UNTITLED: A REBELLIOUS EXHIBITION THAT’S NOT TO BE MISSED

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untitledAs I walked toward the New Art Exchange, an audible buzz was bursting from the building. Despite being one of the first to arrive, the scene was set; DJ Nwando Ebizie was mixing by the bar to propel the party atmosphere, and the room was full of people excited to see what the gallery had to offer in “UNTITLED.”

This exhibition showcases works in several medias by African diaspora artists in the UK, and it aims to look at various issues being considered today, from gender to culture to identity. The exhibition also seeks to look at the less obvious connections between art and culture, and where they’re found in our communities.

Barby Asante, for example, has created an interactive map that marks out cultural hubs that help young people in Nottingham. And I was captivated by The Art of Black Hair, a series of portraits that wound up the stairs, culminating in a video of people talking about their Afro-hair related stories. This was paired with pieces from The National Caribbean Heritage Museum, which provided a fascinating context and glimpse into another world.

untitled_2Having followed these portraits upstairs, I began to marvel in the mezzanine gallery. Pieces from Cedar Lewisohn – writer, artist and curator – particularly struck a chord. He has created wood carving prints (Wood Cuts) and large, hand bound books (Black Drawings) that use figures resembling those found in tribal art as a reflection on how modernist artist has appropriated tribal images to create their own pieces.

Downstairs, a whole range of pieces demonstrated the vast range of work on show in the main gallery. The pieces drew from a wide range of mediums, but the most anticipated piece was Gaiden, the video by Larry Achiampong and David Blandy. These two artists take inspiration from psychiatrist Frantz Fanon, who examined the impact of colonialism and decolonisation on mental health.

As a whole, the exhibition had an almost tangible feeling of rebellion. Even visually gentle, warm pieces such as Barbara Walker’s Attitude forces you to question the unique obstacles that African Diaspora artists continue to have to face today.

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The exhibition is beautifully curated and excellently laid out, and is sure to provoke your interest, forcing you to question the role of culture, heritage and race in art today. It is certainly not to be missed.

Sophie Franklinos

Click here to find out more about NAFN’s Medecin Sans Frontieres fundraiser.

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What I Learned from Johnny Bevan: Deep, Poetic and Funny

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As the play’s title suggests, this story considers playwright Luke Wright’s relationship with Johnny Bevan. But as with most poetry, there’s more to it than that. This stage production cleverly begins by exploring modern London and its uncouth everyday life, through rhyme, rhythm and relatable humour.

This hilarity grew throughout the play, but it also incorporates Luke Wright’s emotional and somewhat melancholic considerations of class. After meeting and seeing the downfall of the political and boisterous character of Johnny Bevan, this slowly leads to tragedy. This piece was very different to what I normally associate with more traditional multiple-character theatre performances, however.

I immensely enjoyed the fact that a single actor was so able to hold my attention throughout this compelling one-hander. The actor’s dramatic ability to take on different personas with just the aid of dramatic devices such as repetition, changes in accent and lighting/sound effects was impressive, and it cleverly made it possible for the audience to gain understanding and entertainment through just one human canvas.

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Now, you may be asking, how much can one man do? Well, much entertainment can be derived from the down-to-earth humour and stereotypes played with throughout the narrative. So this play actually became very relatable to viewers, and it achieved a light-hearted feel that you might not expect from a piece based on political angst and unbreakable class structures.

Both the hilarity and literary devices drew me in, creating a fast pace experience and keeping the audience consistently on the edge of their seat. And although politics does seem to be a major theme of the piece, it is subtly entwined within the narrative through its effect on characters’ lives. This cleverly allowed audiences with little political knowledge, such as myself, to understand and gain a new perspective on the effects politics.

Similarly, Luke Wright was able to relate to audiences both young and old, as he simultaneously considers both older historical patriotic values and the mental impact of more modern technologies, like Twitter. This diversity of perspectives encouraged audiences to see today’s class structures and age groups through a new light, and it prompts them to consider other perspectives while Luke keeps you on board with a bit of colloquial humour to lighten the mood.

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But after the interval, the second half of the evening delved more into the actor’s personal anecdotes and poetry. This gave us even more of an insight into Luke Wright, while also linking back to the previous societal and political ideas of the piece. This was particularly enjoyable as it opened my eyes to new forms of poetry and expanded my artistic horizons.

