Windrush: Movement of the People
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, 7–10 February then touring until May
This new dance piece by Phoenix Dance Theatre focuses on some of the first Jamaican people who came to Britain on the SS Empire Windrush. The piece captures the travellers’ first glimpse of Tilbury Docks, and is inspired by the iconic images of them filing off the gang plank. It “highlights both the struggles and good times the Jamaican community experienced during those early years”.
In cinemas 13 February
The latest installment in the Marvel universe is notable for being truly black-led, with director Ryan Coogler and a lead cast including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o. Based on the rebooted comic written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Boseman’s Black Panther has already appeared in Captain America: Civil War. This standalone film is set in the fictional African country of Wakanda, a wealthy and technologically advanced stereotype-buster. An important step for Hollywood.
Nottingham Playhouse, 9–24 February
Nottinghamshire, 1983. Two 16 year olds wait nervously at the pithead. Guided by a veteran miner, they descend into the brotherhood, banter, searing heat and liquid blue light of Welbeck Colliery. Meanwhile in London, an American CEO known as The Butcher is brought in to reform King Coal. Pits close and a strike is called…
A “spirited and uplifting” drama written by the daughter of a Nottingham miner.
Black Men Walking
Belgrade Theatre Coventry, 7–10 February then touring
Sheffield-based Ghanaian journalist Maxwell Ayamba co-founded a walking group in 2004, with the aim of getting black men out into the Peak District for their health and wellbeing. Now his endeavour has been turned into a play, written by the rapper Testament. The play ties in the story of the men with 500 years of black British history. Testament says it is “a celebration of blackness, of Britishness, and the fighting spirit that Yorkshire has”.
Glasgow Film Festival
Glasgow, various venues, 21 February to 4 March
This year’s festival will present over 170 films. Highlights include the world premiere of new documentary Nae Pasaran about a group of workers at the Rolls-Royce factory in East Kilbride in 1974, who showed their solidarity with the people of Chile by refusing to carry out vital inspections of engines for Hawker Hunter planes — the fighter jets were being used by Pinochet’s military junta against the people.