There you go! William Morris Gallery…Aweganic!

the drawing shed presents

typewriter(photo not mine)

1)  STRANGER: NEIGHBOUR is a live art writing project focused around  three days of inspirational, playful writing workshops at William Morris Gallery for an inter-generational and culturally-diverse group of 16 Waltham Forest residents. It is led and supported by writers Jacob Sam-La Rose and Nichola Charalambou,(see “Hanging Words Out To Dry” 7th November 2013) in collaboration with artists Bobby Lloyd and Sally Labern from the drawing shed. Participants are invited to write their own story, poem or idea; work individually and in a group; use pen and paper, Twitter and old fashioned typewriters(!) stationed in a Typing Pool at Winns Gallery; and explore the extraordinary spaces of William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, and beyond in E17. No previous writing experience is necessary.£25.

Course schedule
Friday 8th: 10am – 5pm
A day of workshops and writing time led by tutors Jacob Sam-La Rose and Nichola Charalambou.

mary(photo not mine)

Saturday 9th: 10am – 9pm

A day of workshops, writing time, and optional Twitter Performance, with dinner and tutor readings in the evening.
*Please Note: Dinner and evening readings from 6pm to 9pm will take place at The Mill, 7-11 Coppermill Lane, Walthamstow, London E17 7H.

Sunday 10th: 10am – 5pm

A day of workshops and writing time, readings, and a conversation about ‘The Writer’s Life’ and any support you might need to continue to develop your writing in future.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided each day.


2)At Winns Gallery, the drawing shed is also exhibiting “Stranger: Neighbour & The Lost Print” from Tuesday November 5th – Friday November 15th, 10.00am-3.00pm daily.

3)On Saturday afternoon, November 9th, the drawing shed will be leading a  Twitter Performance with Jacob Sam-La Rose, which will be open to workshop participants and anyone else interested! Exact details to be shared via social media.#strangerneighbour

Stories of Migration….again

Up at Leytonstone Library E11 about twenty-three adults and a couple of kiddies waited patiently for the other seven or more audience members to roll in late so we could enjoy some plays. The MC aka playwright/director Paula David told us the four sketches represented the stories told to her by Caribbean people who were immigrants back in the day i.e 1950s to 1980s.

The venue is cosy, shabby and informal. The set on the stage was similar. There was no colour or brightness as the background to miserable personal real accounts acted out by stationary actors including Trevor David and Anthony Chisholm punctuated by the in and outs of an actress playing the part of a newscaster over the decades. The scripts attempted to heighten our senses of what Caribbean immigrants felt during Windrush times and later . When I say senses I mean the colours, the sounds, the smells. I got grey, bathroom damp, and green army uniforms smelling of the earth.

Story-telling on stage is what I visited today. No magic appeared.

Oh yawn. Haven’t we done all this? In the eighties? In the late seventies? Haven’t we the older generation, 50 plus in years, heard all the stories yet? Lenny Henry’s done his stories of first generation Caribbeans to death and now reclines richly on Premier beds.The local youth may have been expected but were absent today. They may have liked the stories but would have wanted action. “Stories of Migration” will likely go into schools. .

This is theatre rather than research and literature so I expected to be drawn in. I was. I expected to be entertained. I wasn’t. I expected surprises. None. I expected theatre. Nope.

The acting was what it was. The actors were mostly alone on the stage with their monologues. They mulled over scripted accounts which were personal histories and many of the audience members will have heard the same kind of stories from their grans and in a couple of cases experienced being in the fifties and head butting with “the grey Better life”. The best line was from the Grenadian who joined the British police force and recognised when he said, as he slid through a career trailing  in the odious remains of a colonial beast staffed by rude irritated white commanders,  “Racism became easier ” (to deal with).

What grants can do eh?

In the audience was Baden Prince Junior. Twas a pleasure to meet again the poet and teacher whose phrase “Don’t be clever, Trevor” is the best way to stop his workshop students of any age over-rhyming.

Don’t be clever, Trevor.

The event today was one out of the many thrown into the mix of “Words Over Waltham Forest”.

I did recommend that anyone wanting to participate in Peter Ashan’s forthcoming Heritage Project centred around immigration stories from  African-Caribbean and Asian Waltham Forest residents 1940-1990 get along to “Stories of Migration. That forthcoming project will be coming to an Asian centre near you! Funding presumed.

Thank you Waltham Forest Libraries for giving the public the opportunity to see free theatre. I’m certain I’m the only one who tells the libraries in advance if I’m not coming as is requested on the Eventbrite booking form. All the empty seats today eh? Fool me.

Three Mills in Stratford is doing a workshop day in October for £39 instead of £120 all about the creative process in film. Hmm.

And there’s more…On Thursday 10th October 6.30pm at Tower Hamlets Archives, 227 Bancroft Rd E1 (205 bus) almost opposite the estate where Billy Ocean grew up (yeah!) there’s an introduction to “Where I Belong” the local oral history project capturing (!) Asian and Black women’s herstories (!) of residency in Tower Hamlets. Free. Open to all.

Literature events in Waltham Forest

Book at Eventbrite. All free.

Sat 5th Oct      free  4.30-6pm Leytonstone Library E11. Play “Stories of Migration”


Mon 28th Oct free 7-9pm North Chingford Library E4 . An audience with Martina Cole.

Sat 2nd Nov   free 2-3pm A concert by 50 performers and more at The Great Hall . Old Town Hall Leyton E10

                           free     7-9pm Walthamstow Library E17. Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson . Poems and live music.

Thurs 7th Nov  free   10-noon Launderette reminiscence workshop. Beulah Road E17  Deep Clean Launderette. Book at

free      4-6pm Wood Street Library Communal Epic Poem get-together and write.

Sun 17th Nov.  free 3-6pm Urdu and Punjabi poetry session. Great Hall Old Town Hall E10