Stiletto and wheels Stiletto title Sole to sole Stiletto

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. title
ARTS - October 2008
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We went to the Tricycle theatre this weekend to see the last in a series of plays written by August Wilson, Radio Golf, which, on a decade by decade basis, reflect the development of the black experience in America.

I have to confess to a partisan interest as one of the leading actors in the play is Joseph Marcell. Joseph lives locally to us, as well as being based in the US, and has featured regularly at the Tricycle in a number of productions showcasing black writers and actors – something of a tradition at the Tricycle. We joked afterwards – the RSC have Patrick Stewart, the National – Ian McKellan and the Tricycle have Joseph Marcell.

Much to our irritation, we arrived two minutes late - wheelchairs are taken up on a platform lift, too noisy once the performance has started – so we sat the first half out in the café/bar area. Luckily, we bumped into the director of the production, Paulette Randall, who kindly talked us through the action we were missing. The second half was the business end of the play, caricaturing the difficulties, even by the 1990’s, of transition, participation and acceptance in the public lives of black Americans. Sadly, August Wilson died in 2005. It is possible only to imagine another piece by him on the black experience and politics in the early 21st century!

The Tricyle is one of the best neighbourhood arts centres in London. We have been going there for a long time and have seen it evolve and develop. Throughout this process, they continue to put on a genuine multi-cultural programme of theatre, cinema, debate and art, trying always to reflect the interests of their local community as well as looking for a wider London audience. There is a local arts centre near to us, the Watermans which, in comparison, is so under-developed. On every visit, to either venue, we say, ‘Why isn’t the Watermans like the Tricycle?’ As Joseph said, ‘Imagination…it needs someone with…’

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