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Life Winter 2016

Our cultural borough We’re all about the arts

Christmas events Festive fun for everyone

Southwark on film Hollywood on your doorstep

Your magazine from Southwark Council

Winter 2016

Contents 4

All the news What you need


Southwark takes centre stage Regeneration bringing

to know in Southwark

the arts to Southwark

12 No business like snow-

business All the Christmas fun on stage around the borough

14 How the arts changes lives Former Eastenders star tells us about her time at Mountview Academy

17 Cool arts Southwark’s

contemporary galleries attracting art fans from around the globe

20 A Southwark Christmas How we celebrated Christmas in the past

22 Hollywood comes to

Southwark See the stars in your own neighbourhood

24 What’s happening Events from around the borough

26 To market, to market

Do your Christmas shopping at one of Southwark’s Christmas fairs

28 London Bubble Exploring the issues of today in a unique way

30 Art on the street Where to see street art around Southwark

welcome... You may not realise it, but wherever you live in Southwark, the arts are never far from your door. From internationally renowned institutions like the Globe Theatre, Dulwich Picture House or Tate Modern, to the vibrant burgeoning arts scenes in Peckham and Bermondsey, Southwark offers rich pickings, with something for everyone. This edition of Southwark Life shows the diversity of our cultural offer and will, I hope, encourage all our residents to seek out some of the hugely exciting things happening locally in our galleries and theatres, our streets and our libraries, many of which are free to enjoy. We look back at the cultural pastimes of previous generations and highlight plans to bring even more of the arts to Southwark. This is also our Christmas edition, and so there’s a wealth of festive information about Christmas markets, recycling and keeping warm and safe in cold weather. Whatever your plans for the festive season, I wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.

Peter John Leader of Southwark Council

Contact us

The Southwark Life team

Do you have something to say about Southwark Life? Write to: Your letters, Southwark Life, Fourth Floor North, Southwark Council, 160 Tooley Street London, SE1 2QH or email

Editor Louise Neilan Assistant editors Catherine Simonds, Meredith Tucker-Evans Contributors Patricia Dark, Laura Fitzsimmons, Kim Hooper, Roushanara Islam, Florence Igbokwe, Miriam McGrath, Daniel Thomas, Kate Walwyn-Jones Photography Graham Maxwell, Simon Rawles, Thinkstock, Sam Nightingale, James Capper: Prototypes, Installation shot by Damian Griffiths Design Whatever Design Ltd Print brokered by Swiss Post Printed on 100% recycled paper Distribution London Letterbox

Our cover image is taken from Will Tuckett’s Nutcracker – see page 13 for details. All information correct at time of going to press.


Keep in touch Southwark Life is a quarterly magazine and the next issue is due out in spring 2017. You can contact the magazine at southwark. but for more regular updates on council news and events, follow us on social media at @lb_southwark


Winter 2016

Need to know... It’s Christmas! Alongside all the jolly good fun, find out how to cope with overspending, parking, sniffles and all that wrapping paper. Enjoy the festivities in Southwark this year. For news and events follow us on Facebook and Twitter or find out more at

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Winter Book Challenge With the nights drawing in there’s no better time to curl up with a book and lose yourself in a story. From Monday 2 January to Saturday 18 March 2017, children and young people are encouraged to take part in the Winter Book Challenge – the theme this year will be winter tales. Children aged four and under, or aged five to 11 read ten books and 12 to 17 year olds read five books, with a chance to win stickers, free books and Amazon vouchers. Visit for more information and to join any Southwark library.

Remember you can recycle your Christmas trees in your brown bins as well as at a recycling centre Visit for more information

Bins and recycling date changes Free Christmas parking To support local businesses in the run up to Christmas and the New Year, additional free parking is available with Pay and Display charges waived Saturday 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 December. Permit controls will still apply for Peckham, London Bridge and Bankside.

It will change to:

Monday 26 Dec

Tuesday 27 Dec

Tuesday 27 Dec

Wednesday 28 Dec

Wednesday 28 Dec

Thursday 29 Dec

Thursday 29 Dec

Friday 30 Dec

Friday 30 Dec

Saturday 31 Dec

Collections return to normal on Monday 2 January 2017

Carolling at Christmas The brand new home of Crossways Church at Elephant and Castle will officially open this Christmas with a special midnight carol service Saturday 24 December (service starts at 11.30pm). There will also be a Christmas Day service on Sunday 25 December from 10.30am. The church, which used to be based on the former Heygate Estate, has been given a new building at the heart of the Elephant and Castle community, at Wollaston Close (SE1) as part of the regeneration of the area. For more information please visit

When you become unwell unexpectedly it can be confusing knowing where to go for help. Whether you’ve sprained your ankle, have a baby with a high temperature or a range of other problems, the app Health Help Now can guide you to the local service that will help you best.

Avoid getting into debt this Christmas

Download from the app store or Google Play or use it online at

If your normal collection day is:

When winter bugs strike get Health Help Now

Developed by GPs, hospital doctors, paramedics and other health professionals, the app is free and easy to use. It helps users by breaking down symptoms by age group – baby, child, teenager, adult and older adult. Advice on a broad range of problems is also available, such as where to buy children’s medication when pharmacies are closed, and links to other useful websites.


There may be some changes to your recycling and refuse collection days over the Christmas period.

