My blog has quite a lot of posts about Samuel West (Julius Caesar, On Chesil Beach and Darkest Hour) and Charles Edwards (My Fair Lady Australian tour and Henry IX).

Monday, 4 January 2016

Diversity: I Gotta Be Me, Noma Dumezweni, ACE funding, film criticism

I Gotta Be Me is a 'real' documentary about Paul Shah, an actor playing Sammy Davis Jr in a tribute show. Phaldut Sharma plays Shah and is a co-creator for this web series. Click here for his thoughts on major themes in the series - diversity and identity.
Episodes 1-3 are now available; new episodes will be released in February (I found out about this web series because they mentioned me on Twitter).

Noma Dumezweni has been profiled in this article in the Independent about British immigrant contributions to the arts, science, food, fashion and sport (via her Twitter, @MissDumezweni). She stars in Linda at the Royal Court, which closes this Saturday. Her next project is her directorial debut - I See You, also at the Royal Court.

Malcolm Sinclair (president of Equity) spoke about increasing BME representation on screen and stage at the WhatsOnStage Awards nominations launch in December (The Stage via Act for Change's Twitter, @actforchangehq):
"All parts should now be available, rather than just the ones that are designated ‘ethnic’ parts... you have to call the people that actually make the decisions to account, which is the producers and directors."

Last month, Arts Council England released a report about diversity relating to workforce, programming, audiences and funding (via The Stage). It is based on data from 2012-2015. Its publication coincided with the announcement of four funding programs to lift BAME (black and minority ethnic) and disabled investment and development:
  • Change Makers - a leadership program
  • Unlimited - a single grant of £1.8 million will be made to an organisation to develop a range of new work by Deaf and disabled artists
  • Sustained Theatre - this is for emerging and established practitioners to increase BAME representation across the theatre sector
  • Elevate - this is for diverse-led organisations outside of the Council’s National Portfolio

The Atlantic has an article about the gender imbalance in film criticism (via Lucy Prebble's Twitter, @lucyprebblish). For example, in four US film critics' assocations, women make up less than a quarter of members. The article suggests that the recent drop in film criticism by women is related to the rise of digital.

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