March started strongly with an incredible play at the Royal Court – How to Hold Your Breath by Zinnie Harris with an amazing central performance from Maxine Peake. Also saw The Wasp at Hampstead downstairs; went back to Fireworks by Dalia Taha at the Court upstairs and then ventured to Watford Playhouse (my first time it’s gorgeous) to see Zodwa Nyoni’s Boi Boi is Dead – four great plays by women in a month, good work March.
Then there was a post-show gig by Palestinian hip-hop group Katiba 5 at the Royal Court bar – something I didn’t think I’d ever see. I felt cool, for about a minute until I spilled my wine.
Films didn’t do too badly either, I discovered Matthias Schoenaerts in Suite Francaise and what a discovery, he’s brilliant (apparently he’s outstanding in Rust and Bone too so I’ll be looking that one up soon), then was troubled and captivated in equal measure by two British films: ’71 and Under the Skin, both traumatising, both recommended. And then there was Despicable Me – bought for my daughter and loved by us both, it’s excellent – and very funny.
I also took part in Arts Canteen’s event AWAN (Arab Women Artists Now) at Rich Mix on International Women’s day, it was an inspiring event celebrating work by some exciting voices.
There’s even a novel in there – Be Near Me by Andrew O’Hagan, lent by my mother-in-law. It’s a slow burn but ultimately totally captivating tale about a priest in rural Scotland. I loved the characterisation and I’ll be reading more by the novelist for sure.
There’s also a lot of telly in there too, so here’s my cultural March list:
1 March - Indian Summers 2 March - How to hold your breath (Royal Court) 3 March - HOME FRONT (Radio 4 omnibus) 3 March - Casual Vacancy 4 March - The Wasp 5 March - The Good Wife 7 March - AWAN (Arab Women Artists Now event at Rich Mix) 7 March - Despicable Me 7 March - Banished 8 March - Indian Summers 9 March - Conan Doyle 10 March - HOME FRONT (Radio 4 omnibus) 12 March - Be Near Me 12 March - Love is Blind (short) 13 March - Fireworks, followed by a gig from Katiba 5 (a Palestinian hip hop group) 16 March - The Good Wife 16 March - Banished 17 March - Indian Summers 17 March - Poldark 19 March - Multitudes 19 March - Poldark 21 March - '71 22 March - Suite Francaise 22 March - Indian summers 23 March - Poldark 23 March - Banished 24 March - SHAMED (Radio 4) 24 March - Banished 25 March - Good wife 26 March - Boi Boi is Dead 28 March - Under The Skin
Key: live performances (including music and theatre), telly dramas, books, films, RADIO DRAMA, art exhibitions
April is looking quieter-ish, but at the end of the month I head to Belfast to see Tinderbox Theatre’s Lally The Scut at the MAC and I can’t wait.