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|GIGS IN LONDON, GIGS IN PARIS + THE WILLESDEN GREEN WASSAIL!
6 December 2012: Brooke Sharkey's Pegs & Pans
This Thursday myself and James Riley will - with your help - recreate the atmosphere of the OneTaste campfire where we met at this year's Secret Garden Party. But this time with mince pies. And George Frakes.
£3, BYOB (£5 corkage)
20:00-23:00 Vintage Emporium, 14 Bacon Street, London E1 6LF
17 December 2012: Spoken Word in Paris
Poet David Byrne's popular night of poetry in the heart of Paris awaits your ears. I'm the guest artist, but there's a ton of space on the open mic for songs, stories and poems. Come from 8pm to sign up for that.
21:00-00:00, Au Chat Noir, Paris, FRANCE, 75011, Métro: Parmentier/Couronnes
18 December 2012: Storytelling at Shakespeare and Company
This world famous ramshackle bookstore by the Seine has been host to the recitals and pronouncements of many renowned wordsmiths from Ezra Pound to James Joyce. Come for an hour poetry and tales with me between the shelves and stacks.
19:00-20:00, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, Paris, FRANCE, 75005
16 January 2012: I'm Hans Christian Andersen
A bittersweet journey that reveals the brittle truths beneath Andersen's dark fairytales, and our own obsessions with Happily Ever After via the love stories we read, those we tell, and the ones we never finish, as part of First: a Season of Solo Performances.
"Down to earth, utterly captivating...what she has to say is like nothing I've ever seen before" Litro ★★★★ The Times ★★★★ The Independent
£9.50 / £8.50
20:30-21:45 Tristan Bates Theatre, 1a Tower Street, WC2H 9NP. 020 7240 6283
20 January 2012: Willesden Green Wassail!
Come! Walk down the street with an unnatural level of joy! Hailed by the Lonely Planet's blog as one of the UK's most inspirational winter events, top choice of Time Out two years running and featured last year on BBC Radio 3, the WGW is a unique event for all ages. Poets, storytellers, rappers and singers join the crowd to celebrate independent shopkeepers by re-appropriating an ancient winter custom for the city streets, all rounded off with steaming spiced apple juice.
Meet 14:00 at Willesden Green Tube Station
|A SNIPPET FROM MY EFDSS CREATIVE RESIDENCY
Working with Leo Kay of Unfinished Business, and with the EFDSS, I am developing the initial stages of new written / performed work and related projects that will explore what happens when refugees arrive in the UK with folk customs and heritage that seem to have no place in the urban jungle. My own great-grandparents were refugees, so I'm reflecting too on what it is to have such traditions passed down through generations. Here's a little snippet from recent investigations and writings...
...We sit in the British Library and talk about the Zaghawa village he grew up in, where the shepherds moved the flocks in Autumn Winter Spring to find the greenest shoots.
All around us, tomes and texts - heritage held safe by anthropologists - lie unopened whilst he opens up his mouth to me and tells me how in a wedding procession, the couple's families do a battle of words and wit over which family is best.
How, to make a sick person better, you slaughter a sheep and wrap the skin tight around them (and actually he says, as a doctor, this sweating makes total sense).
How, just like my great-grandparents, his tribe put red thread round children's wrists to protect them from the evil eye.
How every adult is responsible for every child.
How folk stories about lions are told because there are actual lions.
How time is measured by the story of what happened when, so that recounting history becomes a collaborative group tale instead of a list of numbers - "you were born just after the big fire, just before your Aunty Halima died, just around the time that your cousin returned". Even now, in her great age, Mother can remember right back to the beginning this way.
How the mosque was for prayer and ceremony, but you always have the party outside.
Just don't ask me to tell you my story, he says. I will tell you about the people. Don't ask me to write down how I got here...