Stories of Migration….again

Up at Leytonstone Library E11 about twenty-three adults and a couple of kiddies waited patiently for the other seven or more audience members to roll in late so we could enjoy some plays. The MC aka playwright/director Paula David told us the four sketches represented the stories told to her by Caribbean people who were immigrants back in the day i.e 1950s to 1980s.

The venue is cosy, shabby and informal. The set on the stage was similar. There was no colour or brightness as the background to miserable personal real accounts acted out by stationary actors including Trevor David and Anthony Chisholm punctuated by the in and outs of an actress playing the part of a newscaster over the decades. The scripts attempted to heighten our senses of what Caribbean immigrants felt during Windrush times and later . When I say senses I mean the colours, the sounds, the smells. I got grey, bathroom damp, and green army uniforms smelling of the earth.

Story-telling on stage is what I visited today. No magic appeared.

Oh yawn. Haven’t we done all this? In the eighties? In the late seventies? Haven’t we the older generation, 50 plus in years, heard all the stories yet? Lenny Henry’s done his stories of first generation Caribbeans to death and now reclines richly on Premier beds.The local youth may have been expected but were absent today. They may have liked the stories but would have wanted action. “Stories of Migration” will likely go into schools. .

This is theatre rather than research and literature so I expected to be drawn in. I was. I expected to be entertained. I wasn’t. I expected surprises. None. I expected theatre. Nope.

The acting was what it was. The actors were mostly alone on the stage with their monologues. They mulled over scripted accounts which were personal histories and many of the audience members will have heard the same kind of stories from their grans and in a couple of cases experienced being in the fifties and head butting with “the grey Better life”. The best line was from the Grenadian who joined the British police force and recognised when he said, as he slid through a career trailing  in the odious remains of a colonial beast staffed by rude irritated white commanders,  “Racism became easier ” (to deal with).

What grants can do eh?

In the audience was Baden Prince Junior. Twas a pleasure to meet again the poet and teacher whose phrase “Don’t be clever, Trevor” is the best way to stop his workshop students of any age over-rhyming.

Don’t be clever, Trevor.

The event today was one out of the many thrown into the mix of “Words Over Waltham Forest”.

I did recommend that anyone wanting to participate in Peter Ashan’s forthcoming Heritage Project centred around immigration stories from  African-Caribbean and Asian Waltham Forest residents 1940-1990 get along to “Stories of Migration. That forthcoming project will be coming to an Asian centre near you! Funding presumed.

Thank you Waltham Forest Libraries for giving the public the opportunity to see free theatre. I’m certain I’m the only one who tells the libraries in advance if I’m not coming as is requested on the Eventbrite booking form. All the empty seats today eh? Fool me.

Three Mills in Stratford is doing a workshop day in October for £39 instead of £120 all about the creative process in film. Hmm.

And there’s more…On Thursday 10th October 6.30pm at Tower Hamlets Archives, 227 Bancroft Rd E1 (205 bus) almost opposite the estate where Billy Ocean grew up (yeah!) there’s an introduction to “Where I Belong” the local oral history project capturing (!) Asian and Black women’s herstories (!) of residency in Tower Hamlets. Free. Open to all.

Up Your Street issue 22

                          Up Your Street Issue 22

Mon 27th May free 9-5pm The View Tube, Marshgate Lane E15. Keith Wilson “Steles (Waterworks)” exhibition until end June. Enjoy the café too

Thurs 30th May £3 7.15pm “Man With A Movie Camera” (1929. 63 mins) Haringey Independent Cinema, West Green Learning Centre N15. Plus live music!!!!! See description below.

“MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA
Directed by Dziga Vertov / USSR, 1929 / 68  Mins
With live musical accompaniment from Giles Leaman on  percussion and various other instruments, and the string trio ‘Barrel’: Alison  Blunt, Hannah Marshall and Ivor Kallin.
The  recent popularity of the film The Artist  has shown how enjoyable it can be  to watch a film with music and no dialogue. HIC decided to take things a stage  further by screening this 1929 Russian classic to the accompaniment of live  improvised music. Man with a Movie Camera is a real piece of  cinema history, one of the most radical and unique films to come out of the  early experimental phase of Soviet cinema. Vertov was a pioneer member of the  revolutionary avant garde; he felt film was locked into the tradition of stage  plays and it was time to discover a new, specifically cinematic, style. Films  could move with the speed of our minds as we free-associate or the speed of a  musical composition, they did not need any dialogue. Indeed, at the opening of  the film Vertov pointed out that it had no scenario, intertitles or characters.  It was a series of images, and his notes specified a fast-moving musical score. 

Set over 24 hours in the life of a city, it is famous for the range of  cinematic techniques Vertov invents, deploys or develops, such as double  exposure, fast and slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, Dutch  angles, extreme close-ups, tracking shots, footage played backwards, and stop  motion animations. There are no characters, only the un-named cameraman and  editor. Man with a Movie Camera is not a conventional  film in any sense of the word. It is a hymn of praise to the life of the city  and the transformative power of  film.” From HIC web site.

Sat 1st June £2.50 1.30pm-3.30pm Fun dance afternoon for all.
 
St Edmund’s Halls (Ryan Hall) 216 Chingford Mount Road South Chingford London E4 8JL (south of Chingford Mount crossroads),

Sun 2nd June free  11am – 3pm”Memories of Barking Park” Launch Event:
at the Barking Park Centre.

Mon 3rd June free  12-2pm art course/mixed  media for 5 weeks at Wood Street Library with Waltham Forest Libraries. Book with the Library service or through Eventbrite/

                            free  12.2pm Lea Bridge Seniors with Up Your Street at the Community  Room in Lea Bridge Library E10 7PU. 1pm Guest speaker, Jan, entertains with all about Spitalfields. Book a place at Eventbrite or email gillianamuir@aol.co.uk

                              free 7pm Leyton Community Action meet at Saint Mary’s Church Hall, Lindley Road, London E10 6QT. Cancelled

Tues 4 June     free 6-7pm Redbridge Central Library Clements Rd Ilford.Photography with Leanne Benson
Leanne studied Editorial Photography, has worked in New York as a photography intern and as an in-house photographer for a London Borough. Her passion lies in social documentary photography. This event is for anyone interested in photography.

 Thurs 6th June £5 + donation 9-5pm  Lens Think Exhibition: until 20th June 2013

Just Add Red, 81 Leonard Street
Shoreditch, London
EC2A 4QS

Fri 7th June    £3 donation. 10.30-12.30pm. Craft along with Sara and make a quilt of shared community memories. ‘Elders Crafting Group’.”This could be the quilt to represent Leyton as is now and  has been over the last 40 years with a different population to what was in the 1960s, Exciting.” says Up Your Street. Cuppa included.

Sat 8th June  £6 7.30 pm  “Palestine Social” St John Vianney Church, West Green Rd N15. Jazz and Arab music and food all hosted by Haringey Palestine Solidarity Group.

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