Start the New Year with a new career If you’re on a low income, work at least 14 hours per week and want to take home more money, the Southwark Step-Up Employment Academy can help. They offer help with CV writing, matching skills with jobs, provide one-to-one coaching to help maximise job chances and job text alerts. The service is free – for more information visit

Salt giveaway With temperatures dropping and the winter chills setting in, the council is helping residents get prepared for winter challenges. Southwark Council is offering residents free 5kg bag of salt to keep their own pathways and footpaths safe. Residents are welcome to collect a bag for those unable to salt their own pavement to reduce the risk of ice. The giveaway will take place on Saturday 3 December and 10 December. Visit winterweather to find out times and locations.

Christmas is a time to be enjoyed but for some can lead to debt. Following a few simple steps can help ensure you have a debt-free Christmas. • Plan early • Budget • Pay your regular bills first • Keep things simple If you are struggling with debt, many organisations offer free advice and budgeting tools to help you maximise your money. Visit for tools and budgeting advice.


Winter 2016

Rough sleepers People sleeping on the streets in cold weather can be really vulnerable. Worried about a rough sleeper near you? Call the St Mungo’s Street Population Outreach Team (SPOT) on 020 7902 7941 or 24 hours a day. Please let the team know the exact location and the time you saw the person.

Squirrel away with Smart Savers

Greg’s cooking up a new career in the kitchen Having started out working in building construction, Greg is now constructing meals in the kitchen after completing an apprenticeship with Brigade Bar and Bistro. Greg is just one of many people across the borough choosing to start or change career by taking up an apprenticeship. Greg said: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity. I’d encourage anyone to do it if you need to retrain – it can never hurt to gain new qualifications.”

Southwark Smart Savers teaches young people the importance of responsible money management – giving them the tools to manage money well in adulthood. If your child lives in Southwark and is a year six pupil, they would already have received a free £20 voucher in the post to deposit into a new or existing London Mutual Credit Union Saver Account to help kick start their saving journey. Simply take your ID, voucher letter, proof of address and child’s birth certificate or passport to any London Mutual Credit branch and they can do it on the spot. Find out more at

Apprenticeships are open to people of all ages and many Southwark businesses are signed up to the scheme. Visit

Final call for primary school admissions Is your child starting primary school in September 2017? If you’ve not already done so, you need to apply for a school place by 15 January 2017. Applications for a school place must be made online – it’s quick and easy to do. Visit for more information on how to apply.

Southwark LGBT youth support group METRO is an equalities and diversity charity that provides health, community and youth services across London and the South East. In Southwark they run Spark, a weekly youth group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people aged 16 to 25. Spark provides a safe space for young people to meet, be themselves, get support and take part in workshops and activities. To get involved and for more information, visit



Winter 2016

Southwark takes centre stage Culture, theatre, arts and entertainment venues are springing up all over Southwark

The Bridge Theatre


hether you like a good drama, singing along with your favourite musical or the poetry and romance of Shakespeare – London has long been known as the place to see the best that theatre has to offer. When people think of theatres in London they tend to think of those in and around the West End, which saw almost 2.5 million visitors last year. But over the last decade the venues south of the river have been helping south London reclaim its reputation as being the place to go for entertainment and culture. Southwark itself is the home of the Globe Theatre, built on the site of Shakespeare’s original theatre and welcoming audiences and performers from across the world. Just a few steps away is the Tate Modern, with its new extension, offering exciting and challenging new works from worldrenowned artists like Georgia O’Keefe, whilst in Borough the Menier Chocolate

Photo courtesy of the Globe Theatre, Southwark

Factory theatre continues to host headlineproducing off-West End shows like Funny Girl with Sheridan Smith and currently a sold out run of Tom Stoppard’s Travesties starring Freddie Fox and Tom Hollander. Also on the borough’s doorstep at Waterloo is the Old Vic, whose five star productions are attracting some of the most famous faces in showbusiness, and who the council has already teamed up with on a project called Stage Business to give new opportunities to young people in the borough for them to gain an exclusive insight into the exciting world of arts and culture. Now Southwark is looking to build on this growing reputation by using regeneration schemes across the borough to build more than just new homes. This means new culture spaces for theatre, art, music and cinema are springing up, and already attracting some of the biggest names in theatre.

Two of the most influential names in theatre have joined forces to found their own theatre company – and they are bringing it to Southwark. Last summer plans were announced for a new 900seat theatre in the heart of the new development at One Tower Bridge, which will be the flagship venue for the London Theatre Company, the new independent producing company founded by Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, following their departure from the National Theatre after 12 years. Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr said: “It feels like the time is right for a new theatre that answers the needs of contemporary theatre-makers and audiences. We are thrilled to make this partnership with Berkeley Homes and Southwark, and couldn’t be more optimistic for the future.”

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts With Oscar-winning Dame Judi Dench as its patron and plenty of famous names among its former students, the prestigious Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts has an impressive pedigree. In October Southwark’s planning committee approved Mountview’s plans to build a brand new school building and theatres in Peckham as part of the regeneration of the area. Mountview will stage around 20 plays and musicals in its two new theatres each year, ranging from Shakespeare to new writing to classic musicals, and local residents will benefit from reduced price and free tickets, plus a range of classes and outreach programmes – and bursaries for local young people. Stephen Jameson, Artistic Director and Principal of Mountview, said: “Peckham will be the perfect home for Mountview. This central location will mean visitors have easy access to take part in a class, visit our café bar for a drink and something to eat and to come and see Mountview students in one of their final productions.”



