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  • Miles Hedley


In the wake of lockdown, the Albany’s autumn season is using music, theatre, poetry, cabaret, comedy and family fun to celebrate the vital role care and joy play in our lives.

Tickets costing just £1 tickets will be available at every performance during a season that includes artists like the amazing Steam Down (above) and lovers’ rock icon Carroll Thompson, the usual array of leftfield events such as a digital exploration of care homes in Britain and Japan and – of course – a stonking Christmas show.

The Albany’s newly-appointed Artists of Change, whose role is to create work in collaboration with communities, are heavily involved in projects throughout the coming months.

Angela Clerkin presents The Festival of Radical Care, which uses workshops, installations, music and dance to look at how the arts can help us care for one another and our world. Ryan Calais Cameron hosts an evening of words, theatre and music inspired by Grammy-winning Frank Ocean. And arts collective initiative.dkf look at creativity, freedom and play through a uniquely South London lens.

The Digital Home, created by actor and activist Christopher Green, is a pioneering collaboration with Japan’s Saitama Arts starting on September 24 which uses design, interactive games and original film to help you find out how care is delivered in different cultures.

And global perspectives on caring for one another are also brought to the fore on 4 November in a dynamic new play told by refugee performers called All The Beds I Have Slept In.

Sounds Like Chaos return to SE8 with a new production, Dirt, from 22 October which focuses on the climate emergency. From 2-4 November The Place and Extended Play present Donuts, choreographed by Jamaal Burkmar, followed on the 12th by the surreal fun of Duckie Turns Twenty Sicks and, on the 19th, initiative.dkf (below) celebrate joy, love and Blackness with their piece IS DAT U YH.

Cabaret fans will find plenty to enjoy with Tricity Vogue on 16 September and cult sensations Bourgeois and Maurice on 14 October. And there’s comedy over at Canada Water Theatre on 12 November with Arabs Are Not Funny.

Live music makes a full post-lockdown return with a series of storming gigs featuring the likes of legendary drummer and sound activist Charles Hayward (15/10), the Queen of Lovers Rock Carroll Thompson celebrating the 40thanniversary of her debut album (7/11) and award-winning Steam Down performing new material (17/11). Quinn Oulton will be at Canada Water as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival on 14 November and a week later youth talent developer Tomorrow’s Warriors stage Live at the Albany to showcase south-east London’s rising stars.

And in December the season’s theme of care is underscored in Wrongsemble’s festive treat The Snow Queen, a vibrant musical exploring how we can all make small changes to create a big difference and look after the planet better.

Albany chief executive Gavin Barlow said: “Over the course of the last 18 months the role of care has been central to many of our lives and it feels fitting to examine how we care for each other and the planet ahead of Lewisham’s year London’s Borough of Culture while also bringing people together, celebrating live performance and the potential for joy in our lives.”,16MZV,23I5OZ,4KQ1M,1

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