So if you’re looking to be amusingly entertained, while also being encouraged to gain new perspectives on literary form, class status and politics, I would very much recommend this piece. Its dramatic, fast-paced and multifaceted characterisations grab your attention straight away, and take you on a rollercoaster journey through the lower, middle and upper classes of British society.  It’s an experience not to be missed.

You can find out more about What I Learned From Johnny Bevan at the Lakeside here.

Tara Wright

What I Learned from Johnny Bevan Changed My Perspective

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To say the least, I’m a fan of the theatre and West End shows like Mamma Mia! or Wicked. There are endless examples on my list that I’ve seen. Although I have to say, if you go into What I Learned from Johnny Bevan thinking it’s a theatre show like one of those, then you will be very much mistaken.

However, don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing! Not at all. They are two different types of theatre that both give you a highly enjoyable experience. Besides, you’re not reading this to get the drift that West End shows are amazing – you’re reading this to find out about a different kind theatre; one that can be watched more locally, at that! What I Learned About Johnny Bevan is by playwright Luke Wright, and could be described as a combination of passion and poems.

Early on, you are entranced into the performance. What you see is one man on a blank stage, the only props being a stool and a microphone. The first half, roughly an hour long, is captivating – there are moments of laughter, but also moments of tense emotions. I’ve never seen an audience so still and wrapped into the performance in my life; there’s always that one person who gets up to go to the toilet or checks their phone, but not one this time. Turns out Luke Wright is amazing, and you can tell he has a lot of passion for what he does. He really crystallises the crux of his story well.

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So what is the story? Well, What I Learned About Johnny Bevan is pretty much what it says it is. We experience the story of a young guy going through life. His experiences covering many social problems, often significantly political ones. So if you don’t know a lot about politics, you might find this a bit of a tough one to relate to. But it also covers social issues, such as class or race.

There are many clever links into life now-a-days, which makes this play seem so personal and relatable for contemporary audiences. For example, a student such as myself, can empathise with recent school changes or university experiences. The play is very cleverly written to link to popular culture today, so the audience becomes even more involved and engaged.

In fact, the story was so vivid, it didn’t matter that multiple characters were being voiced by the same person. Wright was telling a searing story, and we felt every emotion of it. What’s more, the second half had even more of a personal tie into Luke’s life, and his poems clearly showed his dedication, wit and comedy.

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Now you might be thinking… poems? But I tell you something, I’m not the biggest fan of poems, but I was captivated in these performances. So please go into the theatre with an open mind, because I guarantee you will not be let down by this piece’s poetic twist. They are executed so well, and they put such compelling topics into a brighter light, that it is hard not to be enjoyed by the audience.

For a heart-felt, engaging, humorous night, this is one play I would recommend you see. The audience is brought in its different style and the results are captivating, whether you’re laughing along or tense in this story he is telling.

You can find out more about What I Learned From Johnny Bevan at the Lakeside here.

Bethan Strike (NAFN blogger and Striking Film Reviews writer)

Sleuth Is Sharp, Smart and Not What You’d Expect

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On the 12th of September, I was drawn into the mystery story of Anthony Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning Sleuth (directed by the talented Giles Croft). Making up part of Nottingham Playhouse’s ‘Sweet Vengeance Season,’ this play was a real twist on the traditional crime thriller, and oh, how vengeful it was!

Not being familiar of the original 70s play or film, I was completely bewildered when I came into the theatre and saw on stage a life-sized laughing sailor dummy. I was instantly absorbed in the mystery of Sleuth’s staging (done by designer Barney George along with lighting designer Alexandra Stafford), and was astounded to find that it included a mansion, a revolving stage and projections of a casino-like scale.

The gamble the actors were about to play was instantly enthralling and I could not look away. That’s because the play appeals perfectly to the playful detective (or ‘sleuth’) side of the audience, and its plot intricately follows a successful, game-obsessed mystery writer by the name of Andrew Wyke (played superbly by Miles Richardson). Before long, a tricksy love rival Milo Tindle (James Alexandrou) is introduced, and Tindle and Wyke are getting wrapped up in manipulative gambits like the ultimate game of cat and mouse.

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With twists and turns at every stage, the audience is left on the edge of their seats waiting for what might be discovered next! While the actors captivate your attention and keep up the pretences of of ‘crazed mystery writer’ and ‘young impressionable rival’ flawlessly. I’ll refrain from giving away anymore, though – to ensure you can enjoy the play as much as I did (#KeepSleuthSecret).

What I do have left to say, however, is that Sleuth is a fantastic play that I would highly suggest to any lover of crime dramas, mysteries or a bit of comedy! It will be performed at the Playhouse until the 24th of September 2016.