Winter 2016

Spanish Theatre Company

Theatre Delicatessen

As part of the regeneration of Elephant and Castle, and in recognition of the area’s lively Latin American community, Southwark Council has been working with the Spanish Theatre Company (STC) to find them a permanent home in the area.

Theatre Delicatessen, is working with Southwark Council to transform the Old Library in Burgess Park into an arts and culture hub.

The new 90-seat studio Cervantes Theatre will open its doors in November 2016 in the iconic Union Yard development, and is London’s first venue dedicated to showcasing Spanish and Latin American plays, performed in both Spanish and English.

Southwark Playhouse The Southwark Playhouse is performing in a temporary venue at Elephant and Castle but has now been offered the opportunity to take on not one but two venues – a 300-seat, purpose built venue at Elephant and Castle and the other back under the inspiring arches of London Bridge. Chris Smyrnios, Artistic Director and CEO, said: “Southwark has a very varied, vibrant and vocal community who care about what goes on and why. It’s a privilege to be part of that with Southwark Playhouse.” The theatre works with schools in the borough and has three community theatre companies, all of which meet regularly and devise and present projects throughout the year. The next big project is an annual Shakespeare for Schools production of The Tempest, which will offer 1,500 tickets and workshops to local schools completely free of charge.

Their programme, ‘Performers in the Park’, will open up opportunities for people from across the local community to develop their skills and talent in music, comedy and theatre through a series of after-school and evening activities. Roland Smith, Co-Artistic Director of Theatre Delicatessen, said: “This project creates the opportunity for people from across Camberwell, the Elephant and Castle and the Aylesbury Estate to get involved in developing their skills and creating performances. Our aim is that this pilot programme will provide a foundation for building really exciting collaborations in the future.”

Theatre Peckham Now famous as the original stomping ground of Star Wars actor John Boyega and playwright Anya Reiss, Theatre Peckham has been encouraging children and young people from Southwark to learn and train in many theatre disciplines after school and at the weekend. This December the theatre will open a new centre with a 200 seat theatre, two studio spaces and offices, all dedicated to performance and training. The overall £2.5m development cost is being met by Southwark Council. A small scale capital grant from the Arts Council England is supporting the fit out of the spaces within the theatre. Teresa Early, Artistic Director and Founder of Theatre Peckham, said: “Southwark has always been a great place for artists and cultural development and increasingly other parts of the borough are producing their own arts scene, and in Peckham we’re proud to be part of it. Particularly for young local people and our diverse communities Theatre Peckham gives us culturally an exciting and special place to work.”



Winter 2016

Christmas magic Boundless sweet treats, feline friends and a spellbinding world of magic and mystery are some of the things you can expect to see at the wonderful Christmas productions taking place across the borough this festive season

Baddies the Musical

Unicorn Theatre Tuesday 15 November to Saturday 31 December What happens when five notorious villains from wellknown fairy tales – the Big Bad Wolf, Rumpelstiltskin, the Ugly Sisters and Captain Hook – are under threat of being thrown out of their own tales by the Council of Bedtime Stories who want to rebrand them? Under the Council’s critical eye, the Baddies are at risk of being transformed into bland, sugar-coated ‘Goodies’. Baddies the Musical returns for Christmas with new staging and choreography, following last year’s hugely successful sold-out run. Artistic Director Purni Morell directs this deliciously artful and mischievously comic musical about fairytales much feared anti-heroes. For more information visit

A Christmas Carol

Box Clever Theatre at Canada Water Culture Space Tuesday 6 December to Saturday 17 December With live musicians, Christmas carols and even the Macarena, be prepared to join in with this lively and modern adaptation of Dickens’ epic festive ghost story of Christmas past, present and future. Join Scrooge this December as he embarks on an all singing, all dancing journey and watch as laughter and goodness replace the ice in his heart. For more information visit cwcchristmascarol or call 020 8692 4446


Kiki’s Delivery Service Southwark Playhouse Thursday 8 December to Sunday 8 January

Kiki is a 13 year old witch and, as tradition dictates, it is time for her to leave home and family to make a new life for herself. Equipped with her ability to fly and accompanied by Jiji, her faithful feline companion, she sets out to find a place where she can use her powers for the greater good and that one day she might call home. A magical tale of growing up and finding acceptance, Kiki’s Delivery Service is a story for everyone aged 7 and up and has been adapted from the bestselling and award-winning book by Japanese author Eiko Kadono.

