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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Creative Happen London the Best of 2011! Look Back with us

Since Creative Happen London launched in March 2011; we have been an informative source to our 10,000+ audience and growing. Michael and I have enjoyed sharing our reviews with you along with promoting a multitude of events for you to attend with your family and friends. Most of all we have been successful in our engagement with schools who have helped us to promote our competitions, supporting our ethic to engage new young audiences to access creative events. Thank you to all that have put up with our type “O’s” and our little booboo’s, we endeavouring to make this New Year even more exciting and engaging for you with brilliant things to come! But first a brief look back over a fun 2011.


Skellig by David Almond, ALRA

This classic tale by David Almond directed by Phil Clark was a pleasure to watch with the family. The production was dark and atmospheric with a number of cliffhanging moments. The question on your mind throughout the performance is will Michael’s sister survive? Will the skellig (the fallen angel) be able to restore hope? The question being yes to all. This classic tale demonstrates faith and magic can be found in the most unlikely places. The acting from third year students at ALRA was impeccable hats off to the production team and set designers. It is clear these students have a bright future ahead of them.

Thurston Moore Demolished Thoughts-Union Chapel

May 2011 Thurston Moore one date show celebrates the release of his fourth Solo album Demolished Thoughts produced by Beck. It was a pleasure to see Moore on stage, performing tracks from the new album. The acoustic sound of the folk guitars, harp, violin, then the drumming and vocals coupled with the classic song writing was truly mesmerising and unforgettable. Our favourite tacks of the evening: Mina Loy, Benediction, In silver Rain with a Paper Key and Circulation. Demolished Thoughts is an album worth purchasing for your collection.


Vauxhall Art Carboot Fair

Last June was our first visit to the Vauxhall Art Car boot Sale, this event was an eccentric take on a traditional car boot sale, and it lived up to all expectations. The ultimate creative hotspot for Artists, Buyers and Sellers. It was an opportunity to get close and personal with the artists such as Renegade Potter: Carrie Reichardt, Nick Reynolds sculptor and Gavin Turk and more... A bustling busy, friendly, intoxicating and must I say trendy this was a really good day out soak up some music have drink, something to eat and buy something definitely worth it!

Royal College of Art Exhibition- Test Bed 1

Renowned for producing some of the UK’s most recognisable artistic talent, this postgraduate show highlighted a good mix of 21st century contemporary Art and Design ranging from print, sculpture, paintings, ceramics and textiles. Names to look out for Vasilis Asimakopoulos -Sculptor, Justin Larkin-Printmaker, Dolores de Sade Printmaker to name a few.

Glenfiddich MOJO Honours

31st June 2011 saw the launch of the Glenfiddich MOJO Honours List kicking off with a free gig at HMV in London's Oxford Circus the line up included the fabulous Wolf People, Ivor Novello award winner Conor O'Brien's The Villagers and post punk legends Dinosaurs Jr… As J Mascis walks on stage to applause he makes his way to stage right, picks up his guitar, greets the crowd and immediately begins fine tuning his guitar and setting’s on his splendid custom built pedal board… And lo the acclaimed musician begins his music making the audience is then hit with a wall of sound which is the melodic guitar rifts to the track Lung, which was well received by a very appreciative audience. The set continued with In A Jar then followed by the chopping guitar rifts and melodic vocals of The Wagon, next up was Pain, Heaven, Kracked/Sludge and then one of my all time skating anthems Gargoyle. A brilliant performance by this seminal band, an absolutely fabulous free event!  

Robots of Brixton- Factory 15
Kibwe Travers

Robots of Brixton a superb animation by Kibwe Travers at the time a recent graduate in Architecture alongside other Architects and Animators from Factory 15, showcased their talents challenging traditional ideas about architectural practice by exploring new opportunities for architects within the expanding digital landscape. Which they did, and very well. Kibwe’s Robots of Brixton received vast media attention for his progressive take on the 1980’s riots. More here:  


Magic Snail Inspire theatre-Tara Arts

We absolutely loved this production! The two children with us aged 3 and 4 were highly engaged. Lizzie and friends brought us right back to the nitty gritty of childhood, whereby during play and exploration, sometimes the youngest member is not always heard, powerful songs accompanied the mood of the main character Lizzy “I’m busy lizzy, that’s what they say, I’m busy lizzy I hear it all day” until Lizzy encounters the magic snail, she is able to transform her friends into any animal they imagine, by crawling into the snail‘s shell. The animals ranged from a lion, to a flamingo, the best one of all was the mice. Lizzy’s older friends hated the feeling of being small and unheard, and saw the error of there ways on how they have treated Lizzy in the past. The cast interacted well with the audience allowing the children to be involved, the show was interactive culminated with good songs and humour. The kids loved it! And the adults too. We hope this production tours again we would love to see more from them.

