Naana Orleans-Amissah

Cultural observer, obsessive book-lover, aspiring author

Born in Germany and raised in Japan, this Ghanaian woman has a real craving for the kind of cultural stimulation which tingles the senses. With a background in Marketing and Communications and a degree in International Relations and History, she is fascinated by how stories are told and the messages we relay on and off the cultural stage. She is also an aspiring author.
Malala: A Singularly Impressive

Malala: A Singularly Impressive Teenager

Malala hasn't once spoken of the horror of being shot in the head, of the neural damage to her left arm which has hung limp during her talk and which is incongruent to the irrepressible energy that she is. And yet somehow with her unwavering focus on education...
22/10/2013 13:45 BST
Remixing Othello to a Beat I

Remixing Othello to a Beat I Like

I'd heard of the production before. They had performed in the UK last year as part of the Cultural Olympiad, and a friend who had seen it then, had said it had been the best thing on stage in that celebration.
17/09/2013 14:56 BST
Meeting David

Meeting David Harewood

As we both relax into what becomes a three hour chat, this impression grows. Is it because, even with a family, this is a man who has essentially been nomadic for three decades? I want to probe. As an actor who did he look up to? He lists Spencer Tracey, Sydney Poitier and Peter Fonda...
18/08/2013 20:23 BST
The Man Behind 'Walk in the Light' & His

The Man Behind 'Walk in the Light' & His Poem

What many have taken away from Walk in the Light is a sense of belonging; a sense of connection. A chipping away at that loneliness that often comes from being the only black person in the room.
11/08/2013 13:21 BST
Eating a Slice of Chimamanda-Shaped Humble

Eating a Slice of Chimamanda-Shaped Humble Pie

The thing about being an opinionated commentator is that sometimes you have to say with confidence that you were not all that right. Better still, that you've changed your mind, a bit.
01/08/2013 15:16 BST
Doreen Lawrence as Baroness: Backhand Compliments and Disingenuous

Doreen Lawrence as Baroness: Backhand Compliments and Disingenuous Hoodwinking

So Doreen Lawrence is to be made a Baroness? As I write this I notice that the news hasn't been covered in the broadsheets so I am stating a caveat now, that I am still going to discuss this even though it may turn out to be a spurious sound bite. After all there has been no official announcement either by the Labour party among whom she would sit.
01/08/2013 11:39 BST
A Season in the Congo ~ A Lesson Still

A Season in the Congo ~ A Lesson Still Unfolding

As I sat waiting for A Season in the Congo, I was struck by how much more of London there was at the Young Vic. There were buxom, Laura Ashley skirted women; teenagers in their requisite black uniform with matching eyeliner and messy ponytail fountains; older men in calf-high black socks and beige Birkenstocks and hip, colourful young women in thigh-kissing chiffon.
31/07/2013 14:38 BST
Walk in the Light: Part IV ~ A Celebration of Religious

Walk in the Light: Part IV ~ A Celebration of Religious Proportions

This was a long overdue acknowledgement of the contributions so many black performers have made to british theatre. And it was exciting to see so many different voices of the black experience on stage - Ghanaian and Nigerian, Ethiopian-born Irish, black British of South African and Swazi descent as well as the varied experiences from Caribbean islands.
22/07/2013 14:18 BST
Othello: I Didn't Like

Othello: I Didn't Like It

I didn't once believe that this young woman had the spirit to seduce a general of Othello's calibre either with her innocence or cunning. But then perhaps there's no accounting for taste.
21/07/2013 21:46 BST
Good Comedy in London?:

Good Comedy in London?: "Killing Ms D"

If you like your stand-up comedy based on the kind of human insight that will give you a more satisfying laugh, go and see "Killing MissD." Daphna Baram has pulled together a rollicking show featuring her reckless body-sharing alter-ego MissD that will have you cringe, shocked and belly-laughing in quick succession.
08/07/2013 16:04 BST

Africa Writes

I'm on my way to Africa Writes, the second annual Royal African Society literature and book festival, and I'm intrigued. First by its title which I find assertive and common sensical: of course a continent, of now 54 nations, writes!
06/07/2013 16:14 BST
August Wilson's Fences in the West

August Wilson's Fences in the West End

How do you begin to review a play that deserves a thesis of its own? August Wilson's 1983 play, Fences, is weighty work. In its current two hours and forty minutes iteration it seems to question, almost exhaustively, <em>the</em> range of universal themes.
05/07/2013 15:26 BST