Mountview Christmas Concert St George’s Roman Catholic Cathedral Friday 9 December Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, one of the UK’s top drama schools, is moving to a new home in Peckham in 2018. This Christmas you have the chance to see their students perform in Southwark. Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts’ actors, actor musicians and musical theatre students will be holding their Christmas Concert in the majestic St George’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, opposite the Imperial War Museum. Performances are at 4pm and 7.30pm and feature a range of festive readings and music. For more information and to book tickets visit

Will Tuckett’s Nutcracker

The Printworks London Wednesday 30 November to Sunday 8 January This winter, the worlds of classical ballet and immersive theatre will fuse for the first time, as Will Tuckett’s Nutcracker receives its world premiere at The Printworks London, Canada Water. The production will invite audience members to explore Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic in a 360-degree immersive environment. The production will unite the best of classical ballet choreography with new immersive theatre techniques, allowing the audience to interact directly with the story and the characters by offering an alternative to traditional Christmas entertainment. For more information visit

Visit or call 020 7407 0234


Winter 2016

“Access to the arts changes lives”

Lindsey Coulson is familiar to many of us as the feisty but warmhearted Carol Jackson in Eastenders. She started her career as a hairdresser before studying acting at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, which has recently announced plans to move to Peckham. Since then her career has gone from strength to strength, with screen, stage and radio performances, and most recently a leading role in the ITV detective drama The Level. In this exclusive interview, Lindsey talks to Southwark Life about acting, the arts and, of course, Christmas Your acting journey started at the Mountview Theatre School which is moving to Southwark. How did your time there shape your career and equip you for life as an actor? Mountview changed the whole course of my life. It gave me an incredible opportunity to challenge and explore who I was in a safe environment which is vital when starting out as an actor. The training I received was invaluable and laid the foundation for all of my work in the theatre, TV and film and I made life long friends! As a former student of the school what do you think about the move to Peckham, and the opportunities it will bring for local people? I think it will be a fantastic opportunity for Peckham. It will create an exciting and creative hub in the heart of an already vibrant and diverse community. Bringing new people into the area will impact on all the local businesses. Having access to the arts changes lives. Londoners have the world’s best theatres, museums and venues on their doorsteps, but not everyone feels the arts are for them. How can we all help to make the arts more accessible for everyone? We have to make sure that the arts do not disappear from our education system. We need governments to understand how the arts matter and how vital it is to explore and challenge ourselves through drama and to be able to do it in safe environments which ultimately impacts on all of our communities. We also have to make sure that a lot more


of our theatre is affordable which means more government subsidies to help theatre companies manage this. You are best known, of course, for your role in Eastenders, but you’ve had a very varied career. What has been your favourite role and why? My latest role as DCI Newman in “The Level” for ITV was particularly enjoyable, however I have been very lucky to have played a variety of characters. I embrace the challenge of creating somebody new. It would be difficult to single out one particular character or role because they all bring their different challenges and rewards, but there will always be a special place for ‘Carol Jackson’ because I have played her on and off over a long period of time. Some of your storylines in Eastenders have tackled sensitive issues, like breast cancer. Do you think the arts have the power to challenge and change the way we think about important issues? The arts definitely have the power to challenge and change the way people think. I have seen it first hand in my role as Patron and Ambassador at Haringeyshed and Chickenshed theatre companies. I have seen young people’s lives changed through the power of performance. Another great example is the brilliant and inspiring film maker Ken Loach’s work which tackles difficult and important social issues through his films. He shines a much needed light on society and opens up the debate to a wider audience especially with his latest film “I Daniel Blake”. One of his first films “Cathy

Come Home” highlighted the plight of a homeless couple which shocked the nation and actually had a hand in changing the laws on how homeless people were treated. Story telling is so important and powerful, it’s how we make sense of our lives and the world. Do you have any words of advice for budding young actors? Always be prepared, keep fit, see as much theatre as possible. When a metaphorical door opens you must be ready to step through it. Challenge yourself constantly, always be curious. Ask lots of questions, watch and learn. Listen. Be on time ALWAYS and know your lines inside out. Remember people’s names and try to see their work. Always look for the truth. The hardest time is when you are not working and that will be a lot of the time – it’s part and parcel of being an actor. Learn another skill that you can do when you are not working, it’s easy to lose your self esteem, that is why keeping fit helps you change the way you feel. Rejection is hard but it’s something you have to learn to live with, try not to take it personally! I have never lost the passion and it’s so important that you have the passion as it will sustain you through the difficult times. Believe in yourself. And finally, what are your plans for Christmas and the festive season? I love spending time with my family and friends at Christmas but I detest how more and more commercial it has become and it seems to start earlier and earlier each year. I try to keep it as simple as possible and not get caught up in all the greed and gluttony.


Winter 2016

Southwark’s coolest contemporary galleries




Southwark attracts art fans from around the world to its major attractions and galleries, many of which exhibit work from artists of international significance


s as well as the established centres like Tate Modern, White Cube, South London Gallery and Dulwich Picture Gallery, hundreds of smaller galleries and up-andcoming artists have made their home in what’s fast becoming a centre for contemporary art. Here’s three to see now:



is a ridiculously cool arts and live music venue, studio space, gallery and café. Set up by Sammy in 2006, Underdog moved from Old Kent Road to underneath the railway arches in Bermondsey in 2011. Originally a highend gallery, Underdog expanded to offer space for street and urban art, film screenings for amateur producers, plus a space for some eclectic gigs. It recently took part in London Fashion Week, with Vivienne Westwood’s team camping out in the appropriately punk-styled venue. When asked how he would encourage other start-up arts businesses, Sammy advises: “Go with what you believe in and what you like yourself. If it doesn’t work out, stick with it.”

