Arts and Entertainment
The weather may not be hot in July but the events and performances in Hackney certainly are.
Leading the way is the star-studded Spice Festival 2007, celebrating the best of Hackney arts, at the Hackney Empire. Following on from the huge success of last year’s Festival, some of the acts include Thirty Years of Rock against Racism, Al Murray, Steven Berkoff, Barbara Windsor, Misty in Roots, Dirty Pretty Things, Arthur Smith, Guilty Pleasures Roller Disco and the Poetry Olympics. There will be over seventy events in and around the Empire between 7 and 22 July, and there will be something for everyone. Last year’s Festival was described by the Daily Mirror as ‘an absolutely brilliant showcase of local talent’ and by Time Out as ‘stunningly inventive… fantastic’. Visit www.spicefestival.com or www.hackneyempire.co.uk for more info. Bookings on 020 8985 2424.
Meanwhile, the Rio Cinema is showing La Vie En Rose (12A), the extraordinary life of the legendary French singer Edith Piaf from her birth in a Parisian brothel in the 1920s to her death at the age of 47. By all accounts, Marion Cotillard’s performance is magnificent. And yes, she does sing ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’.( Friday 22 June for two weeks, subtitled.) Following on from this is Sketches of Frank Gehry (12A), a portrait of the renowned architect by Sidney Pollack. Those of you who have been lucky enough to have seen Gehry’s monumental metal sculptures at Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum should form an orderly queue. (Friday 6 July for one week.) For something completely different, Potter-mania hits Dalston on Friday 13 July (for two weeks) when the Rio screens Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (12A), in which Harry teaches his brave young wizards how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts. www.riocinema.org.uk, .Booking 020 7241 9410.
Our local, independent theatre, the Arcola Theatre, presents Torn, by Femi Oguns, which explores the cultural tensions of a relationship between two London lovers, one African, one West Indian (3-28 July). Between 12 July and 18 August, the theatre is host to Pedro Calderon de la Borca’s The Great Theatre of the World. Originally written in 1695, the play has been adapted by Adrian Mitchell and directed by William Gaskill. God is a theatre director, the World is his stage manager and we are the actors. ‘A sheer delight’. New Statesman. www.arcolatheatre.com, 020 7241 9410.