Grainne Pearson Cockrill

Drag Becomes Them: A Riot of LGBT Culture

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DBH_03On a warm Sunday evening this July, I witnessed a night of poetry, film, drag and of course PRIDE at Nottingham’s glorious Malt Cross.

At 6pm the event kicked off with poetry by Gregory Woods, a former professor for LGBTQ studies at Nottingham University. Eloquently, he performed poems like ‘May I say nothing’ and poems from his book An Ordinary Dog. He also sent us on a journey of giggles and tragedy as he introduced us to a new unfinished poem titled ‘Pulse,’ which paid homage to the victims of the Orlando Shootings. Though unfinished, this poem gave me shivers throughout as it expressed the horrors felt by the victims’ loved ones.

This was then followed by Toby Fell-Holden’s captivating, BIFA-nominated Balcony. This short’s story felt immensely relevant given all the events that have struck England in the past couple of months, and in the wake of all the post-Referendum racism and hate crimes we have seen, its message of not judging people based on a preconception of their race or culture really struck home!

BALCONY_web_2Talking about his short film project, Toby said he wanted to “tell a story that captures the daily injustices, individual and institutional, in an environment like the estate I grew up on, a place that struggled with racial tension” and you definitely can’t help but feel he’s captured a slice of tensions which are probably going on all over the UK right now, so his mission to point a finger at the viewer to say “this is what happens when we avoid reality and allow discrimination to dominate” feels so important.

What’s more, the film proved a real roller coaster of emotions for the audience, and it had impeccable production values considering it was from a director at such an early stage in his career. The film centred on an uneasy story of lesbian intrigue between a troubled British girl and a character we’re told is originally from Afghanistan, and this cross-cultural frisson made it quite unlike the kinds of LGBT films we’re normally used to seeing in this country.

Balcony was also wonderfully written and beautifully filmed, meaning it really sticks in your memory long after you’ve seen it. The attention to detail on the short’s intricately layered soundtrack was unbelievably atmospheric and the performances by Charlotte Beaumont and Genevieve Dunne in their complex roles were so compelling.

DBH_13After a short break, the night of movie magic then continued with Alex Berry’s feature documentary Drag Becomes Him. This film follows Ru Paul’s Drag Race legend Jinkx Monsoon for several years as she storms to the height of her fame – something I was naturally very excited to see this as a big fan of the series and a supporter of Jinkx herself.

During the documentary, we get up close and personal with everything from Jinkx’s family upbringing to her life in the public eye, and the thing that made this particularly wonderful was the way Jinkx’s story encapsulates perfectly an LGBT take on the American Dream, something I have rarely (if ever) seen. Through a rich assortment of clips we race right across Jinkx’s rags-to-riches career, and various moments often brought hearty laughs and giggles from those in the room.

This wide mix of footage was also expertly stitched together, meaning spellbinding footage of the drag artist transforming herself sat faultlessly side by side with intimate, revealing confessions about what drives Jinkx. Effortlessly gliding across years’ worth of Monsoon moments and a plethora of family perspectives, Drag Become Him definitely demonstrated Berry’s prodigious skill for getting to the heart of a person’s story and making it a film that people from all kinds cultures and sexual orientations can celebrate.

This made Drag Becomes Him an ideal film to show as part of a Pride fundraiser, and the cheering and grinning clearly showed the audience’s enjoyment of the story behind one of the most talented performers of our times.

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Following a humid seventy minutes of filmic fun downstairs, festivities continued upstairs, where the gallery’s walls had been transformed with beautiful art by local Nottingham artists, almost all of which was on sale to raise extra money for Pride. In the performance space between the two floors, drag queen Riley Vyrus then took centre stage.

Performing hilarious lip syncs and live songs, Riley paid a heart-felt tribute to Jinkx with songs such as Everybody’s Girl and ‘Creep’ by Radiohead. Other wonderful performances were delivered by fellow fabulous queens Dusty Crevis and Scarlet Fever. The latter performed Eartha Kitt’s ‘Champagne Testing,’ and the dramatic embellishments she acted out left the stage covered in beer and the crowd in hysterics…

The night was one to remember and it left me with a smile on my face and hope in my heart! Following the tragic events in Orlando that left the LGBTQ community and the world in fear and mourning, events like this – which put Pride, family and friends at their heart – feel more important than ever.

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This event even sold out, creating a great atmosphere, so do keep an eye out for their next Scalarama screening of British indie Notes on Blindness and come down to show your support!

