Maya Angelou – A Celebration, Southbank Centre – review

Published: Tuesday, October 7, 2014 12:34 PM | Review by: Lloyd Lewis-Hayter |
Maya Angelou Maya Angelou - Rest in Peace

Beginning with an extract from her breakthrough book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by young actress Ella Odedina, news readers Jon Snow and Moira Stewart narrate key points in Dr Maya Angelou's life alongside readings and music celebrating her work and character.

From how she became known as Maya instead of Marguerite, being raped at the age of 8 to her meeting with Malcolm X while living in Ghana and being presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama, we're reminded of her extraordinary strength and wisdom.

While Chiwetel Ejiofor received a warm welcome to the stage and British actresses Jocelyn Jee Esien and Adjoa Andoh held the audience throughout their readings, it was singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson who brought the crowd to their feet with a spellbinding rendition of Angelou's Ain't I A Woman.

With the whole auditorium reciting Still I Rise as we watched footage of Angelou reading the poem, the inspiration she still manages to exude is undeniable and will continue to be celebrated for years to come.

Info: Mayo Angelou – A Celebration was at the Southbank Centre on October 5, 2014 / info

Related links

Dr Maya Angelou - interview

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