Poet and performer Inua Ellams is launching a brand new festival at The Albany this March.
In collaboration with We Are Lewisham, the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022, 05Fest will unite the separate strands of Mr Ellam’s work.
The programme of events includes Search Party, a reactive and spontaneous audience-led poetry show, and Poetry Film Hack, a night which adds live poetry readings to the viewing experience of a chosen film to expand, deepen or highlight its themes.
There will be a screening of cult 80s film Babylon and a mass participatory creative writing session will take place in real time in the twittersphere.
Closing the festival is R.A.P Party, where the line-up will feature an all-star cast of poets residing and reverently repping South London.
Mr Ellams said: “I’m ecstatic and lucky that this inaugural 05Fest is happening in my own neighbourhood.
“I’ve worked with The Albany for over 10 years, and I hope the community in Deptford and across Lewisham come out to celebrate and explore themselves and local creativity at these five events next month.”
Kicking off 05Fest, which is named after Mr Ellam’s ‘mild obsession’ with the number 5, is the world premiere of his newest play, a rehearsed reading of A Block of Flats.
This futuristic exploration of climate change, kindness and empathy is set on one night in London.
The universal forces of Chaos and Order chose five inhabitants from a block of flats, to decide the fate of humanity.
The cast of seven will have multi-rolling parts and will be directed by the Bush Theatre’s Artistic Director Lynette Linton.
Mr Ellams said: “I wrote A Block of Flats to try and understand folks who lived where I once did, in a block of flats in Brixton.
“I interviewed them, but the story could be set in any major city anywhere in the world, where the forces of class, capitalism, migration, gentrification and ageism work their ways into our lives, into our very bodies, and cloud us from really seeing each other.
“All this is framed by climate change, which poses the biggest threat to our way of life. It is a lyrical poetic study of characters with intersection stories, and there’s a huge sci-fi twist I hope audiences will appreciate. “
Gavin Barlow, Chief Executive/Artistic Director of the Albany said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Inua back to the Albany alongside a host of other poets and creatives for 05Fest.
“With impactful new work as well as firm-favourites, we’re looking forward to welcoming audiences back and platforming some of the most exciting talent in Lewisham as part of its Borough of Culture year.”
05Fest is at The Albany from March 10 to 19.
Pictured: Poet and performer Inua Ellams