Grainne Peason Cockrill
Event images by Dani Bacon

Cause Celebre: You Be The Judge

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On a scorching hot day, where better to hide than in a shade of a theatre? Well, on the 22nd of July I enjoyed an evening of drama at the Lace Market Theatre to watch a sold-out production of Terence Rattigan’s Cause Celebre, directed by Gordon Parsons. I had heard great reviews, so naturally I was intrigued and excited – and fortunately, I was not disappointed!

This play plunges you into the real life 1930s trial of Alma Rattenbury (played by Tamzin Grayson) and her teenage lover George Wood (Aaron Connelly). Their case revolved around the murder of Alma’s elderly husband Francis Rattenbury (Geoff Longbottom), only the play also adds a sub-plot of Edith’s Davenport’s (Sarah Taylor) failing marriage and separation to husband John (David Dunford). Edith fears the trial will influence her impressionable son Tony (Sam Howitt), something not much helped by her “friend” Stella Morrison (Kay Haw).

Originally a radio play, Cause Celebre was wonderfully adapted for the stage and brilliantly executed by a talented team of actors and crew. All performed in one main set, a living room designed by Peter Hillier, the scene also included courtroom furniture in foreground, but this by no means disrupted or broke the steady transition between each scene. The script’s movement between flash-backs and flash-forwards was also smartly executed, and wonderfully allowed the audience to peep into the case and apply their own conclusions.

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The acting definitely left an indelible impression too, with memorable performances being generously offered up by Tamzin Grayson as Alma and Aaron Connelly as George. The former showed a brilliant range, repeatedly shifting from fun loving giggler to a heart-broken abject and breaking the audience’s heart (depending on their ultimate verdict of course). Similarly, Aaron’s rapidly changing character left the audience questioning the jury and themselves.

However, as with all good dramas, there was also a need for comic relief, and the cast did not fail to provide it! Especially characters such as Randolph Browne (played by Sophie Owen), who filled in as the young friend of Tony Davenport (Sam Howitt). These two’s quick-fire duologue never failed to leave the audience in giggles, and we also cannot forget good old O’Connor (Piotr Wisniewski), whose memorable defence and passion as a lawyer in the case created some great moments within the play.

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Their joint performances definitely left me intrigued and asking, ‘Who murdered Mr Rattenbury?’ And what’s more, director Gordon Parsons also cleverly used the audience as the jury, which really made you feel intensely involved in the drama. All in all, I think I’d have to go as far as to say that this was a highlight of all the Lace Market Theatre productions I have seen this year! It left me feeling entertained yet curious to find out more! This production of Cause Celebre runs until the 24th of July, and was a triumph!

Grainne Pearson Cockrill

You’re never too old for Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang

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On the 27th of May I had the ‘Truly Scrumptious’ opportunity to watch Ian Flemming’s Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang directed by James Brining in conjunction with West Yorkshire Playhouse at the Theatre Royal.

To be openly honest, I was worried at first, because I thought I might be just that bit too old to watch this fun musical. HOWEVER, I was happily relieved when I walked into the theatre side by side with an audience full of young and old eager punters.

This familiar story follows the Potts family, which includes eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts (Lee Mead), his father Grandpa Potts (Andy Hockley) and his two children, Jeremy and Jemima Potts (played by talented young actors Henry Kent and Lucy Sherman). It starts with the children eagerly begging their father to buy an old race-car that they consider their favourite plaything, and before long Caractacus is desperately trying to earn enough money to buy it by selling his wacky inventions.

Lee Mead had a great paternal connection with the two Potts children, and between them they created a really loveable family dynamic, which the audience’s heart soon fell for. A great addition to this family was also the talented actor and singer Carrie Hope Fletcher, who played the sweet Truly Scrumptious. Carrie brought a brilliant balance to the family, and had this kind of stabilising effect which made the unusual mob really enjoyable to watch.

Meanwhile, the comical duo of Goran and Boris (played by Scott Paige and Sam Harrison) brought nosy prying to a whole new level with their hilarious rendition of being British. And Matt Gillett acted out a truly spine-tingling Childcatcher that brought fear into every child’s heart (including mine). On the other side of things, you had Michelle Collins and Shaun Williamson who created roars of laughter in their roles of the Baroness and Baron Bomburst, and between them they created an odd, high-powered couple that was quite irresistible.

