Connect with us

Entertainment

Dispute over Idris Elba play Tree as writers claim they were ‘pushed off’

Published

on


Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-ArmahImage copyright
David Sandison

Image caption

The show is billed as being “created by” Idris Elba (left) and Kwame Kwei-Armah

A row has arisen over a play created by Idris Elba after two writers who worked on it claimed they were shut out and suffered “intimidation and disrespect”.

Tree, which will premiere at the Manchester International Festival, is credited to Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Tori Allen-Martin and Sarah Henley said they worked on it for four years but were “pushed off” and got no credit.

In response, the producers said Tree “needed to go in a very different direction with a new writer attached”.

Manchester International Festival and London’s Young Vic theatre, along with Elba’s production company Green Door Pictures, acknowledged that Allen-Martin and Henley were “involved in exploring ideas” for the show.

They said they were “grateful” to the pair, but that their proposed direction was not “artistically viable”.

Kwei-Armah, the Young Vic’s artistic director, wrote the script instead, they said. “Tree is a new work, based on a concept by Idris Elba with an original script by Kwame Kwei-Armah.”

Image copyright
Manchester International Festival

Image caption

Sinead Cusack and Alfred Enoch star in Tree

However, in a lengthy and impassioned blog published on Tuesday, the two women documented how Allen-Martin had been asked by Elba to come up with an idea for a show before they researched it, wrote a script and came up with the name.

But they said Kwei-Armah then took over the project, and they were later dismissed and “threatened… with legal action if we spoke up”.

“There is no way it’s a ‘different project’, no matter how much it’s changed,” they wrote.

“And the reluctance to take any accountability for the fact that until we fought it, the majority of the revised synopsis was our work, just without our names on it, is at best sad and at worst, disgusting.”

Kwei-Armah “refused to engage” with them, and the episode was “devastating proof of the way doors are shut on women, and on the underdogs”, they said.

“We became completely disposable because we’re not famous or important enough. We were expected to shut up, lie down, and take it.”

In his response on Twitter, Kwei-Armah said he understood “the pain of being ‘released’ from a project”.

‘I am sorry for your pain’

He also said that Elba had requested that Allen-Martin and Henley remain involved, but that they “refused to meet me” after he wrote a “very, very rough outline” for a new direction for the show. “I never refused to communicate with you,” he said.

He eventually wrote a new script that he said was “very different” from their original. “I am sorry for your pain. But to almost single me out as the reason your script was not produced is neither fair nor correct.”

Elba is not in Tree, which stars Sinead Cusack and Alfred Enoch, known as Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films and Wes Gibbins in How To Get Away With Murder?.

The show is billed as a mixture of drama, music and dance, and was inspired by Elba’s 2014 album Mi Mandela. It will have its premiere at MIF on Thursday before a run at the Young Vic.

In their statement, MIF, the Young Vic and Green Door said: “Tree is a new work, based on a concept by Idris Elba with an original script by Kwame Kwei-Armah.”

MIF artistic director John McGrath said: “His script for Tree is entirely his creation and is, in my opinion, a resonant and exciting response to the themes of Idris’s Mi Mandela album.”


Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email





Source link

Entertainment

Cinema signs become a creative canvas in pandemic times

Published

on

By


Normally a space for displaying film times, cinema signs have seen a wave of creativity in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.

Witty customised signage has appeared reflecting the cinema owners love of films, their humour and concerns.

Talking Movies’ Tom Brook reports.

Talking Movies can be seen on BBC World News



Source link

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Actor Michael Angelis dies aged 76

Published

on

By


Michael Angelis

Actor Michael Angelis, known for his role in TV dramas such as Boys from the Blackstuff, and for narrating Thomas The Tank Engine, has died at the age of 76.

He died suddenly while at home with his wife on Saturday, his agent said.

The Liverpool-born actor lent his voice to children’s favourite Thomas and Friends for 13 series after taking over from Beatle star Ringo Starr in 1991.

He also appeared as Mickey Startup in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Image caption

Angelis (right) appeared in the influential 1980s drama Boys from the Blackstuff

Image caption

He also featured in the BBC drama Good Cop with Warren Brown in 2012

He starred alongside Bernard Hill and Julie Walters in the Bafta-winning 1980s series Boys From The Blackstuff, which highlighted the hardships of unemployment.

Angelis also had roles in Minder, The Liver Birds, Z Cars and Good Cop.

Image caption

Julie Walters and Michael Angelis played a couple struggling with poverty in Boys from the Blackstuff

He was married to Coronation Street actress Helen Worth, who plays Gail Platt, from 1991 to 2001, and later married Jennifer Khalastchi.

Paying tribute to him on social media, comedian Matt Lucas described Angelis as “one of the greatest TV actors I’ve ever seen”.

Lucas said: “His work with (screenwriter) Alan Bleasdale was tremendous. What a loss.”





Source link

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Coronavirus: The self-isolation choir with worldwide members

Published

on

By


We’ve all missed being with friends, families and colleagues over the last few weeks, but the two million people in the UK who belong to choirs have missed the experience of singing together.

This weekend thousands of them will gather online for a singalong of Handel’s Messiah, which lasts hours.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending