read and considered and we promise to get back to you… so get writing!
Submission deadline:
Send your ten pages in by Monday 9th November 2009 by:
Email: sophie.bradey@thealbany.org.uk
Post: The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, SE8 4AG
________________________________________________________________________
FREE WORKSHOP: Writer’s Block
5th November: 6 – 8.30pm
Want to submit your writing for the Freshly Squeezed but stuck for ideas? Come and get inspiration and guidance from writer and the award winning writer Bola Agbaje and the Albany team. Places limited, to book contact Sophie.Bradey@thealbany.org.uk

 

Sent by Megan Tripp @ the Albany

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