UNDERDOG SEEN15 Seen Fifteen, based in the

Bussey Building, Peckham, is the brainchild of East Dulwich resident Vivienne Gamble who gave up a successful career in marketing to pursue her dreams of running a gallery. Established in 2015, Seen Fifteen is dedicated to contemporary photography, video and installation art, and has exhibited a range of emerging artists exploring issues like migration, race and power. Their next exhibition, Maya Rochat’s ‘Give Me Space’, challenges traditional notions of photography by playing with invented chemical processes, surprise layers and daring installations which refuse to conform to the confines of the gallery wall. It runs from 1 December 2016 until 22 January 2017. Unit B1.1, Bussey Building, Peckham

CGP GALLERY began in

1984 in its current location in Southwark Park, after the Bermondsey Artists Group – a group of artists and neighbours who met locally over drinks in the Mayflower pub – decided to make their ideal space a reality. Bermondsey at the time was dominated by empty docks after the decline in the shipping industry, but provided an affordable place to live for young artists. The group took over a derelict café in an old lido in the park as space to show their work and the rest is history. The gallery is an open book of every discipline from fine art painting to video installation, commissioning ambitious international projects as well

as its annual open show, now in its 32nd year. Its founder members have gone on to forge successful careers, and 10% of admissions to the Royal Academy are still Bermondsey Arts Group members. With the likes of Richard Wilson, Grayson Perry and Marcus Coates gracing the space, the gallery goes from strength to strength. But CGP gallery stays true to its roots and ethos, as Judith, Director of CGP Gallery, explains, “Right from its very first exhibition, the gallery was set up in order to give local artists a place to show their work. ‘Art for all’ is still our underlying strap line. We will always want to see artwork from both well known and emerging artists together, side by side.”




Winter 2016

A Southwark Christmas

Astoria interiors

a box full of food and toys. When Mrs Dare asked who the gift was from, the four would-be elves simply replied “Santa Claus”. Christmas was also time for a trip to the panto at the Elephant and Castle Theatre. Pantomime is a quintessentially British institution, a child-friendly theatre form full of word-play and audience participation; by the last third of the 19th century, it had developed into the format we know today. Camberwell Odeon, premier of London Borough

Essoldo cinema c.1964

Christmas has always been a special time of year. Here we look at how it was celebrated and where local people went for entertainment in years gone by


emoirs in the Southwark Local History Library and Archive (SLHLA)’s collection, like Wally Horwood’s A Walworth Boy, make it clear that this season was a special time even in many of the poorest households. Savings clubs helped families spread out the cost of presents and festive meals; Horwood noted that his family went to the market for their turkey on Christmas Eve just before closing time, partly because


Camberwell Palace of Varieties 1899

it was cheaper, and partly because, without refrigeration, meat wouldn’t keep long. That turkey was the only poultry the Horwood family ate all year, making it extra special. Schools and youth clubs used to put on parties for local children, complete with decorated trees and presents – a simple way to ensure that even kids from the poorest families had a Christmas treat. People used the holiday spirit to help neighbours as well, as an incident in Jean Dare’s memoir, My Bermondsey, shows. After her husband’s sudden death in 1937, Jean’s mother was left penniless, with four children aged 12 to three months. Christmas that year was saved by a knock on the door, and four young men with

But theatre in Southwark has a far longer history – the first theatre in the borough, the Rose in Bankside, was built in 1597. By the early 1600s, other Bankside theatres, like the Globe and the Swan, eclipsed it, and it faded into obscurity until rediscovered during building works in 1989. Music hall was a type of theatrical variety performance that could include vocal performances, comedy acts, dance, magic, ventriloquism, or circus skills; it was one of the most popular theatre forms from the mid19th century until the middle of the 20th century, and provided a great deal of inspiration to modern panto. The Elephant and Castle Theatre – now the Coronet Theatre – in New Kent Road opened on Boxing Day 1872 with a performance of the panto Fairyland. In 1878 a fire destroyed this first theatre; its replacement was finished in May 1879, and rebuilt again in 1892 and 1902. Southwark had a number of other music halls, large and small, including the Camberwell Palace of Varieties on the corner of Orpheus Street and Denmark Hill, the Star

Astoria interiors

Music Hall in Abbey Street, the Surrey Music Hall (two, actually, one in Walworth and the other in Tower Bridge Road), and the South London Palace. However, by the early 20th century, the popularity of music hall was fading as cinema increased in popularity. Cine-variety theatres, which could handle both cinema and live performances, were popular. Some cine-variety theatres were retrofitted music halls: the Star had become the Star Kinema by 1920, and the Elephant and Castle Theatre and Camberwell Palace were both converted by ABC cinemas in 1932. Others were purpose-built. The Essoldo Cinema in Denmark Hill opened in 1913, while Tower Cinema in Peckham opened in 1914 – its basement was an air raid shelter in the First World War. A number of cinemas opened in the 1920s and 1930s. These include the Rialto in St. James’s Road (1926), the Gaumont Palace in Peckham (1932), and the Odeon Camberwell at the corner of Denmark Hill and Coldharbour Lane (1939) – which held the 1955 premiere of A London Borough, one of the archival films in the SLHLA collection. The Trocadero at the Elephant and Castle, where the Metro Central Heights now stands, was perhaps one of the grandest “movie palaces” in the

country when it opened in 1930. It was designed by George Coles for the Hyams Brothers; they also collaborated on the Trocette Cinema on Tower Bridge Road, which opened a year earlier. All these cinemas would have had a single screen and a similar basic format: a rolling programme with a main feature, a second feature, a newsreel, and a comedy, cartoon, or travelogue. Although patrons had to queue to get in, they could stay as long as they liked. Most cinemas also had live variety performances, including illusionists, jugglers and musicians as part of the programme. Cinemas provided cheap, good-value entertainment for people of all ages, but as television began to dominate news and entertainment, cinema declined – most of the old “movie palaces” closed by the 1960s, and a trip to the cinema became the occasional treat it often is today.