So all in all, Brining’s take on this classic was fun, catchy and a bonanza of bright colours. It was also jam packed with catchy tunes that had the whole audience singing and clapping and the scenery was so carefully constructed that it was quite transportative.

Lights were astutely deployed by the excellent Tim Mitchell and videos were ingeniously designed by Simon Wainwright to take the audience on a voyage through many different domestic settings and countries. Then a live orchestra directed by Andrew Hilton also really plunged the audience beautifully into a magical, musical world of 1914s Britain.

Equally, Stephen Mear’s choreography was sharp and creative throughout, and when clothed in Simon Higlett’s remarkably colourful costumes, the magical performance really was complete. The show was fit for all ages, and will make a great pick-me-up especially for all those who a finally just finishing revising for exams, so it comes highly recommended! The show is currently on tour, and you can click here to find out where you can see it next.

Grainne Pearson Cockrill. Twitter: @Grainne_Robson

Like musicals? Check out the film and live drag performance we’ve got coming up!

A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE: STILL SO IMPORTANT

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A Woman of No Importance

Photo by Grace Eden

On the 15th of February I was lucky enough to gain a last-minute ticket to a sold out performance of A Woman of No Importance, directed by Dan Maddison at The Lace Market Theatre – and upon seeing it, it was definitely obvious why it was sold out. One of the many classics written by Oscar Wilde, this independent theatre company’s interpretation certainly did this great play justice.

As a fan of Wilde, I was delighted to see the company’s skilful acting bringing the farce in his script to life. The fantastic contemporary costumes (collaboratively produced by Barry Holland, Doreen Hunt and Doreen Sheard) were also beautiful to look at and really took the audience to the 1890s. Whilst David Hope’s simplistic back drop of faux-marble arches and outdoor patio furniture meant there was purposefully no distraction from the actors’ excellent performances.

This allowed everyone from Olga Karaiosif as Alice and Thomas Broadhurt as Farquhar (the play’s two tired, fed-up servants) to all stand out, despite being a moderately large cast. In fact, Farquhar in particular made an impression, what with his brilliantly exasperated eye rolls often pulling laughs out of the audience.

As for the larger roles, Lady Caroline Pontefract and Lady Jane Hunstanton was played superbly by Beverley Anthony and Eileen Frier-Kelsey respectively, and between them they achieved this brilliantly humorous relationship. Their uppish, upper-class views on life frequently left the audience in giggles, whilst Mr. Kelvil and Archdeacon Dayveney (performed by Stephen Herring and Peter Hillier) gave some equally important comedic insight into Wilde’s fin-de-siècle world of politics and religion.

Meanwhile the totemic, puritanical Hester Worsley (played by Ruth Page, with a flawless American accent), flitted across the stage brilliantly as she tried to make sense of the fusty British society around her. This was often very amusing in itself, but Hester also raised some very important points about how the Victorians treated women and the lower classes. Playing off the ever excitable Gerald Arbuthnot (performed wonderfully by Nick Parvin), this New Woman definitely provided a glimmer of hope for the audience to root for in the cloud of confusion that Wilde creates.

Another memorable performance came from the duo of Mrs Allonby and Lady Stutfield. These two tongue-in-cheek gals brought a great contrast of innocence and mischief which created some delightful “quite, quite” humorous moments. This is carried on by Lord Illingworth (played wittily by Guy Evans) too, who sparred with Mrs Allonby so wildly that they almost create this kind of comic madness between them – something especially encouraged by Lord Illingworth’s constantly changing views on the world and women.

Of course, this potent pair never fully eclipses the all-important Rachel Abuthnot (performed incredibly emotively by Kay Harrison) though. This strong character brought out the real tragedy that comes with lost innocence and heartbreak, and she embodied perfectly Wilde’s rebellious attitudes against authority and the socially normalised mistreatment of women. However, it really remains remarkable just how much her character and the issues she raises are still very pertinent today.

A Woman of No Importance was a real pleasure to watch, and if given the chance I would highly suggest for you to watch it. This particular Lace Market show was consistently heavily sold out, however if you follow them on Facebook and Twitter you should be able to hear first about a number of exciting performances they have coming up.

Grainne Pearson Cockrill

BEAUTIFUL THING: DIVINE AND DAUNTING

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On a cold Monday evening, there is no better place to go to than a cosy warm theatre to see Lace Market Theatre’s production of Beautiful Things, written by Jonathan Harvey and wonderfully directed by Bex Mason. So that is exactly what I did.

