The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
A cherry-pick some of the best on offer in the weeks to come
Celebrating Arab Women Filmmakers
April 3-10, BFI Southbank, Barbican, ICA, Hackney Picturehouse
This festival celebrating women filmmakers from the Arab world aims to showcase the diverse range of cinematic voices which are drawing increasing attention on the international film festival circuit. Included in the programe are When I Saw You from Palestine's first female feature director Annemarie Jacir which follows a free-spirited young boy escaping from a refugee camp, Coming Forth By Day, the story of an unmarried woman dutifully caring for her sick father as she tries to escape to a life of her own, and On The Edge, which depicts two young women as they plunge into the underside of Moroccan life. Documentaries from Egypt and Syria also feature.
March 17, The Lowry Salford Quays
This Saint Patrick's night hooley features classic Dubliners songs such as Whiskey in The Jar, Dirty Old Town, Black Velvet Band, Seven Drunken Nights, Finnegan's Wake, Molly Malone and many more. The Legends are some of the original members of the Dubliners who are carrying on that seminal band's legacy by touring with some of their most well-known numbers.
April 3-27 April, Royal Exchange Theatre St Ann's Square
Rory Mullarkey's new play Cannibals - the first by the Manchester playwright - lacks nothing if not ambition. Tackling big themes of love, death and consumerism in the 21st century, its central character Lizaveta (Ony Uhiara, pictured) undertakes a nightmare journey from a war-torn ex-Soviet state to the streets of Manchester. Her quest to start again leads her through mud and blood, past holy fools and icon painters, to things she has never imagined. It's a work typical of this theatre's commitment to nurturing new writing and for that reason alone deserves support.
Labour And Activism
March 10-March 26, Showroom Workstation Paternoster Row
This season of films, presented in association with the University of Sheffield's Centre for Peace History, examines how industrial action has been explored in cinema. Included in the programme are Made In Dagenham (pictured), The Battle For Orgreave and the recently released The Happy Lands, much praised by this paper's reviewer.