As the winter drizzle sets in, as the festivities loom, spare a thought for the street artists. And the geese. Both are in abundance around Walthamstow right now. On walls, doors and gates around E17 there are foxes, herons, and an amazing hawk hovers at the Coppermill bus-stop.
And behold – an artists and a goose have coincided at my garage door!
Not just any goose – an Egyptian goose, one of the marshlands’ more recent incomers, an elegantly colourful creature, defined by bright plumage and orange spectacles. The artist is the wonderfully talented Hannah Adamaszic, one of the post-Banksy generation, lifting street images away from the weird, often obscure mysteries of graffiti, to bring real style, wit and craft to our public spaces.
Hannah signs her pictures “Hannah Chloe” – look out for her work: for instance, if you walk the east London marshes, her foxes and birds brighten the underpass beneath the train-line from Liverpool St. Or if you were around Waterloo last week you might have been lucky and caught her show “Fresh” in the street-cum-tunnel that is Leake St, close by the entrance to the Vaults, one of London’s wackier performance venues. I hope her main image is still there, adorning the ceiling – go seek it out. And visit Hannah’s website – the link is below. If you’ve a wall, a door, a gate – or a caravan, a boat or a bus – that needs a lift, you need Hannah!
Long ago on a cruise ship far away a bunch of actors, who I’d engaged to perform in plays offered by the RADA graduate/Cunard Shipping Line theatre company, got bored. After some weeks of filling the languid hours between performing plays and running drama workshops with drinking cocktails and counting seagulls, they decided they should be more creative, so they made a movie. A full-length, feature spoof James Bond movie called “The Scampi Trail”, complete with explosions, helicopter sequences, fancy cars including an Aston Martin, gorgeous women, exotic locations and a selection of arresting, if sometimes eccentric performances, not the least eccentric being one from me as “M”. You can witness the whole thing on Youtube on the link below – but the point of mentioning this now is to announce that the two movers and shakers behind this venture, Will Norris and Craig Gallivan have come up with their second film project. Now these guys are actors – sometimes they have some money, sometimes not – and certainly never enough to fund movie-making. So they fund-raise amongst their pals, they trade favours (Will reckons the main expense of “The Scampi Trail” was eight bottles of champagne swapped for the loan of cars and locations) – and for their latest venture they also ran a campaign via www.Kickstarter.com
The upshot is a crunchy, finely-crafted “short” called “The Lock-in” which had a private showing last weekend at the Everyman Baker St.
It’s a tightly-scripted, neatly shot dark comedy and has two excellent central performances from the quite exceptionally lovely Sophia di Martino and one of RADA’s (as yet) not sufficiently celebrated talents, Caolan Byrne. It’s going to be rolled out in 2016 on the festival circuit, and I’ll keep you posted.
Caolan Byrne Photo: Jessica Carney Associates
Trailer link: https://vimeo.com/139964274
And talking of “indie” movies, regular readers will recall my warm response to “Radiator”, which was launched at last year’s London Film Festival, and stars Gemma Jones and my (since sadly departed) friend Richard Johnson. Well, as we’d hoped it’s been given a richly deserved, if limited, cinema release. Another cunningly constructed, beautiful example of low-budget work, set in Cumbria – don’t miss it if turns up at a nearby cinema.
Gemma Jones in”Radiator” Photo: Cambridge Film Festival
Trailer link: https://vimeo.com/106483233
Meanwhile, back to goings-on in London E17, some worrying, some optimistic. This blog generally avoids matters political, but on the eve of the parliamentary vote about sending the RAF to try to attack the Syrian terrorists I walked out of the Village pub straight into a demonstration aimed at persuading our local Labour MP, Stella Creasy, to vote against.
There were perhaps a couple of hundred people there, and I listened to the case being put sensibly and clearly by several speakers representing the Muslim community. There were also less clear, less convincing and far less articulate speeches by non-Muslim individuals, one of whom tried to stir the crowd into chants of “Walthamstow says NO!” with only desultry, rather sheepish results. The following day our MP chose to support the government motion, and triggered a spattering of infantile social media abuse and threats to “de-select” her. Oh dear: I fear Dave Spart may have moved to E17. He may even drink in the Village…
And now the optimism, albeit cautious. I reported some months ago that there is hope of saving the superb art-deco Granada Cinema in Hoe St. Local pressure persuaded the Council to refuse permission for it to be sold to an evangelical church, and now it’s been bought by the Antic pub company, who say they are willing to collaborate with Soho Theatre in combining the pub operation with two auditoria offering “art” film showings and live theatre productions.
Well, the first part of that is now happening – you can call in and drink beer or cocktails, and munch posh sausage rolls in the faded grandeur of the front-of-house areas, as I did but three nights ago. Will the creative part of the bargain be honoured in 2016? Watch this space…
And if, come the New Year, you feel in need of a paint-job, here’s Hahhah’s web-site:
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