Sing Your Heart Out
A brand new festival of singing is launching in Merton on Friday. More than a thousand local people of all ages will be making music together; there is a jazz and gospel workshop at 2pm on Sunday that is open to all, and a dinner and cabaret night with the flawless Sonoro choir at the Sacred Heart Church in Wimbledon at 7pm on Saturday.
Merton SingFest promises to be a great addition to the three other festivals of arts and culture taking place in the borough this autumn. What with Wimbledon BookFest now on, last month’s Merton Arts Festival and the Wimbledon International Music Festival in November, lovers of art and culture in Merton have never had it so good. It really must put the borough in with a good chance in its bid to be named London’s Borough of Culture 2019 or 2020.
And it begs the question: with all this amazing musical talent, why doesn’t Merton have it’s own music venue? That’s a question I’ll be coming back to over the coming weeks, as Lady Wimbledon gets behind the campaign for a Wimbledon concert hall.
The Culture Vulture chatted to Soo Bishop, programmes director of Merton Music Foundation, and to Neil Ferris, musical director of both Wimbledon Choral Society and Sonoro (not to mention chorus director of the BBC Symphony Chorus), both of whom have played a huge role in making Merton SingFest a reality. Read my interview here.
BookFest In Full Swing
Wimbledon BookFest is in full swing in the big white tents on Wimbledon Common. Tracy Chevalier, author of The Girl With A Pearl Earring, told the Culture Vulture over tea at Light on the Common: “You’ve got a phenomenal list of authors coming, I don’t know how [BookFest director Fiona Razvi] has done it.” (I’ll be publishing my interview with Tracy next week.)
Keep an eye on the #EyesOfLadyW hashtag on Twitter for news and reviews by the Lady Wimbledon bloggers.
I’d like to put in a special mention for two BookFest events that I’ll be presenting: a chat and workshop with the wonderful children’s author and illustrator Coralie Bickford-Smith on Saturday at 11.45am (tickets £10/£7.50) and what I hope will be a riotous conversation with stand-up comedian Viv Groskop at 5.15pm on Sunday, (tickets £12.50/£7.50). Both are in the William Morris tent.
A Walk With A Difference
For something completely different, why not join in Confluence: The River Speaks, a day’s walk along the River Wandle with participatory sound recording, experience sharing and visual art. The walk leaves from Earlsfield at 10am on Sunday and makes its way to Morden Hall Park. Free, anyone is welcome to take part. For more information or to volunteer, follow @SoundFjord and @LivingWandle on Twitter, or contact email@example.com
Catch it now
Reunion and Dark Pony, two David Mamet short plays being performed by the Merton-based company Baseless Fabric at 7.30pm tonight and tomorrow, October 12 and 13, at Merton Arts Space in Wimbledon library.
Read my interview with Baseless Fabric’s artistic director Joanna Turner and find out why she’s just the woman to organise a moon landing.