Harvey’s story follows Jamie, a fifteen year-old boy living on a council estate with his mother Sandra and her hippie boyfriend Tony. Nearby also resides two neighbours, Ste and Leah, and soon Jamie and Ste discover feelings for each other. In their uneasy, prejudiced home environment, both feel they have to hide their affections – particularly against Ste’s abusive father.

But the play was still filled with plenty of wonderful ‘awww’ moments, and you really do fall in love the characters. And when you’re sitting in the audience you become totally immersed, thanks largely to the actors who did an amazing job portraying such well-rounded characters. The chemistry between all the actors was brilliant, but this was especially true with Ste (Sean Radford) and Jamie (Jak Truswell).

That said, the relationship between Sandra (Jemma Froggitt) and Tony (Damian Frendo) was simply hilarious – even if her narrative arch sees her come to a realisation of how smothering he really is. Frequently she lavishly pours her heart to the audience about the difficulties to being a single mother, and these generous bits of direct appeal also sit nicely beside Leah’s wonderful, light-hearted singing, portrayed expertly by Rosina Reading. Between them, this cast vividly brings to life a world that is at once both harsh and beautiful, endearing and daunting.

Equally the scenery, designed by Max Bromley, really helped reinforce the atmosphere of the piece too. Along with the lights and sound (by Kerry Newcombe, Charlie Bailey and Peter Hodgekinson), Bromley’s cleverly constructed setting made the audience feel like omniscient witnesses to an unravelling, innocent romance. The positioning of the bedroom next to the main stage was ingenious and really leant it a sense of privacy and cosiness for us as viewers.

It should also be mentioned that, although the play sticks mainly to the original script, Bex Mason did cleverly change some of the older 90’s references in the play to ones that could relate to a contemporary audience. But in reality, that too helped us slide into this sense of being behind closed doors, because these updated references once again made Beautiful Thing feel like it could be set in our very own neighbourhood again.

So overall Beautiful Things proved to be a must watch for those that need their heart warmed this winter! The performances are at The Lace Market Theatre continue to be excellent, and readers really should keep an eye out LMT’s future productions.

Grainne Pearson Cockrill

 

Terms of Love

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Late last month, Nottingham Contemporary hosted the premier of some extraordinary, home-grown films. Billed as uncovering the ‘hidden world of domestic abuse’, it was right to be prepared for a harrowing evening. However, director Carol Savage kicked of proceedings and put us at ease by explaining that “there’s always time for a bit of fun”.

With her eccentricity and quirks, fun is exactly what Savage brought along, whilst never undermining the seriousness and urgency of the subject matter.

After the short introduction, we were shown the film Terms of Love. This short tells the tale of Jess and how her life spirals out of control as she enters a relationship with an abusive partner. Shot on location in Beeston, the emotional realism of the film does make for some pretty painful, but vital, viewing.

It was somehow made all the more painful by never showing any explicit physical abuse caused by her boyfriend. Far too often domestic abuse is only characterised by physical violence through scars and bruising . But here we see something different and all to real: her isolation, despair and mental torture.

The film ends with the oft quoted, and frankly embarrassing, statistic of ‘2 women a week are murdered by a current or former partner’. What it didn’t do, however, was try to tell us why this happens. Perhaps that’s a far too big a question for a short to answer, but it certainly left me thinking of how and why someone who seems like ‘a nice guy’ can end up murdering his partner after abusing her for a year.

In a clever bit of programming, the documentary 1 in 4, which followed the short, attempted to answer these questions. It posits itself on the argument that assumed gender privilege is what allows women to suffer from domestic abuse: abusers can come from a variety of races, classes and culture, but the one common belief they share is that ‘being male gave them privilege to be in charge’.

This also affects women: if women are taught to be caregivers they’ll care for, love and give to people even if they abuse them. And as the street interviews proved, because abuse is so typical, victims won’t even it see as abuse.

This is a somewhat challenging notion. This isn’t just about protecting and looking after women once the abuse has happened (by giving them money from the tampon tax, apparently). It’s about preventing abuse in the first place, which in can only happen by changing the way we think about gender – a hard task indeed.

Packed with heart-wrenching testimonials from survivors, not only does 1 in 4 bust the many inaccurate myths surrounding domestic abuse, it makes the vital step of offering solution. It’s a thoroughly local film with an impact that could potentially be huge.

What’s more, the team have put all these films online for everyone to see for free – see them here and be sure to spread them!

Help prevent domestic abuse in Nottingham by donating to Equation here.  Or support their work by attending Reel Equality film screenings.