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  • Miles Hedley


Woolwich Words & Sounds, a two-week festival of top-class music, stand-up and performance poetry, is the dazzling highlight of this summer’s programme at Woolwich Works.

More than 40 acts will take to one of the riverside venue’s stages between 15 and 31 July to offer a huge range of attractions from big band jazz to cutting-edge comedy and from spoken word artistry to infectious dance grooves.

Headliners include comedy giant Jamali Maddix (top, pictured by Matt Crockett), legendary DJ Norman Jay MBE, American big band jazz maestro Bob Mintzer and award-winning poet Sophia Thukar.

As well as Maddix, stand-up nights will feature the likes of Fern Brady, Alfie Brown, Sindhu Vee and Jayde Adams – whose show promises the presence of “a VERY special” guest.

Spoken word performances during the fortnight include turns by acclaimed writer Anthony Anaxagorou as well as by Thukar.

And music will be provided by, among others, Mintzer with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra – who are based at Woolwich Works – and singer Alice Russell, Penguin Café celebrating the rerelease of their debut album A Matter Of Life, Norman Day laying down dance grooves with producer Dennis Bovell, electronica composer Laura Misch (above), jazz virtuoso Reuben James, soul singer-songwriter Jake Isaac and Indian sarod genius Soumik Datta teaming up with folkie Sam Lee.

Woolwich Works hope the star line-up will draw crowds from far and wide who can now travel to the arts hub by Thames Clippers, the DLR and the newly-opened Elizabeth Line. CEO James Heaton said: “This is the place to be at the moment – there’s a real buzz about it.”

For tickets and further information about all the events at the festival go to


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