Winter 2016

Hollywood comes to Southwark On any given day in Southwark, there’s a good chance a Hollywood A-lister like Renée Zellweger or Tom Hiddleston is hard at work filming their next blockbuster on our streets. Locations around the borough have featured in many films and TV shows, including Bridget Jones’s Baby, Absolutely Fabulous and the last two Bond films, Skyfall and Spectre


n our screens now, Netflix’s royal drama The Crown (reported to be the most expensive television show ever made) filmed some interior scenes in Southwark Cathedral. Southwark’s film office, run by Film Fixer, handles all manner of film requests in the area. “If someone is going to be filming in your neighbourhood, you’ll get a letter through your door with all the details,” said Film Fixer’s director, Andrew. “We really encourage people to contact us if they’ve got any issues or concerns, or even if they want to suggest their home as a possible film location or want to get involved as an extra.” Having a film crew in your neighbourhood can be quite exciting, as the residents of Caroline Gardens found out earlier this year when Marvel’s latest film Dr Strange (starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton) shot some scenes in their chapel. To thank the residents for their patience, the


Get into film

filmmakers invited everyone to a slap-up meal. “They put on a fish and chips lunch for 101 of us,” said Tony, of the Caroline Gardens Residents Association. “This was just a brilliant thing for them to come out for.” Tony is becoming an old hand among A-listers, having loaned his home to Tommy Lee Jones to use as his green room a couple of years ago while he was filming Criminal in 2014.

The benefits of having a film crew in your garden can be more than just the excitement factor though – in the last year, residents associations, community groups and others received donations of more than £17,000 from film production companies. So lookout for that letter through your door, or get in touch with the film office to see what might be going on in your area. You can find them online at or call them on 020 7620 0391.

If you’re a local filmmaker, check out the council’s Southern Exposure – since 2005 they’ve helped local people produce 49 films, taken 41 interns from local higher education establishments, entered films into over 60 festivals and won 15 prizes including last year’s I Used To Be Famous (shot in Peckham) which was shortlisted for a BIFA (British Independent Film Award). Visit southwark. exposure for more.

Want to see more of Southwark on the screen? • Bridget Jones’s Baby – Borough Market • The Night Manager (BBC) – Cathedral Square and the Blue Fin building • Luther (BBC) – Southwark Bridge Road • Guardians of the Galaxy – Bankside, near Tate Modern • Transformers: The Last Knight – Tower Bridge • Thor 2: The Dark World – Butlers Wharf, The Shard • New Tricks: Bermondsey Boy (BBC) – Bermondsey Street, Shad Thames • Lucky Man (Sky 1) – Greenland Dock, Southwark Park • Mr Selfridge (ITV ) – Southwark Street



Events calendar Blue Christmas

Crafty Fox Market

With an ice rink, donkey rides, Santa’s Grotto, a Freddie Mercury tribute and Millwall Club stall, there’s something for everyone at this event sponsored by The Blue Bermondsey BID. Sunday 4 December 12pm to 5pm Blue Market Square, Southwark Park Road SE16 3UQ

Before and After. Photographic studies of psychiatric patients taken by Henry Hering in the 19th century Between 1857 and 1859 Regent Street portrait photographer Henry Hering made several visits to Bethlem Royal Hospital, then at St George’s Fields, Southwark to photograph patients. Explore his work in a free exhibition at the Maudsley Hospital Long Gallery. Until 16 January Daily 8am to 7pm

Unique shopping with over 55 different designer/makers and artists taking part each day alongside an inspiring mix of workshops, with mulled wine and DJs for a brilliant festive shopping experience. 10 and 11 December 11am-5pm

Carols and festive cheer: School choir, staff, children and parents come together for the fourth successive year and welcome newcomers and neighbours to sing along. Mince pies and mulled wine available. Friday 16 December 6pm Free Goose Green, East Dulwich Road, SE22 www.goosegreenprimary


Herne Hill Christmas Fair

Join us every Sunday afternoon for artist-led, playful, hands-on workshops which explore themes from the current exhibition. The informal drop-in workshop is ideal for children aged 3-12 years and their parents or guardians.

Discover this annual Christmas fair with local crafts, seasonal produce, vintage goods, hot food and live music.

Every Sunday (with the exception of Easter Sunday, Christmas and New Year). 2pm to 4pm

Outside Herne Hill station Railton Road, SE24 0JN Free  @hernehillmarket

Free South London Gallery, Clore Studio page/sundayspot

1920s Jazz Age Fashion and Photography

Roman Ondak: The Source of Art is in the Life of a People

Explore the work of designer and artist Josef Frank (1885-1967) in the first-ever UK exhibition of his textiles. The Austrian-born architect moved to Sweden in 1933, where he developed his colourful brand of modernism, working with Estrid Ericson on furniture, glassware, lighting and interior design ideas.

