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Close up and personal

A newly arrived woman from Sudan is placed in cramped temporary accommodation.with two other families. Strangers. Forced together. No space is personal.
from National Theatre on Dec 6, 2016.

Immigration detention: what's love got to do with it?

Feeling a little jaded with traditional theatrical formats? Try 'Removal Men'.
from Daniel Nelson on Nov 18, 2016.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor




A new play about the Calais ‘jungle’ refugee camp is in development at the National Theatre. It is working with Good Chance Theatre founders Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson on the project, based on their experiences and those of refugees living in the camp. The Good Chance Theatre was set up in Calais in 2015 as an arts centre and community hub for refugees, but was dismantled in March after the migrant camp was cleared by the French government. Full story from The Stage. In another story, the newspaper reports thst a new diversity report commissioned by Andrew Lloyd Webber has slammed the UK theatre industry as “hideously white”. It says black, Asian and minority ethnic performers are regularly overlooked for lead roles and the sector has an “unconscious bias” against them. The report, Centre Stage – The Pipeline of BAME Talent, highlights the dominance of white students at drama schools, the lack of diversity on the UK’s stages, the financial barriers to training and the stereotyping to which BAME talent is subjected.



*  This week is the last chance to see Removal Men, an unusual love story, set in an immigration centre. With strange songs. It's at The Yard. Later this month Wyndham's Theatre in Charing Cross Road sees the return of The Kite Runner, the stage version of Khaled Hosseini's best-seller about two Afghan boys from different backgrounds and with different fates.

* The Curzon Bloomsbury continues to show a range of interesting documentaries. It's worth bookmarking the page: . This week's offerings include Starless Dreams, a heart-rendingly moving doc about a rehab centre for juvenile delinquent Iranian women. It took the director seven years to get permission to film there, and It opens the door on an aspect of Iran you've never seen before. 


* Image, below right: A dramatic re-telling of how a Bechuanaland  prince, Seretse Khama,  and his white British wife defied South African racists and devious British manoeuvring and in so doing achieved independence for Botswana - or , in Variety's opinion, "love story like a Disney princess movie, reducing the drama to a series of polite disagreements between the couple and the cardboard officiates who opposed their union"? Either way, A United Kingdom is a colourful, teary reminder about real political events. 

A United Kingdom


Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson












Thursday 8 December

* From Exodus 1947 to Lampedusa: Jewish Refugees and Other Boat People, Tony Kushner, 6:30-8pm, Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, WC1. Info: 7636 7247/

* Delhi Communities of Belonging, launch of Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh’s new photo book 'Delhi: Communities of Belonging', depicting India's emerging LGBTQ community, 6:30pm, free, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place (off Rivington Street), EC2. Info: 7749 1240.

* UK Aid Network, Gender and Development Network and Bretton Woods project Christmas Social, from 6pm, The Easton, 22 Easton Street, WC1. Info: 

* Casualty Recording Post-Chilcot, Hamit Dardagan, John Sloboda, Sir Lawrence Freedman, Susan Breau, Michael Spagat, Chris Woods discuss the UK launch of the first-ever set of international standards for recording casualties for use in the field and as a resource for conflict analysts, 5.30-7pm, Kings College, The Strand, WC2. Info:

* Writing new histories of humanitarianism: Public roundtable discussion, Norbert Götz, Dominique Marshall, Bertrand Taithe, Pamala Wiepking, 4-7pm, University College London, Gower Street, WC1. Info: 7679 6209/

* Implausible and improbable? Efforts to improve child survival in low-income settings, Joanna Schellenbergsis, 5:15pm, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1. Info:

* The Changing Face of The Sex Trade, Alex Feis-Bryce, Laura Watson, Heather Brunskell-Evans, Lucy Platt, 6:30-8pm, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1. Info:

* A More Effective State: public sector compensation and the quality of the bureaucracy in Latin America, Pablo Brassiolo,  Alvaro Mendez, 6.30-8pm, London School of Economics, New Academic Building, WC2


