Congratulations to everyone at the West Yorkshire Playhouse for producing the brilliant ‘Nine Lives’ play, which I attended at Dalston’s Arcola Theatre last night, in order to support the work of the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG). Formidable Hackney Community Law Centre trustee Paul Dillane is UKLGIG’s Director.
Nine Lives focuses on the story of Ismail, a young gay man from Zimbabwe who fled the country after being persecuted because of his sexuality. Continue reading “Nine Lives (& Sir Ian McKellen!)”
A wonderful day at London’s Southbank Centre (my favourite place in London) yesterday attending its ‘Being a Man Festival‘.
I attended a few of the sessions but, by far, my favourite was the discussion entitled ‘Kanye West and the Paradox of Black Male Identity in Hip-Hop’, which was chaired by the writer and broadcaster Ekow Eshun in conversation with 2015 Booker prize winner Marlon James and Matrix Chambers barrister Matthew Ryder QC.
Marlon was kind enough to sign a copy of his Booker prize winning ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings‘ for me afterwards.
I was honoured to be invited to watch the opening night’s screening of director Sarah Gavron’s new film ‘Suffragette‘ by her proud mum Nicky Gavron, my old boss, the former Deputy Mayor of London and still a London Assembly Member.
The film was superb. It was also the first time in Hollywood history that a film’s writer, director and main protagonists were all female.
To be so visually reminded of what the suffragettes went through – the police surveillance, community shunning, imprisonment, beatings, torture and force-feeding – strengthened my resolve to continue to play as full a role I can in the democratic life of this country.
Nicky is right to be so proud of Sarah for having made this vitally important film. We owe the Suffragettes our deepest gratitude and I’m glad this film has helped their own voices to be heard.
I have just got home from four amazing, emotional, uplifting, seriously bootie shaking hours of this.
I couldn’t have wished for a better way to celebrate my 30th birthday (and Mr Mandela’s 90th) than to be shaking my thang to some top notch musical acts in my most favourite park in the whole wide world Continue reading “The Best 30th Birthday in the Whole Wide World”