ATP: Don’t Look Back Flaming Lips

ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES Don't Look Back presents The Flaming Lips performing The Soft Bulletin at Alexandra Palace supported by Deerhoof and Dinosaur Jr, Opening the show was the one of the most acclaimed live acts in the world, Deerhoof performing the fan favourite 2004’s Milk Man impeccably I might add, pleasing the crowd and fellow musicians alike with their fantastic live performance. The next act to follow was the influential post punk legends Dinosaurs Jr performing their 1988 classic Bug, an album which heavily influenced the early Britpop scene wowing the audience with their anthemic catalogue. More here…


Lollibop Festival


Hyde Park hosted the biggest festival for kids in London, There was oodles of fun-tastic things for the kids to do all day. The entertainment highlights for most families we spoke to at the festival was Rasta Mouse a BBC phenomenon for 2011, Peppa Pig and Zing Zillas. We launched our very first competition here in partnership with the organisers of the Festival.

Lollibop Festival: Competition winner’s Review:

“We had a Brilliant time despite the rain. The children absolutely loved it (highlights included meeting Peppa Pig and the Horrible Histories show) & keep asking me when we can go back. Thanks for a brilliant day out.”Mrs Roach, London 2011.

Watch out for Lollibop Disco this Feb more information to follow.

Apple Cart Festival


Our first festival of the year, and was it a blast, it had something for everyone. We experienced Fabulous food from myriad of vendors, great music, ample attractions and a tremendous environment. It would have been even better if the weather was warmer! Crowd pleasers and my fav icons of the 1990s performing on stage Jazzie B and band, and Tim Minchin and Saint Ettiene. Read more here:

Notting Hill Carnival

What a brilliant fun day out with the family, an overwhelming experience, good music, food, and people what more could you ask for?. We can’t wait to see what is in store for 2012, we will keep you posted on how to get involved.



Featured Artist Michael Mapp

September was a month which gave recognition to African and African Caribbean Contemporary Art and Design Diaspora, for the first time Contemporary Art from across the Diaspora under one roof, the OXO Tower Bargehouse South Bank. The first of it’s kind on this scale, We look forward to opening a call for entries for 2012 creative’s more information to follow shortly.

Thames Mayor’s Festival


A very vibrant and bustling event with a wide variety of stalls and entertainment from food to fireworks, trinkets to tipple’s and cuisine to carnival, a colourful and overall enjoyable experience definitely something to mark in your diaries for this September.


Black History Month

Troy Glasgow (Martin Luther King & Raheem)
 Amelia Donkor (Teresa & Yolanda)

October the month which celebrates Black History month here in the UK, was full eventful there were theatre performances, book readings, live music events here in London. Although we promoted many events we did not get an opportunity to share the reviews on our blog, as we were snowed under in our 7 months of blogging, hence we have decided to add the reviews here to our best bits of 2011.

I have a Dream
Writer: Levi David Addai
Polka Theatre

1963 collides with 2011 all but briefly…

Raheem living In 2011, disheartened with his mother’s promotion to head teacher at the school he attends, not fulfilling his true potential he is transported during a deep sleep to Yolanda’s King’s bedroom in 1963. As Martin Luther King is about to deliver his historic speech “I have a dream” Yolanda his daughter has difficulties with accepting the constraints of a father so busy being such a powerful black figure. The question is will Yolanda attend her father’s monumental speech and will Raheem accept his mother’s promotion and change his attitude and fulfil his potential? A beautiful friendship is formed between Yolanda and Raheem, on what was to become a life changing few hours. The pair share their experiences of popular culture in their own eras, music and fashion. The pair challenge each other’s perception of achievement and acceptance, and responsibility. In this educational time travelling production Yolanda and Raheem travelled the globe, Yolanda was to educate Raheem about the importance of Black History through different decades to restore the importance of the historical legacies which can help us shape our own. The final scene of the performance was moving, Yolanda attends her father’s speech and Raheem accepts his mother’s promotion and the quest for success on waking up. The finale the iconic “I have a dream” speech was amplified Martin Luther Kings voice brought home the overall message of the performance which was, live your dream, never forget your history, it could guide and shape your future for the better. This production was sheer brilliance!