Friday 9 December

* International Migration, Migrant Integration, and Multiculturalism in South Korea, In-Jin Yoon, 5.15pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4893/ 7637 2388  

* Strategies to protect human rights researchers at risk, workshop, 1.30pm, £15/£10, Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1. Info:


Friday 9-Saturday 10 December

* Gender and Generation in the Aftermath of the Uprisings. Political Visions, Desires, Movements in the Middle East and North Africa Today, 6pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4330/4490


Monday 12 December

* Black Flag Down: Winning the Battle - Defeating the rise of radical Islam, Liam Byrne MP, Michael Gove MP, Shiraz Maher, 7pm, £10-£12, King's College, Strand, WC2. Info:  Reservations 

* Brexit Means..., John Harris, Justine Kolata, 6pm, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/


Tuesday 13 November

* The International People's Tribunal on the 1965 Genocide in Indonesia and its aftermath, Soe Tjen, 5.15pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4893/

* A Sustainable Future for Britain: redesigning waste and resource policy outside the EU, 3-4.30pm, Lord Deben, Mary Creagh, Colin Church, Ian Boyd, Stephen Shergold,  Portcullis House, Westminster, Info: 7202 8573


Wednesday 14 December

* How technology is changing women's working lives, Ethel Cofie, Abigail Hunt, Chidi King, Monica Raina, 10.30am-miday, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info:

* The Colombian Peace Agreement II: What would peace change in Colombia?, Louise Winstanley, Gwen Burnyeat, Olga Lucia Lozano, 6-7.30pm, Canning House, 15 Belgrave Square, SW1. Info: 7811 5623/

* Pathway to 2050: Developing a Sustainable Industrial Strategy, Iain Wright MP, Matthew Bell, Stephen Barker, 1.15-2.45pm, Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Westminster SW1. Info:  Register

* 2016... WTF: A year in review, Jess Phillips MP, Tiff Stevenson, Andy Zaltzman, Xenia Wickett, 7pm, £10-£14, Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, EC2. Info: Tickets

* Identity in Digital democracy: Inequality, Participation and Contestation, Marianne Franklin, Susan Halford, Paolo Gerbaudo, Anastasia Kavada, 4-6pm, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, W1. Info: 7911 5000











* Sparrow Come Back Home, British artists Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris represent calypso singer Mighty Sparrow's records alongside an archive of printed material relating to his music, revealing the depth of calypso culture, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 5 February. Info:

+ 8 Decgallery tour, 6.30pm

13 Dec, Sparrow Calypso Genius, 6.30pm

17 DecCalypso Dreams, film screening, 2pm

11 Jan, for educators, 5pm


Crossing the Empty Quarter, photographs, film, maps and memorabilia from the first expedition across the Rub al Khali by Bertram Thomas in 1930 and the second by Mark Evans in 2015, including material never shown in public before, Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7, until 15 December. Info: 7591 3000


* Writing the City, David Lurie's photographs of Cape Town, Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery, Unit 2 La Gare, 51 Surrey Row,  SE1, until 16 December. Info: 3268 2101/


* Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the best of 50,00 entries from 95 countries, Natural History Museum, South Kensington, until 10 September 2017. Info: 7942 5000/

+ Wildlife photography judges bark up the right tree


* Malick Sidibe: The Eye of Modern Mali, photographs by the late West African artist, free, Somerset House, Strand, WC2, until 15 January. Info: 7845 4600


* South Africa: the art of a nation, from rock art by the country’s earliest peoples to contemporary works, £12, under-16s free, British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1, until 26 February. Info: 


A Bitter Road: Britain and the Refugee Crisis of the 1930s and 1940s, responses to Jewish and other refugees in Britain, The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide, 29 Russell Square, WC1, until 17 February. Info: 7636 7247


* Mahwish Chishty, the Pakistan-born US-based artist’s work combines silhouettes of military drones with decorative Pakistani folk art patterns to highlight the way in which foreign drones over Pakistan have become a feature of the physical, psychological and cultural environment of the country, free, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 19 March. Info:  7416 5000

