Archives for posts with tag: “Londonee” Friday 23rd November at Brady Arts Centre E1

What a fabulous performance! Proper drama. Where else can you go to a community theatre and be welcomed by our events organiser? And who else provides free refreshments in the intermission? Brady Arts Centre is the place to be.

The stage was ready and ON TIME the performance began with vitality and gross swearing. We were off, comfortable on our benches, warm in the set’s lights and about to be entertained with excellent acting from everyone, poetry spoken very well, singing out of this world and touches of angst and humour peppered with colloquialisms, Streetspeke, wise old sayings and modern bang up to date observations of life. For example why couldn’t so and so eat ice-cream? Answer “Allergic”. Kebabs, Halal hot-dogs, Yorkshire puddings, Magnum ice-cream, fish fingers; all references to the multi-cultural society we find in Bangla Town and then some. A huge nod to the year 1971, the year Bangladesh was forced to form itself, reminders of  family and village back home, some quips about the position of the Bangladeshi woman, a band of angels, and all this on a simple, I mean simple stage.

I loved it despite it got pretty tedious towards the end and we feared the cliched ending with a predicted I told you so exposure of Mr Magnum’s (aka Manush the fallen angel or was he pushed? ) former earthy identity. We had an happy ending, that’s for sure.

I loved the energy, the quickly changing scenes, the voices and optimum use of the stage, the youthfulness, the daring, the risk-taking such as break dancing in front of an audience. Anything could go wrong.

The journey home was awkward as be warned the 254 bus does not travel along Whitechapel High Street until late December. The 25 buses were crazy; one after the other. I was sat next to an African whose mouth stank of the stockfish she’d gnawed last night. Who knows what she suffered to get to Mile End, east end.

There was no kick against authority in this Bangla Drama feast. Here was a play showing how a person must know her history to gain a certain sense of freedom. Demons have to be wrestled with.  In “Londonee”, a soul had to be saved, the soul of a “no good Londonee”. In that phrase alone all the despising of the Bangladeshis who settled around Aldgate with their muddled identities is raw. A Bangladeshi forsaking her family doesn’t please the gods when she embraces a foreign London life. Roots must be preserved.

The character Carl was great. What an actor!

The performance deserved the noisy clapping at the end. The audience never moved away immediately. The people were mesmerized and looked like they wanted more as if the fiver entry weren’t bargain enough.

Top night out.

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Next Tuesday at ridiculous hour Film 4 is showing “Brick Lane”.  This is the 2007 film  of Monica Ali’s novel  starring Tannishtha Chatterjee as a Bangladeshi woman in an arranged marriage and her adventures in Brick Lane. When I saw the film about five years ago, it did nothing for me. So now I must look at it in another light.

Another film showing on Friday morning is “The Rochdale Pioneers” made in 2012. It’s set in 1844 and tells the story of working class people and solidarity.

Lots to see especially on Friday night at the Brady Arts Centre which hosts “Londonee”.

Coming up this week on SkyArts 2  today noon until 1pm Series 1 Episodes 1 and 2 of “Prithviraj Chauhan”. Here is the  epic Hindi drama series about the warrior king Prithviraj and his love life. Continues all week.

AND lots of Shakespeare too with “The Tempest” starring Dame Helen Mirren AND “Othello” followed  by “Henry IV” next Monday. Ooh telly nights.

In real life of course “A Season of Bangla Drama”  goes into heady heights on Friday with “Londonee”. Cannot wait.