The use of music and projections supported this time travelling journey into a useful educational experience for a young audience. This production should be seen by all school children, I watched it with my niece three years old and soon to be four year old this production is aimed at 7 year olds they both totally surprised me, they were fully engaged they thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

Lambeth Library

As part of Black History Month a host of local authorities dedicated their library space to celebrate Black History Month. We were delighted to promote and attend an event held in Lambeth library by two highly acclaimed Caribbean writers

Roger Robinson and Malika Booker.

A reading of an excerpt form Absolution a one woman show.

By Malika Booker.

A very emotional, heartfelt and compelling recital of an original tale of a young lady’s journey from Grenada during the wind rush. An accurate and somewhat surprising account of the lives led by the first wave of Windrush settler’s to Britain. On this journey we are shown her reason for leaving and the circumstance’s contributing to the opportunity for her to leave, her compulsion to achieve her goal of becoming a nurse to be able to repay and provide more stability to her family back home in Grenada, the journey onboard the ship and events that were to change the coarse of the rest of her life, which led to a rather intriguing and revealing account of some of the challenges which were to be faced on arrival for some of those who braved the unknown and left their homelands for British shores. And how she coped with the shifting sands of life, love, family an desire. A total must see! This story is told in such a convincing and compelling fashion it paint’s a colourful High Definition world where once stood flickering unclear Black+White footage of the economic migrants of the Windrush. I found myself enchanted and compelled to hear this story till the end. Which brings me to my verdict which is. This is an absolute gem.

Roger The ShadowBoxer.

By Roger Robinson.

Reading excerpt’s from his biographical literature.

The scene is set in 1970’s in Trinidad, Roger as a young boy hesitantly and hastily reciting his times tables with both palms quivering and outstretched, he stutter’s then receives an instantaneous lash across the palm, he pulls back his hand shakes it wince’s, and hesitantly returns it to its outstretched position and amends his near mistake all of his recital, in one swift but stuttered breathe. At this point I am truly gripped as his recital is accompanied by gestures and small movement’s which really adds to the authenticity of the moment chosen. The readings continue as short excerpts following Roger through childhood through to his late teens, following him through trials and tribulations. The account is fresh, very well written and totally engaging from the start, as a writer Roger display’s great a ability to conjure up images with a somewhat effortless ease allowing the audience a brilliant opportunity to connect directly with the experience of 1970’s Trinidad with Roger in a way that I have rarely experienced myself. Roger writes with an honesty that is completely evident, highlighting key aspects of Trinidadian culture, comedy and rhetoric without alienating the audience, whilst keeping them amused gripped and enthusiastically entertained.



We were delighted to be media partners for Oxjam Camberwell 2011, we were really happy to help in anyway to promote such a good local cause. It was the first time an Oxjam event had been held in the Camberwell, and it was deemed as a success by Oxjam organisers. Not only did it bring much needed trade to the area, the money raised for Oxfam exceeded targets. Oxjam Camberwell allowed us at Creative happen London to document a great event and meet the artists. Find out why so many of the artists were happy to be involved:


The build up to Christmas...
Best Window Display 2011


As an ex-student at London college of Printing we were always told the best window displays in London were either Harvey Nichols, Selfridges or Harrods, the Harrods window absolutely blew us away, so much so we had to share it, a little late but its here all the same. We can only describe the window as absolute brilliance, an enchanting, engaging Christmas display which drew crowds, even a photographer from Vanity Fair was out there with us. Harrods never fails to disappoint, a good photography opportunity before heading to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland


Having been invited to the launch of Hyde Park's Winter wonderland, I must say it's a London hotspot this season for both children and Adults. Visited this year by celebrities Kate Moss and Kelly Rowland to name a few Winter Wonderland could be best described as the ideal destination for Adults wanting to re-live the magic of Christmas.