+ Chshty introduces her work

20 MarchCovert War and Cultures Colliding, discussion with Chishty, Lisa Barnard and Clare Carolin on the challenges of creating artworks which represent and comment on covert war, 2pm, free. Info: Booking


* Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line, how maps made the world we live in, British Library, Euston Road, NW1, until 1 March. Info: (0)1937 546546


* Edmund Clark: War of Terror, the artist-photographer's work on hidden aspects of state control during the "Global War on Terror", free, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 28 August

William Kentridge: Thick Time, the South African artist's latest intelligent look at history and time, £11.95/ £9.50, Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel Street, E1, until 15 January. Info: 7522 7888


Black Chronicles: Photographic Portraits 1862-1948, photos of life in Britain, free, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, WC2, until 11 December. Info: 7306 0055


* Traces of War, Jananne Al-Ani, Baptist Coelho and Shaun Gladwell explores the relationships between war and the everyday, tracing the imprints it leaves on bodies, memories, landscapes and in places we least expect, free, King's College, The Strand, WC2, until 18 December. Info: Exhibition


* Imperfect Chronology: Mapping the Contemporary 11, over 13 artists focus on the theme of mapping geographies, examining the notion of statehood and exploring how artists engage with the rapidly expanding cities of the Arab region, Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, E1, until 8 January. Info: 7522 7888/


* Rapid Response Collecting, tiny but fascinating exhbit that ranges from cheap Indonesian-made eyelashes to shoes that show  Western designers' belated realisation that the pink colour 'nude' did not apply to all the world's population,  free, Victoria & Albert Meseum, Cromwell Road, until 15 December

+ Printed guns, nude shoes and Indonesian eyelashes


London, Sugar & Slavery , permanent gallery at the Museum of Docklands, No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, E14. Info:


atmosphere: exploring climate science, free, Science Museum, South Kensington. Info: Museum


Atlantic Worlds, transatlantic slave trade gallery, National Maritime Museum, Park Row, SE1. Info: 8858 4422/ 8312 656



Friday 9-Saturday 10 December

* Exploring Identity Through Photography, works by young photographers that explore cultural diversity, gender, race, sexuality, perceptions of men and women in society and the media, and familial bonds, free, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, EC2A 3BA. Info: 7749 1240/



Picture: Refugees are a popular subject for talks and discussions including Christina Lamb on Nujeen Mustafa's Journey from War-Torn Syria, born with cerebral palsy;Crisis, of refugees, of imagination and solidarity;  From Exodus 1947 to Lampedusa: Jewish Refugees and Other Boat PeopleThe Changing Face of The Sex Trade; and, with a geographic shift, International Migration, Migrant Integration, and Multiculturalism in South Korea.









* A United Kingdom, Barbican Centre, Brixton Ritzy, Cineworld Haymarket, Cineworld Leicester Square, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Mondrian, Curzon Victoria, Odeon Covent Garden, Odeon Whiteleys, Picturehouse Central, Barnes Olympic Studios, Belsize Park Everyman, Clapham Picturehouse, Crouch End Picturehouse, East Dulwich Picturehouse, Greenwich Picturehouse, Kilburn Tricycle, Maida Vale Everyman,

+ Cliches, tears and true love conquer Africa

* Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, Werner Herzog documentary on the effect of the Internet, its history and future, and the wonders of robotics, ICA

+ Spirit of evil? Herzog casts a curious eye on the Internet


* Starless Dreams, heart-rendingly moving documentary filmed inside a rehab centre for juvenile delinquent Iranian women, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 13 December

