Slovo’s “The Riots”

The auditorium at West Green Learning Centre, Phillip Lane Haringey was packed yesterday evening for the showing of Slovo’s work “The Riots” in film form. I’d seen the play at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre before and rated highly both the play  and the actors. I never realised the film was a recording of the play performance.

It is important to say that the late Mark Duggan’s family were the guests of Haringey Independent Cinema. In the audience, there were toddlers, babies, teenagers,  and bunched in the audience the usual contingent of older greyer people.

The in your face nature of theatre and the stage was somewhat lost in the recording. The stage script is urgent and the stage movements are fast and furious. The non-synchronisation of sound and lip-movement took away the impulsiveness of the soliloquoys.

Slovo chose to tell the story of the UK riots in a theatrical performance and I wanted to be critical of that, to divorce from the controversy  surrounding the riots and see how the staging and effects complemented the news reports. The play I saw was pure crafted drama.

You see I thought there was going to be an adaptaion of Slovo’s play into film. Never mind for the floor was there for the people. Discussion followed.

The one-off  film showing was free. I gave up my seat to a woman sitting on the steps and went out into the sweet Tottenham rain..

There’s a conference coming off soon in Hackney to be inspiration for the next stage in repairing our communities after the UK riots with emphasis on how the settled communities welcome refugees and immigrants. (Check Eventbrite UK) . There should be reference to how those subjects (of the experiment) react and respond to outstretched hands.  The setlled community cannot keep keep giving. How many times will I greet a new neighbour and be ignored knowing full well that I’ve been disrespected on many levels? Good manners and host country mores are good things to instill in each other. The inference above is that the riots are somehow connected to a desperate isolation experienced by newer members in our urban circles. And along comes the victim word.

Haringey Independent Cinema has its next film screening 27th September.

issue 1 Up Your Street

Up Your Street is an information-sharing service for seniors on the perimeter of The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (E20)

Fri July 27th free 6.30pm St Mary’s Centre, Upper Street, Islington, with The Stuart Low Trust. Alan Levy and music. (Find him on you tube as Dream Eagle Man)

Mon July 30th  free for a week 5pm tour of Arcola Theatre, Ashwin St. E8 before it gets a rebuild. No disabled access. Book

Thurs Aug 2nd free 6.30-8pm Oxford House Bethnal Green. Launch of photographic exhibition “Glimpses”. Photos by beginner photographers and Up Your Street subscribers.

Fri Aug 3rd free  10-noon Mobile Repair Team explaining to seniors about practical help in the home.  Stamford Hill Library, Hackney. Refreshments.

Mon Aug 6th free 7pm  film “The Riots” West Green Learning Centre Haringey. Meet the writer Gillian Slovo afterwards.


Dickens exhibition and “The Riots” in Tottenham.

Was invited for a special viewing last week and it was the draw of canapes which sealed the deal for me.It’s not a biography of Dickens at the Museum of London but an exhibition of the events and way of life going on around Dickens’ writing time. There’s much to see and how much can you absorb really? There’s loads of reading to be done. The canapes were good. With a special free ticket I’m off to see it again cos surely it was better than I thought! We’ll see…

On Friday I was lucky to get a £5 matinee special ticket to “The Riots” which had moved from the Tricycle Theatre. This is the acclaimed Gillian Slovo’s theatrical experience aka play about the riots (aka “The Madness”), country-wide last August. The play is excellent and extremely-well acted. The cast had a tough time because a third of the audience consisted of once-excluded, now- rehabilitated male youths who persisted in cat-calling, lounging on the empty seats and whistling. BUT much of the time they were engaged and listening. There were indeed long speeches in the second half to which non-regular theatre- goers would have to get accustomed. The initial scenes were fast and the sets suitably grimy. Highly recommended. It all took place in the Bernie Grant Arts centre, Tottenham, all spruced up and new next to the town hall and the Conel College. There’s a good cafe there too with gorgeous non-supermarket, non-chip-shop Jamaican Patties which do melt in your mouth. Bravo Bernie Grant’s welcoming Centre. Tottenham. Tesco’s is opposite, one of the worst around with its empty shelves.