Musicals are so much more than jazz hands, they can offer powerful reflections on the politics of the day and express the things we find difficult to put into words.
We’ve teamed up with Rife and one of the biggest poetry and spoken word organisations in Bristol, Milk Poetry to explore race, identity and politics in musicals through spoken word and The Art of the Black Visual album with Sampha's award-winning album Process.
We'll be kicking off the season with two much loved musicals from the screen and stage - West Side Story and Hairspray on Sat 18 Jan. Whilst West Side Story is foremost a love story, themes of immigration and racism drive the story towards its conclusion and Hairspray, loved for its peppy songs and upbeat dance routines, ruminates on racial segregation in 1960s Baltimore.
To accompany the screenings is a two-hour, not-to-be-missed musical inspired workshop for aspiring poets (aged 15 – 24). Taking characters, songs and themes from iconic films, our spoken word performers will walk you through writing a new piece of work but don't worry - there will be plenty of materials to work from if you're not familiar with musicals. The day will climax in a Milk Poetry Musical Spoken Word Showcase featuring some of the most exciting and dynamic voices in the UK, plus participants from the workshop - so expect speed poems, politics and some tunes.
We'll be closing the season in style with a collaboration with We Are Parable, bringing a unique screening of Process- the visual album from UK award-winning artist, Sampha, beautifully directed by acclaimed video artist Kahlil Joseph (Beyonce: Lemonade, Kendrick Lamar: good Kid, m.A.A.d city) at East Bristol Cinema, Easton Community Centre on Fri 31 Jan - see you there!
This season has been curated by content creators from Rife, an online magazine that support’s young people to have their voices heard. Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO. bfimusicals.co.uk