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courtesy of Brave New Worlds

This Week June 19-25

19 June 2017 Will Rathbone

The big news this week is the start of the 2017 Greenwich and Docklands International Festival – three weekends of outdoor performance and theatre from international and homegrown companies. Elsewhere Refugee Week has a number of cultural events throughout the city, there’s an immersive show at Ovalhouse, an intimate gig at Rough Trade and free music lessons all weekend courtesy of Yamaha Music. What’s not to like?

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

Without fail, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival provides moments of magic and wonder each year. The majority of events are free, with some of the headline acts ticketed, and it’s an inclusive, family-friendly affair that invites some of the finest international outdoor acts to Greenwich. Promenade performances with African kora accompaniment, a giant, glowing moon sculpture and A View From A Bridge performed at the Docklands are just some of the highlights from the wealth of dance, circus and theatre this festival has to offer.
 
Greenwich and Docklands International Festival takes place throughout Greenwich and Docklands from June 23 – July 8. Most events are free, however some are ticketed.


Image courtesy of Greenwich Docklands International Festival
 
Brave New Worlds – Trinity

On an equally international, but far more surreal, tip comes this immersive ‘design-led performance’ from theatre company Brave New Worlds in conjunction with Ovalhouse. Performed in Peckham’s Grade II-listed Asylum Chapel, Trinity explores female iconography and imagery – from religious artefacts to modern-day selfies – in a dance/high fashion show which is totally out of this world and something akin to Alexander McQueen and Merce Cunningham tripping in a Lynchian nightmare with a neo-gothic noisescape soundtrack.
 
Trinity is at The Asylum, Caroline Gardens Chapel in Peckham, from June 19 – 27. Tickets are £14.


Image courtesy of Brave New Worlds

 
Refugee Week 2017

Refugee Week is a nationwide annual festival celebrating the contribution of refugees to society. London highlights this year include Liverpool-based Iranian rapper Farhood, Palestinian-British rapper Shadia Mansour (the first lady of Arabic hiphop) and Everyday People, a group of emerging refugee musicians, performing at the Southbank Centre as part of M.I.A.’s Meltdown Festival. Elsewhere the BFI, British Museum and V+A all have screenings, workshops, talks and performances. Now, more than ever, is a good time to check out this annual festival and join the celebration.
 
Refugee Week 2017 takes place throughout London, from June 19 - 25. Most events are free!
 
Songhoy Blues – Roughtrade East

The irrepressible Songhoy Blues released their second LP, Résistance, on June 16 through Rough Trade records and will perform a live in-store on June 21 to celebrate the release. The intimate gig is sure to be highly charged, with the Malian band having an electrifying live reputation. Songhoy Blues touch on various genres – Reggae, Blues, Rock and Hiphop – and fuse it with their distinctive style. It’s a genre that’s difficult to pin down but easily their own, and tickets to the gig come with a CD/LP plus there’s a signing afterwards.
 
Songhoy Blues are performing at Roughtrade East on June 21. Tickets from £10.99 with a CD.


Image courtesy of Songhoy Blues
 
Yamaha Learn to Play Day

If live gigs make you yearn to play, then head to Yamaha’s flagship store in Central London this weekend and sign up for a free music lesson. Whether you’ve never touched a guitar in your life, or you just haven’t taken it out from under the bed in years, the Learn to Play Weekend – organised by charity Music for All – aims to kickstart your musical revolution. It’s first-come, first-served and you can sign up to learn Piano, Guitar, Bass, Violin, Trumpet, Drums or the new Yamaha Venova – a starter instrument for reed and woodwind players.
 
Yamaha Learn to Play Day takes place at the Yamaha Music Store from June 24 - 25. Entry is free!
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