More nightmares than dreams for Iran's 'delinquent' girlsk


Thursday 8 December

The Coming War on China, John Pilger's latest blast + Q&A, 6.15pm, Curzon Soho

+ John Pilger raises the alarm


Friday 9 December 

* Forever Pure, Beitar Jerusalem is the most popular and controversial football team in Israel as well as the only club in the Premier League never to sign an Arab player. This documentary follows the team as two Muslim players join for the first time and send the club spiralling out of control + Q&A with director Maya Zinshtein, 4pm, Curzon Bloomsbury


from Friday 9 December

* The Birth Of A Nation, the story of the 1831 slave rebellion in the US led by Nat Turner

* Holy Cow, the story of one man's dream to bring a cow from Europe into his mountain village in Azerbaijan - but first must win over the conservative community, who want to keep their secular traditions intact, 6pm, £9/£7/£5, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 15 December


from Friday 16 December

* The Eagle Huntress, 13-year-old Alsholpan causes a stir in her isolated Kazhak tribe by pursuing her dream despite objections from the elders: to become the first Eagle Huntress in Mongolia against all odds, Curzon Bloomsbury


Saturday 17 December

* Calypso Dreams, celebration of calypso music, the sense of community it engenders in Trinidad & Tobago, and of its social and political roots, 2pm, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info:











* Removal Men, a love story in an immigration centre, The Yard, Unit 2A, Queens Yard, White Post Lane, E9, until 10 December. Info:

+ Immigration detention: what's love got to do with it?

+ 8 Dec, Dialogue Club, join theatre blogger Maddy Costa and producer Jake Orr for an open discussion without the people who made the show 


* Whose Sari Now, one-woman show that tackles real and complicated relationships with the sari, Theatre Royal, Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, E15, until 17 December. Info: 8534 0310


* LOVE, in the run-up to Christmas three families are placed into cramped temporary accommodation: a middle-aged man and his elderly mum, a young family with a baby on the way, a newly arrived woman from Sudan, National Theatre, Belvedere Road, SE1, until 10 January. Info: 7452 3000

+ 15 Dec, Performing without a home, 5.30-6.45pm, £6/5

+ 4 Jan, playwright Alexander Zeldin, 6pm, £5/£4


Thursday 8 December

The Situation Room: Prejudice and Perception by Fuela space for entertainment, debate and discussion where artists, musicians and academics can engage with current issues. Short demonstrations and performances; share experiences and view installations and art as it’s created 7.30-10pm, Somerset House, Strand, WC2. Info: 7845 4600


Friday 9 December

* A Benefit for Haiti: How The Mangrove 9 Won, Althea Jones Lecointe, Ian Macdonald QC, Linton Kwesi Johnson, The Burru Players, 6pm, £5/£10, Trinity United Reform Church, Buck Street, NW1. Info: 7482 2496/


Thursday 15-Saturday 17 December

The Duke, solo show that weaves the tragi-comic fate of a family heirloom, the quandary of a scriptwriter and an unfolding disaster as thousands of children flee their homes, Barbican Arts Centre, 15-17 December. Info: 7638 8891/ 


from 21 December

* The Kite Runner, Afghanistan is a divided country on the verge of war and two childhood friends are about to be torn apart. But neither Hassan or Amir can foresee the terrible incident which will shatter their lives forever: the play of the novel, Wyndham's Theatre, 32 Charing Cross Road, WC2, until 11 March. Info: Tickets/ 0844 482 5138.










Monday 5 December

* Our Guy in China, a desert bike journey, 9pm, C4

* Monkey Planet, 9pm, BBC4

* Black and British: A Forgotten History, 11.15pm, BBC2

* Beyond Belief: Immigration and the Church, 4.30pm, R4

* Black Flight and the New Suburbia, 8pm, R4


Tuesday 6 December

The Coming War on China, John Pilger's latest blast, 10.40pm, ITV

John Pilger raises the alarm


Wednesday 7 December

Black Flight and the New Suburbia, 8pm, R4

* Britain's Treasure Islands, series which visits all Britain's Overseas Territories, starting with Bermuda, 8pm, 11.45pm, BBC4


Thursday 8 December

* Crossing Continents: Cricket, Colour and Quotas, 11am, R4