Streatham Festival kicks off today with an exciting range of live music, art, photography and literature events.
The festival, which runs until October 17, is also offering a range of local projects. Davina Hyde picks some of the highlights.
An event with 10 local bands performing in 10 venues in 10 hours is set to take music fans a tour round the neighbourhood.
The Streatham Strut will take locals on a musical journey through Streatham on Saturday.
Starting at 1pm in Streatham Hill, it will strut through Streatham Vale and Streatham Common, to finish with the last live gig finale at 10pm.
Bands are performing at hourly intervals, starting with Richard O’Gorman (pictured above), who is performing at Streatham Wine House, in Streatham Hill.
The 6ft 5 ins tall Irishman was christened “tootawl” while in Nashville, Tennessee, playing his brand of bustling contemporary folk.
Tootawl said: “I played my first Streatham Strut two years ago and was really impressed by the community spirit.
I met a great many people who were delighted to have this festival happen in the area.
“I played in Perfect Blend in that year’s Strut, and that gig led to a regular Friday night spot with them until Covid hit.
“This year, I am playing in The Streatham Wine House to kick off the Strut. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there”.
Haniell, a songwriter based in Streatham who performs original material, will be performing at 2pm at Perfect Blend, in the high road.
The soulful melodies and poignant lyrics of Carmen Marie can be heard at 3pm at SW16 Bar & Kitchen, in Streatham High Road, followed by The Renegades, a band of five friends, at 4pm at the Leigham Well.
The next three concerts will be played by WaYa & B’Wani, solo artists who met in Angola seven years ago.
JustVic’s writes, raps, sings and produces and is in ska-laced punk band Hipster Ray.
At 8pm, The Tether’s classic guitar band sounds can be heard at the Railway, followed by The Mayan’s at 9pm at The Mere Scribbler.
The finale, performed by Los Domingos will take place at 10pm at the Rabbit Hole.
Music fans who make it to all 10 gigs, will get a free tour from Sambrooks Brewery, and those who post a pic from each gig with #streathamstrut21, will be in the running for a mystery prize if they stay to the end.
For more information about the Streatham Strut visit streathamfestival.com.
A line-up of authors and publishers will feature at Streatham Festival’s Literature Fest.
Launched last year, as part of the Streatham Festival’s 20th anniversary, the events will take place at Streatham Space Project, Streatham’s purpose-built theatre space, on October 10.
The festival will celebrate Streatham’s historical connections with literature, such as Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Lords Byron and Tennyson and Dr Samuel Johnson, as well as recognise and highlight current local authors and spoken word artists.
There will be a packed programme throughout the day of inspiring talks, readings, discussions with authors and entertainment.
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP said: “The Streatham Festival is one of the highlights of our local calendar, celebrating a diverse range of culture and talent from Streatham and beyond.
I’m really excited to be part of this year’s literature festival and to get the chance to see what our fantastic volunteers have pulled together this year.”
Bell Ribeiro-Addy is interviewing Nicola Williams about her book Without Prejudice.
Victoria Scott, author of Patience, said: “I’m delighted to be appearing at this year’s Streatham Literature Festival. Having live events back after so long is incredibly special, and connecting with readers face-to-face is brilliant. I can’t wait.”
Victoria and Louise Fein are in conversation with Bethan Howe. Patience, is a Love Reading debut of the month. Patience has Rett’s syndrome and is unable to talk.
The Hidden Child, Louise’s second novel, is about a couple who support the 1920s Eugenics movement until their child turns out to be not quite perfect.
CLIP Theatre presents Dick Whittington, a story about Dick wanting to be the fiercest drag queen in the world. Children up to seven years old need to be accompanied by an adult.
On a more serious note, Roger Garside, author of China Coup, gives an insight into the future of China.
Author and journalist, Elizabeth Moore, will talk about publishing pitfalls to avoid, the best ways to get your work in front of an agent, what the market is looking for, and will share what she’s learned on her own journey from blank page to bestseller and Netflix series.
She will also discuss with a panel of novelists their self-publishing experience.
Award-winning comedian Rosie Wilby presents a comedy talk exploring some of the fascinating scientific facts she learned about heartbreak and some of the funniest breakup stories she heard, while writing her new book, The Breakup Monologues.
The Everman Trilogy, a fantasy audio series by comedian Sam Russell is released chapter-by-chapter as a podcast read by actress Catherine Russell.
Sam and Catherine will give an exclusive live reading and discussion about this new way of publishing, writing, podcast publication and production process.
Lesley-Ann Jones and Tony Moore discuss her latest book, Love of my life: the life and loves of Freddie Mercury.
Lesley-Ann contributes regularly to radio and TV.
In addition to other events, such as The Girl with the Louding Voice with Abi Dare, there is a children’s short story writing competition, sponsored by The White House Prep School in Balham, who have provided support materials and a video downloadable from the Streatham Festival website.
There are also a series of free creative writing workshops at Streatham Library.
Each author’s books will be available to buy and to be signed on the day through the festival’s partner, Moon Lane Ink.
For more information about the Literature Fest events being held at Streatham Space Project visit streathamfestival.com.
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