A six week project by Ignite Theatre in Knightswood, resulted in an excellent theatre afternoon in Wellington Church Crypt Cafe recently. Entitled ‘A Cake and a Comedy’ the seven sketches, written and acted by the five members of the cast told of human relationships through food.
The creative work was cooked up at the Cookery School and through waiter training at The Buttery in Argyle Street. All the young people – from school age to early 20s – gave engaging and convincing performances.
These ranged from the exchange between a street beggar and a passer-by to parent and child perceptions of Santa’s tidbits and from the gauche beginnings of a romance to the misconceptions of different cultural ways. All the playlets were written by the young people and reflected their own experiences and perceptions and misperceptions where different cultures collide. An appreciative audience enjoyed the cafe atmosphere, the cakes and the coffee as well as the performances.
Ignite’s Artistic Director Aileen Ritchie, has been running a series of free drama workshops for young people aged from 8 to 21 from different cultural backgrounds, for more than two years.
She said: ‘We have been touring this show to audiences who might not get to see live theatre – from pensioners’ lunch clubs to local primary schools. The cast have been extremely professional and I think their creativity shines in this funny and life affirming festive show. We are hoping the valuable work experience it has given them will lead to more opportunities.’
Actor Karen Chanda (18) said she found the workshops fun. ‘They build your confidence. You meet new people and make lots of friends. And we’ve built up strong relationships through working together on this project.’
The cafe theatre programme started with ‘Seeds of Thought’ poet and musician Tawona Sitole playing the mbira, a metal, thumb piano from Zimbabwe. The young actors were in working mode as waiters at the Buttery on Sunday 2 December when a full afternoon tea with a string quartet was on offer for donations for Ignite’s work. The previous day, a juniors’ show called Magic Dust and Christmas at the Zoo was performed in Knightswood Congregational Church Hall, 12 Dunterlie Avenue, Glasgow, G13 3BA. Ignite Theatre also performed A Cake and A Comedy.
Funding for Ignite from the Equality and Human Rights Commission ends in December. Children in Need are expected to take over as the main funder after that.
Among the variety of events to mark Black History Month during October will be a series of lectures at the University of Glasgow. Organised by the Glasgow-based Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER), the month is a celebration of the culture and heritage of the black community and its contribution to society.
There will be four lectures uncovering the ‘Hidden Legacies’ of people who have made a difference to the city.
This year’s Black History Month will have events in Stirling, Edinburgh, Dundee, Lanarkshire and East Lothian. The wide variety of events includes lectures, workshops, exhibitions, films, music, dance performances and other things. Check the website for Glasgow own CCA for events such as Seeds of Thought poetry and music – a free evening.
The full programme of events for Black History Month 2010, can be downloaded from the website www.crer.org.uk
Jatin Haria, Director of CRER said: “I hope that the month long celebrations will provide a unique opportunity to educate, document and acknowledge the positive achievements and contributions that black and minority ethnic people have made in shaping Scotland, UK and the world’s history. “
The lectures taking place at Glasgow University are:
Colour and Prejudice in British Cinema in the 1950s by Dr Christine Geraghty, Professor of Film and Television Studies – Wednesday 20 October, 6-7.30pm, Gilmorehill Cinema, 9 University Avenue.
The Archaeology of the Slave Ship by Dr Jane Webster, Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology at Newcastle University – Friday 22 October, 6-7.30pm, Room 433, St Andrew’s Building.
Glasgow’s Contribution to the Campaign to Abolish Slavery in the United States by Bernard Aspinwall – Saturday 23 October 2010 – 10am – 12.00pm, St Andrew’s Building, 11 Eldon Street, Glasgow G3 6NH.
C.L.R. James: Marxist, anti-imperialist… and Test Match correspondent for The Glasgow Herald by Dr Andrew Smith, Senior Lecturer in Sociology – Monday 25 October, 6-7.30pm in Room 433, St Andrew’s Building, 11 Eldon Street, Glasgow G3 6NH
SEEDS OF THOUGHT
Black History Month
with spoken word/music/open mic
and all the usual good vibes.
Friday 7 Oct 2011
Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
Live urban poetry, comedy and acoustic music will be presented by three artistes at the CCA on Sauchiehall Street (near Charing Cross) on Wednesday 6 April from 7.30pm. Tawona, Tarneem and Ernest make up Seeds Of Thought. Their aim is to share cultures through poetry, art and music. Their website is: www.seedsofthought.webs.com and they can be found on facebook.com/seedsofthoughtglasgow.
Tawona Sithole is from Zimbabwe. He is a poet and a master of a unique traditional musical instrument called a mbira. With his brother Ernest and their friend Tarneem Al Mousawi, they formed Seeds of Thought some years ago.
With music, poetry, film and words, the Scottish Campaign for Human Rights in the Gambia launched its first social evening which was enjoyed by more than 100 supporters at the CCA in Glasgow on Tuesday 18 January.
In his welcome, John Matthew, chair of the Glasgow Branch of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) which is actively promoting the campaign, said: ‘Everyone is welcome – and an especial welcome to anyone sent here by the Gambia Government or Security Service. Here, you will hear the truth!’
The truth about people who had been imprisoned, tortured, disappeared or killed in cold blood for saying things that were constitutional but critical of the present regime, was related in a variety of ways.
Exiled journalist Alieu Ceesay outlined the reality of life in the sunny West African country. Not only is he on a ‘wanted’ list which is checked at every point of entry to the Gambia, but last week the country’s own Justice Minister Edward Gomez, threatened him and the Scottish Campaign for Human Rights. ‘We will wait here for them to come,’ said the Justice Minister. And warned they would be prosecuted on arrival in Gambia.
Amnesty filmed interviews of a woman writer who was imprisoned and whose baby was taken from her and put into an orphanage and of a male politician who was tortured and witnessed others being tortured and killed in prison, were screened.
A messages of support was given by Peter Swindon, assistant to Westminster MP Anas Sarwar (Labour) who has had 27 cross-party MPs signing an Early Day Motion condemning the abuses of human right in the Gambia. Through the MP, the Campaign has made contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee to inform their cause and the UK Government’s responses and policies.
Said Peter: ‘We have been inspired by the courage and bravery of people like Alieu Ceesay and exiled journalist Charles Atangana from the Cameroons. These voiceless people need us to stand up and shout for them.’
MSP Patrick Harvie (Scottish Green Party) detailed how he has brought forward a similar early day motion in the Scottish Parliament which has been signed by 25 MSPs from the different parties. He emphasised that such human rights were a fundamental part of any democracy. MSP Anne McLaughlin (SNP) also pledged support.
NUJ President, Peter Murray, explained how important it was for a journalist to be able to investigate and circulate their stories especially when a government is corrupt. ‘This is at the heart of good journalism,’ he said. ‘Informed people are strong people.’
Amnesty International representative Arthur West, who is chair of Ayrshire Branch, told the meeting that asylum seekers like Alieu and Charles have been rejected by the UK. ‘We are encouraged to continue the fight for fairness and justice when we hear what people like them have to say and what they have experienced.’
The information was interspersed with poetry, music, song and laughter.
Karina and Ben set the tone of the evening with voice and keyboard. Babs MacGregor followed with some old and new Gaelic songs. Tawong Sithole a poet and musician from Zimbabwe, played the traditional music instrument, mbirg, to wonderful effect. His poems of critical assessment of self and others, were powerful. He and some of his colleagues entertain regularly at the CCA at the Charing Cross end of Sauchiehall Street under the name: Seeds of Thought. An uplifting set from the Parsonage Choir keep the mood bright and enabled everyone to leave with a song in their hearts and with some serious information in their mind.