“Songlines” at Hoxton Hall.

Winter jacket on in June, a pop by the Oxfam shop at Dalston Junction, then a bus ride into Hoxton, up to the uninteresting shouted about Hoxton Market to the unannounced Hoxton Hall.  The audience was packed into the foyer for what was a truly intergenerational, multi-cultural, multi-media, well-staged,  high standards’ show all about the layers of history on which each community’s generation builds.songlines 1

It was stupendous, first class. The audience made up of all colours and ages was transported to the world of local streets. I was sent back to 1985 when community theatre was there, set in dumps of centres and refurbished theatre halls. The difference is that we moved on and are living and working, playing and dreaming together as one rather than a host and guest society. The charity shops sell shalwar kameezes, neighbours put out bread and chapattis for the birds and we all shop at Tesco. Now instead of observing each other , we share common ground. The same street Hamim walks on was walked on by Martha’s  grandad. Violet’s bedroom is her sanctuary as is Samiya’s.

The show using backdrops, a live string section, recorded voices and correct lighting was tight from start to finish and was the glorious product of adult leaders’ hard work in the community. Funnily enough , the old Hoxton Theatre has giant wall mirrors which reflected the stage action so we in the audience could see things in stereo.

It had to be excellent. “Songlines” was part of the major Spitalfields Summer Music Festival, being watched by the world. There was even a detailed programme handed to each ticket-holder with all the words and each adult, teacher, child and musician, the cast of many,  named. Brilliant.

It should have been in a bigger venue. Refreshments with posh cake was offered afterwards but actually the show was treat enough.

I purposely took the 394 bus,  imagining stepping out into the hipster Broadway Market, before going on to The Centre For Better Health’s “Diaspora” art exhibition opposite Hackney Town Hall but I was saturated with the culture of the day, thank you.

Most memorable line ? “We are four generations; child, parents, grandparents and great grandparents”. Cool eh?

Up Your Street issue 5

Fri  3rd Feb     tokens   Ridley Road Market, Hackney. By visiting stalls
                       and getting tokens when you spend your money you can get a designer shopping bag.
Sat 4th Feb     free 10.30 am near Hackney Wick. Watch cranes take out the lock gates.
                                                                               (credit IanVisits for info)
Mon  Feb 6th    free      2pm Some Up Your Street subscribers off to BFI free Chinese thriller film.
Mon 6th Feb   free  Phone BFI to book.   2pm. See a Chinese thriller. Refreshments too.
Wed Feb   8th £2.50       4pm  Stratford East PictureHouse “Gangs Of New York”
                                                                                                        Tea and biccies too.
                       free        2pm Rio Cinema Hackney “Jane Eyre ” (2011). Tea and cake.                   
Thurs Feb 9th free        1.30-3pm Women’s Tea Club at Ul Noor Islam Trust , Leyton Green.
                       free        6-7.45pm “Homerton Voices ” exhibition launch at Hackney Museum
Fri Feb     10th free       Cooking for the community. Hackney workshop . Details to follow.
                         free       8-11pm Open Mic Night. Hornbeam Centre, Hoe Street E17
Sat  Feb   11th   £1        11.30-2.30pm Crafts at Rokeby Centre E15
                           free     10-5.30pm Launch Of Wood Street’s Market.
                         £1.50     2.30pm St John’s Church E11. Leyton and Leytonstone Society event.
                                           “Victorian Sensations”; media of the time.
Sun   Feb    12th            Hornbeam Centre, Hoe St E17 for a Chocolate event.
                                                                           Many activities throughout Feb.
                            free    7-11pm Hoxton Hall. Colin sings Dylan and Knopfler.
                                                                                      Book through Eventbrite.
                             free entry      11-4pm  Valentine’s House events in Ilford near Gants Hill. Dance,
                                                                                                         performance and crafts.
Tues  Feb 14th:-P   £8.95   7.30pm   Film Festival showing different films until 17th Feb .
                                          Round Chapel , Lower Clapton E5. 

                           Film “Romeo and Juliet” folowed by “Casablanca” and other silvery treasures.

                                                                           Book through We Got Tickets.
Sun Feb 19th      free 4pm Neech and Oli perform at Camden Proud nr Chalk Farm Underground.
Coming To Stratford Theatre (TRSE) Concert Performances of musical songs from “Come Dancing” “The Harder They Fall” etc. Concession prices. Details soon again. Some had details already from me but many emails bounced back. AOl was having a bad air day?
All entries checked at time of uploading.
Gillian Lawrence                
Up Your Street an information-sharing service for seniors listing free events and activities in the 6 London 2012 boroughs.