Sunday 24th September

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Red Velvet. Garrick Theatre.
Red Velvet. Garrick Theatre.

Red Velvet: Adrian Lester is powerful and extraordinary

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The West End transfer of the Tricycle Theatre Production of Red Velvet offers a mixed performance.  Lollota Chakrabarti’s production offers plenty of fire, controversy and thought-provoking moments, but at times it seems it is missing a key ingredient.

The play is based around a key, and often controversial topic – racial prejudice.  Whilst portraying the incredible story of Ira Aldridge on-stage, there’s an argument to be made that the play could have explored further the issue of race and nineteenth-century theatre.  Whilst the play has plenty of stereotypical stances to make on the issue of racial prejudice, it is Adrian Lester’s performance as Aldridge, which stands out.

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Category: Theatre
Tom Gamble at Jazz Club Soho, London.
Tom Gamble at Jazz Club Soho, London.

Tom Gamble: CD + London dates

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Classically-trained guitarist Tom Gamble recently played a solo set at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, going down a storm with the assembled literary crowd at the Playerist Comedy Night. He’s soon to leave these shores to further his studies abroad so catch him while you can. Meanwhile, music lovers will be more than satisfied with Mr Gamble’s fantastic début Jazz CD Rooftop Music. Recently graduating with a First from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in Greenwich, the maestro leads the Tom Gamble Ensemble at the South Bank Centre on August 8. He then departs with fitting flourish as Director of the Quiet Nights Orchestra at a very special gig at the National Portrait Gallery on August 22.

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Category: Culture
Tom Gamble
Tom Gamble

Playerist Comedy Night 2 // Poetry Café // Review

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A school night if not for half term, those in the know braved the dullest weather to arrive at a sparkling evening of comedy by Playerist Performance Collective at the Poetry Café.

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Category: Art
Playerist
Graphic by Sofia Hagen

Playerist Comedy Night // Thursday May 29 // Poetry Café

Playerist returns for another Comedy Night at the much-loved Poetry Café in Betterton Street, in the heart of Covent Garden, kicking-off at 7.30pm on Thursday May 29. A widely diverse range of talent promises a memorable occasion, at the attractive door price of £3. Playerist supports writers, musicians and artists, and offers a unique showcase of billed acts comprising a varied programme. The events offer further opportunities for chatting and drinking (or networking if you like) and this time around the venue has guaranteed a well-stocked fridge…

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Category: Art
Imogen Miller Porter
Imogen Miller Porter photographed by Martin Slidel

Spotlight on Imogen Miller Porter

It’s a delight to catch up with actor and writer Imogen Miller Porter, just as she’s finishing her current run as the screeching matriarch in the interactive Faulty Towers Dining Experience at Charing Cross Hotel. Despite what I imagine as an exhaustive role she blusters into the nearby café looking fresh as a daisy; resplendent in turquoise plaid shirt, plaited locks not quite free of that infamous Sybil coiffure.

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Category: Comedy
Denis Quilligan; illustration by Mario Herran; Skopje
Denis Quilligan; illustration by Mario Herran; Skopje

Playerist Poets Live @ Poetry Cafe

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Some enchanted evening for ‘Playerist Poets Live’ at the Poetry Society in Covent Garden. Although the ‘Poetry Place’ was quite literally drank dry. More’s the pity when last time time had to be called; ‘more’ being the operative word next time.

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Category: Art
Playerlist
Illustration by Chris Sav (exclusive commission for PPL).

Playerist Poets Live // March 14 // Poetry Cafe

Playerist performance collective returns to the Poetry Cafe on Friday March 14 for a very special night indeed. Doors open at 7.30pm from when guests will be treated to the ethereal folk music of the immensely talented singer-songwriter Skopje. The cafe is open all afternoon so why not arrive early and relax with the scrumptious food and drink on offer. This comfy and cosy venue is centrally located, in the heart of Covent Garden, but tucked-away so check the map. For literary lovers there are shelves of magazines for browsing, with the guarantee of no loud pop muzak.

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Category: Art
Amy Neilson Smith
Amy Neilson Smith

Poetry Café: Playerist Comedy Night – Review

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I was thrilled to present the Comedy Night for Playerist Literary Magazine at the Poetry Society in Covent Garden. Needing to ensure spot-on timing felt a little like operating a conveyor-belt. But what a conveyor-belt. It’s rare to be privy to such a collection of talent, and so pleasing to see a full-house at this venerated venue. The Poetry Café is smartly situated, central but hidden, in the heart of the city. This year saw Jillian Miller come aboard as the magazine’s patron, and she kicked-off proceedings with much appreciated verse by John Cooper Clarke. Drawing on two decades of public speaking, as CEO of an international charity, Jillian sparkled and lit the touchpaper. Next up was Brighton poetess (self-termed) Amy Neilson Smith who recited her naughty-but-nice rhymes. This girl has gumption and little wonder she’s in such demand, as fellow of the iPoets collective that last summer performed at the Royal Festival Hall.

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Category: Comedy