Jack Frost

A magical, wintry production brings Jack Frost to life through puppetry, live music and enchanting storytelling. Moon On A Stick reimagine this well-known Nordic legend, perfect for children 3+. Wednesday – Thursday 7-8 December at 10am, 11.15am, 1.45pm and Saturday 10 December at 2.30pm, 5pm

Internationally acclaimed artist Roman Ondak presents an exhibition lasting one hundred days that brings together a new body of work exploring ideas around the passage of time and the intertwining of present and past. Until 6 January 2017 Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 6pm, Wednesdays 11am to 9pm Free South London Gallery, Main Gallery page/romanondak

£5, £3 (concessions and Southwark residents) Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell www.blueelephanttheatre.

CANDID CANDID is a ‘performance-ritual’ about complexities of female friendships, opening the space for audiences to experience, contemplate and celebrate longlasting bonds, a radical alternative to modern day culture and tendencies of bullying and isolation. Wednesday 14 December, 8pm £9, £8 (concessions), £7 (Southwark residents) Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell www.blueelephanttheatre.

Josef Frank Patterns Furniture-Painting

Candle-Lit Carols

Saturday 3 December 10am to 4pm

Free Entry The CLF Art Cafe, Bussey Building, Peckham

Free The Maudsley Long Gallery, Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8AZ

Friends of Goose Green School host Carols on the Green

The Sunday Spot

Winter 2016

A glittering display of haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion from 1919 to 1929. Women’s clothing in the 1920s reflected dizzying social change on an unprecedented scale. 23 September to 15 January 2017 Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 6pm. Thursdays until 8pm. Sundays, 11am to 5pm. Last admission 45 minutes before closing. Closed Mondays £9.90 adults* / £7.70 concessions* / £6 students * Includes 10% gift aid. Children under 12 are free The Fashion and Textile Museum. 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF

28 January to 7 May 2017 Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 6pm. Thursdays until 8pm. Sundays, 11am to 5pm. Last admission 45 minutes before closing. Closed Mondays £9.90 adults* / £7.70 concessions* / £6 students * Includes 10% gift aid. Children under 12 are free The Fashion and Textile Museum. 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF

In the beauty of Sir John Soane’s St Peter’s Church, everyone is welcome to our Candle-Lit Carols with favourite Christmas Carols and the story of Christmas told by readers from across the community. Warm up afterwards with mulled wine or juice and mince pies. Sun 18 December 5pm Free, everyone welcome St Peter’s Church, Liverpool Grove, London SE17 2HH

Free family Christmas fun Free family-fun Christmas activities at The Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, including children’s face painting, Christmas bauble and cookie workshops, free photos in a giant snow globe and visit from Santa Claus and his helpers! 21 to 24 December Daily 12pm to 5pm Free Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre www.elephantandcastle

Crib Service 4pm, Midnight Mass 11.30pm On Christmas Eve, everyone is welcome to our ‘live’ Crib Service in church where we all get to tell the story of Christmas together! Later in the evening is the joyful, solemn, candle-lit Midnight Mass with favourite Christmas Carols. Sat 24 December 4pm and 11.30pm Free, everyone welcome St Peter’s Church, Liverpool Grove, London SE17 2HH


Winter 2016

To market, to market…

Surrey Docks Farm Christmas Fair


Saturday 3 December, 11am to 4pm

Not got your Christmas tree yet? Pick one up at the Surrey Docks Farm Christmas Fair while the kids meet the animals or make their own Christmas wreath. Lots of festive goodies on offer from the craft and food stalls, or warm your hands on some tasty roasted chestnuts.

Shop local this Christmas and discover unique gifts or treat yourself while soaking up the atmosphere at one of the amazing Christmas markets on your doorstep

East Dulwich Christmas Cracker



Saturday 3 December, 11am to 5pm Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December, 11am to 6pm

For a day of festive family fun head to the East Dulwich Christmas Cracker, with local bands and choirs, theatre groups and festive entertainers, fabulous market stalls, delicious foods plus arts and crafts workshops. Don’t miss exclusive offers from our local traders.

A Dulwich Christmas – Winterlights 6 to 18 December, 6pm to 10pm (Tuesday to Sunday)


Win a family tic ket for Winterligh ts by entering our photo compe tition – share yo ur favourite pic of Christmas in So uthwark on Twitt er or Instagram using #Southwar kChristmas by 9 December. @lb_southwark @southwarkcou ncil

Winterlights is a stunning lights spectacle at Dulwich Picture Gallery this December. Follow a dazzling trail along winding paths and explore explosions of colour and light in trees and secluded nooks, with lanterns and bespoke lighting adding to the enchanted atmosphere. Be entertained by carollers and children’s storytelling with plenty of mouth watering food options. Get your tickets at the website below. Artisan market 10 to 11 December and 17 to 18 December, 10am to 5pm Wander the pathways through the Gallery’s beautiful grounds and enjoy over 50 high-quality stalls selling handmade crafts, jewellery, local produce and lots more.

The much loved Pexmas returns to Warwick Gardens, Peckham. Discover original festive gifts from independent designers, makers, foodies and more. There will be carols, street food, a post box for Santa raising money for Peckham Food Bank and much, much more.

