By Mamie Colfox
A different kind of Kamala with some British currents
IT’S BEEN quite the roll out for the latest superhero series – ‘Ms Marvel’.
Dropping today (June 8) in instalments as a six-part series on Disney streaming channel, Disney+, ‘Ms Marvel’ is centred around a Muslim American teenager growing up in Jersey City in the US and who realises she has superpowers when she encounters something from the past.
Last night (June 7), Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, was at a special big screen showing at Rich Mix in East London with a number of celebrities, community groups and personalities, such as Nikkita Chadha, who appears as a Bollywood star in Marvel Studios’ film, ‘Eternals’ (2021), all present.
Ms Marvel herself, Kamala Khan, played by Iman Vellani was in London last month promoting the show. There is a strong British element – the series creator and lead writer is Bisha K Ali, a stand-up who also used to write for BBC Radio 4 and was a writer on Mindy Kaling’s ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’. Actor Rish Shah plays a Brit who arrives in Kamala’s school in Jersey and a friendship forms…
With a strong South Asian cast and a story that really takes off towards the end of episode of one, this is a new series with a lot of heart, energy and humour. www.asianculturevulture.com has seen episode two, when it really comes alive. Vellani is hugely likeable in the role and we’d be surprised if her superfan character doesn’t become one of the better-known in the Marvel Universe. Promising. (Sailesh Ram)
Picture of Nikkita Chadha at The Rich Mix screening yesterday – picture by Kate Green
Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK
‘Ms Marvel’ – Disney + from today (June 8)
Conducting exchange this summer…
MUSIC maestro AR Rahman has been named the Ambassador of the India-UK Season of Culture, it was revealed yesterday (June 7) as both countries gear up towards marking 75 years this summer.
The move, says the British Council – which promotes British culture abroad – will help to further strengthen ties between artistic communities in both countries.
Rahman said: “Today, creative expression and exchange can nurture young talent and create a global stage for fair and equitable access to arts.”
Some 1,400 artists are expected to participate in this ‘Season of Culture’ which will involve theatre, dance, visual arts, literature and more.
India gained its independence from Britain 75 years ago and both countries are seeking to recognise this momentous event.
Ghazals and other forms of South Asian music echo beyond London in festival
TRANSCENDENCE is the name of a mostly South Asian classical music centred-festival created to reach more isolated communities.
Originally part of the National Touring Network, culture organisation Sama Arts has taken it on and a new programme of events began last night (June 7) at the Norwich Arts Centre with Indian classical Kyal vocals.
One of Sama Arts’ specialities is mixing South Asian classical music and poetry. Classical singer Mehtab Malhotra is in Basingstoke, Hampshire with a programme of Ghazals and Nazms – both are forms of Urdu adapted for classical vocals.
Festival director Jay Visvadeva said: “Would you believe that people enjoy these events far more in the provinces than in London, because they miss out, they don’t get such programmes.”
A large part of the festival takes place in Norwich, but there are also events taking place in Canterbury, Southampton, and Cambridge and there is showpiece concert at the Southbank Centre in London with Abi Sampa leading what is called, Orchestral Qawwali on June 25 (We will be previewing).
‘Mehtab Malhotra-Ghazals & Nazms’, 8.15pm, Saturday (June 11), Anvil Arts, Churchill Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7QR
More info: https://transcendence.events/#current-tour
Hindustani Ed Sheeran mix
SINGER-SONGWRITER Armaan Malik has collaborated with western pop superstar Ed Sheeran for a new version of his single, ‘2Step’, which was released yesterday (June 7).
Malik announced the song’s release on Twitter, “one of my biggest and most personal songs to date – 2step remix with @teddsyphotos OUT NOW!”, accompanied with a video and clip of the song.
This is Malik’s second international collaboration after he joined forces with singer Eric Nam and DJ KSHMR and is his third English song after ‘Control’, and ‘You’. Malik adds Hindi lyrics to Sheeran’s ‘2 step’.
Sheeran has released two other remixes of ‘2Step’, with American rapper Lil Baby and Ukrainian pop-rock band Antytila.
The official Malik video – https://youtu.be/Nr7fRBldXUU
After success of Small Axe and BBC docs, Master filmmaker tackles war-time Britain
OSCAR-WINNING filmmaker Steve McQueen has signed a deal with Apple for his new film ‘Blitz’, which tells the story of Londoners during the Blitz in World War II.
McQueen will write, direct and produce the series with filming beginning later this year. Amongst other production companies, New Regency will be working alongside McQueen after their successful partnership on Oscar-winning film ‘12 Years A Slave’, and ‘Widows’.
This is McQueen’s first feature film since his BBC anthology series Small Axe in 2020, which shed light the black community in London between 1969 and 1982 and won five BAFTAs. (www.asianculturevulture.com stories of Small Axe).
Since then he has co-directed and produced three documentaries for BBC and Amazon: ‘Black Bower: A British Story of Resistance’, ‘Subnormal: A British Scandal’ and ‘Uprising’, which won a BAFTA TV Award.