Certain Blacks Harlem Festival 7 – 10 September 2017
30 August 2017
A festival of new performance and theatre
7-10 September 2017
Rich Mix, London
All tickets £10-£12
Certain Blacks: Harlem is a festival of new performance and theatre inspired by the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, a time when new Black theatre, literature, music and arts found its own unique voice within American culture.
The festival is run by Certain Blacks, an organisation which supports diversity in the arts and launched in 2016 with Certain Blacks: Art Ensemble. Once again, Certain Blacks: Harlem takes place at the Rich Mix, London from 7-10 September 2017.
Byron Wallen’s Indigo plus Addictive TV
Thursday 7 September 7.30pm
Winner of the BBC’s Innovation in Jazz Award, Byron Wallen and his band Indigo perform music written for the centenary celebration of the leading light of the Harlem Renaissance, the revered American poet Langston Hughes, in a work originally commissioned by the Southbank Centre for the Poetry International Festival. The evening includes VJ’s Addictive TV presenting their new album Orchestra of Samples.
Shabnam Shabazi: Body House (vers.iii)
Friday 8 September 7.30pm
Working with body casting, video mapping and spoken word, performance artist Shabnam Shabazi presents a reworking of Body House commissioned by Certain Blacks. Shabnam states “The provocation for ‘Body House (vers.iii)’ is exile and displacement. The exile is never too dependent on permanence and knows everything is provisional. Unstable, shifting: to exist in more than one location, to exist in more than one place, forever moving, always walking...”
A former assistant director to Anna Furse at Paines Plough and Max Stafford-Clark, Shabnam has presented her work at SPILL Festival, Young Vic Studios and Hackney Empire, among many venues across the UK. She has an extensive CV (available on request) as both artist and director.
Lyrix Organix – Unfold
Saturday 9 September 8pm
Lyrix Organix presents their renowned UnFold live show that has entertained audiences at The Roundhouse and at the Brighton Festival, at the invitation of guest director Kate Tempest. UnFold champions exciting young poets - inviting them to collaborate exclusively with Lyrix Organix’s string section, live band and visual artists. This one-off show stars Laurie Ogden, Sophia Thakur plus special guests.
Fancy Chance – Flight of Fancy
Sunday 10 September 5pm
Cabaret queen, circus performer and former Alternative Miss World, Fancy Chance AKA Veronica Thompson brings her autobiographical solo show Flight of Fancy to Certain Blacks as part of her national tour. This globe-trotting, time-travelling mini-spectacle takes audiences from the performer’s humble origins as a Korean refugee to her former home town of Seattle, then to East London where she made her name as a prolific cabaret artist. A multi-faceted work incorporating performance, film and music, Flights of Fancy is both intimate and highly topical. .
Fancy Chance is a regular performer at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and a headliner of the Latitude Festival Cabaret Stage. She has performed at the Roundhouse, Soho Theatre and as a guest performer at La Clique.
Crying in the Wilderness – Invisible Man
Sunday 10 September 7.30pm
Commissioned by Certain Blacks with a new live score from Byron Wallen, Theatre company Crying in the Wilderness – Invisible Man is a play based on Ralph Ellison’s seminal novel about African American identity, Invisible Man, first published in 1957. Starring George Eggay (King Lear, Old Vic 2016), this adaptation for stage is set to go beyond portraying the experiences of an individual, tapping into a shared human condition that speaks directly to us in the times we inhabit. Illegally occupying the basement of an attractive apartment block, we are introduced to the nocturnal world of the Invisible Man who boasts of successfully divesting himself of all emotional ties to mainstream society.
Directed by Paul Anthony Morris: Founder and Creative director of Crying in the Wilderness Productions. Winner of the Adopt A Playwright Award, a recipient of the Peggy Ramsay Award and the winner of an Edinburgh Fringe First. His published plays are 35 Cents and Identity.
George Eggay is an established actor with over 20 years experience in theatre, film and television. He has just completed performing in King Lear with Glenda Jackson at the Old Vic which won a ‘Critics' Circle Theatre Award’ for best Shakespearean performance.
Dramaturg is Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE who will lead a post-show discussion on the night.
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA, 020 7613 7498