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t of the free make the mos to et rg fo ’t on D Saturday Southwark on parking around r (except d 31 Decembe 3, 10, 17, 24 an Bankside). on Bridge and Peckham, Lond

Christmas at Borough Market Borough Market comes alive with the familiar sights and smells of Christmas during December. Find fantastic gifts from across the world, from gingerbread to nutmeg jam while listening to seasonal songs sung by a local community choir during the run up to Christmas. The evening of Wednesday 14 December is a must for dedicated cheese lovers – don’t miss the chance to sample and buy from an amazing selection of cheeses and quiz the cheese experts. 26


Winter 2016

Tearing up the script Working out of two re-purposed sacking factories in Rotherhithe, London Bubble is a dynamo of theatre making involving people of all ages in projects that explore pressing issues and breathe life into local spaces


ubble’s productions cover a dizzying range of topics from plays about chocolate factories to The Blitz and knife crime. As well as community projects, commissions from public and private companies help create this unique melting pot of theatre. Last year, the council launched its domestic abuse campaign with a Bubble

together is theatre. Georgia Bowers, who works with the Creative Elders, says, “We don’t start with a set agenda of where the production will go, which makes it really exciting and also means we are all equals. Everyone involved takes ownership of the project.”

and there is no pressure on them to act in a certain way. Amelia Bird, who coordinates the project said, “One of the most satisfying moments was a teacher telling me that one of the shyest children had actually been cheeky in class. Not that we encourage naughtiness, but it was amazing that their confidence had improved so much that they were being too loud!”

play called Michelle’s Story, which explored the dynamics of an abusive relationship. For this kind of work Bubble often uses a forum theatre approach where the play is performed twice. On the second run through the audience can get involved and change the direction of the play. What would happen, for example, if the friend was more supportive of her mate struggling in an abusive relationship? This innovative approach to what theatre is can be seen across the huge variety of programmes they run. Speech Bubbles is a programme aimed at primary school children who are struggling to communicate, perhaps electively mute or very shy. Each week one child gets to make up a story and everyone acts it out, adding their own ideas. They don’t have to speak 28

At the other end of the age spectrum the Creative Elders programme, including Tea Break Theatre, the Creative Homes groups (of Chocolate Factory fame) and the Rotherhithe Shed bring older people into the mix. The Rotherhithe Shed does exactly what it says on the tin, it allows older men to tinker with projects in a sociable but relaxed environment. While some people might not see this as art, the team passionately believe that any story that develops confidence and brings people

This belief in letting participants call the shots can also be seen with the Bubble Young Theatre Makers, made up of 18 to 25 year olds with time during the day. They may have sought Bubble out themselves or been referred by the probation service or school, and the theatre they create reflects what is relevant to them. Mental health, masculinity and knife crime are just a few recent topics. Marie Vickers, who works with them, says, “Through the safety of a character, people can reflect on and work through what they are actually experiencing. You see young people progress in a route they wouldn’t have thought possible a few months before.” This focus on the people making the theatre drives everything Bubble does, and results in some of the most eclectic and interesting productions in the borough. As Georgia puts it, “There is only one Bubble theatre”, and they definitely are a class act. To find out more about Bubble Theatre go to If you are aged six or over, Bubble has something for you. Call 020 7237 4434 or email to get involved.

“You see young people progress in a route they wouldn’t have thought possible a few months before.”


Winter 2016

Taking art to the streets Wandering around the streets of Southwark, you’ll be hard pressed to not spot an intriguing piece of art. If you’ve ever wondered who the artist is behind the murals and how they came to be, we’ve brought you the backstories of the borough’s best. To those of you who have ever wondered who the artist is behind the murals and how they came to be, we’ve brought you the backstories of a few of the borough’s best If you’ve spotted any hidden art gems in the borough, share them with us via our new Instagram page southwarkcouncil

We’ve partnered with the Tower Bridge Road Alliance and the artist Helen Marshall of The People’s Picture to create a new artwork. ‘The Eye on the Road’ is funded by the council’s High Street Challenge initiative, a scheme set up to boost local businesses. The giant photo mural is made up of 1,955 photos reflecting the local history and present day activities in and around Tower Bridge Road.

Well known for his Berlin Wall masterpiece, French street artist Thierry Noir has created a vibrant mural in Meeting House Lane, Peckham. The striking piece is the second artwork by the artist in Peckham. The keen eyed amongst you may have spotted Noir’s adaptation of the French painter, Nicolas Poussin’s masterpiece The Triumph of David, on a small wall at the top end of Bellenden Road in Peckham and is part of the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery initiative. Members of a local children’s group based on the Sceaux Estate, Tiny Rebels With Attitude, gave Keepmoat’s site hoardings a splash of colour after attending a free workshop in August, where they learnt how to create a graffiti style mural with spray paints. The completed mural will remain on the site’s hoarding where it can be seen by the entire estate until the project’s completion.

A railway arch under a bridge on the South Bank has been given a dramatic makeover thanks to street artist Jimmy C and William Shakespeare. In the year of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Jimmy has sprayed a colourful image of the great playwright just around the corner from The Globe theatre.



Winter 2016


Southwark Life - Winter 2016  
Southwark Life - Winter 2016