STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.
WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility.
I spent a lot of this weekend at The Barbican Centre. It is a great venue for wheelchair users. They have an Access scheme, great parking, easy wheeling pretty much everywhere, disabled toilets - what more could you ask for?
Atmosphere? For me, the communal spaces are like an airport lounge, kind of soul less. You really would not choose to hang about there. On this visit, we saw The Harder They Come in the theatre and, the following day, Linton Kwesi Johnson in the Barbican Hall, both part of the East festival.
The Harder They Come had been at Stratford a couple of years ago and was a fantastic production based on the film of the same name. The musical numbers were perfomed with great energy and accomplishment by both cast and musicians. I felt that the dramatic impetus flagged in the second half but the absolute verve of the finale carried you with the performers totally. The theatre itself made this harder work than it should have been. The theatre seems more and more like a deserted parking lot in which performances are thrown together - a wide, open, vacant space which feels so sad and lonely. A very hard place to create theatrical magic!
By contrast, the Barbican Hall does manage to be a suprisingly warm venue for musical events. Linton Kwesi Johson remains a vibrant representative of politically active dub poetry, finely supported by Dennis Bovell and his band, and guests. The audience rose to the beat, sang to the song and danced into the night. Jah, Rastafari, I an' I salut' yu.
I will be back at the Barbican as they do always have some interesting items on their programmes and I want to support this. I just find it hard to love being there. Do go yourself and let me know what you think.
In Rastafari, "The Lion of Judah" represents Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.
The black is for Africa.
The red is for the blood of all living things in the world.
The gold is for all of the treasures in the world that people cherish.
The green is for the earth that people walk on