Testbed 1 Turning Tables Exhibition

This was an excellent exhibition showcasing Architect’s as designer/maker’s. The designs on display were varied in design, construction and material choice, we viewed the unique, the complex and the innovative nature of 21st century table design. All of the exhibits were available to purchase for your home, some were so effective they would not look out of place on film sets of many different genres from Space age Sci-Fi through to earthy foresty Wizardy type adventures. A burgeoning Arty
North quarter of Battersea is becoming
an exciting hub hosting exhibitions,
live music and theatre.

BAC Christmas Market


The perfect example of what we feel a Christmas market should be, great products at good prices, the stall holders were helpful, very chatty and cheerful. The atmosphere was warm and very welcoming. You could walk away with a Christmas tree or a mulled wine or any other merry making beverage to a portion of traditional English 14 hour spit roasted hog.


Spoony Cakes
  I think the finest treat of the afternoon was the cup cakes by Spoony Cakes and the Panettone and Pandoro by Valentina Fine foods. Adding to the Festive feel was One Taste who provided the entertainment from Comedy to Poetry and Live Music adding to the relaxed entertaining ambience. And last by not least Will and his lederhosen stole the show.


Lamps by Lasercut Works

We know that many people equally received the market well from the re-tweets we shared about our own experience. This event was so good! That it’s on top of my Christmas to do list for this year, with friends and of course more time!

Crafty Fox Christmas Market

Jill Tytherleigh

A vibrant and bustling market environment set in the Dogstar Brixton set over three floors. On the ground floor had a vast array of gifts from handmade Christmas decorations to quirky handtowels, aprons, prints, illustrations and a fully stocked Bar for those that require a beverage or two. The second floor had clothes, artwork, prints, knitted pieces along with a café with coffee, cup cakes and soft drinks for the children. Up to the third floor which housed the sewing workshop and the gift wrapping service along with a lounge area. Overall this was a wonderful Christmas market, Crafty Fox has built a solid creative-led community.

One Taste London

The Bedford Globe Theatre, the venue which spring boards new talent into the mainstream, became the host venue for One Taste, who were celebrating their 7th Birthday. The line up was great and included established acts such as the Noisettes who unleashed many popular tracks and new up-coming materials, Shingai Shoniwa demonstrated such versatility, precision and power in her vocals. Congratulations to One taste for a top class evening. Full review here:

Thurston Moore in concert performing Psychic Hearts with supporting acts Tall Firs and the Head of Wantastiquet

This last official event on our calendar the irony is, before blogging we opened our new year with Sonic Youth in concert 31st December 2010 and close our event calendar with Thurston Moore 2nd December 2011. Our evening at the Electric Ballroom Camden was superb, Thurston Moore performed a breadth of tracks from Psychic Hearts his classic 1995 solo album, whilst paving the way for the supporting acts. The first artist to the Stage was Paul Labrecque of Sunburned Hand Of the Man performing solo as Head of Wantastiquet, his sound was instrumentally very emotional, a score with eastern influences dare I say even mildly religious in its feel which shaped it into a very reflective experience, the heavy rhythmic drone of the guitar interweaved with intricate notes and melodic chant coming together forming an altogether enchanting and reflective almost meditative audio experience. Full review here  

2011 ended on a high for us here at Creative Happen London, There are new and great things on the horizon for 2012.

2012 posts to view

Creative Happen London are in support of the innovate project put together by Talent House, Universal Music and Teenage Cancer Trust, to creatively combine music and art in aid of charity. Learn more about the initiative and how to participate here  

One Snowy Night Jan 2012.

We hosted a competition in partnership with Sea Bright Productions to engage new young audiences to the theatre experience. We would like to thank the schools and all other organisations we approached to support us to get families interested. Our five competition winners thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

One Snowy Night: Competition Winners Review

One snowy Night was really special, thank you! The production was gentle, funny, magical and innovative. Our children aged 3.5 an nearly 5 loved it and are still talking about it today and the grown ups enjoyed it just as much! The musical elements were perfectly suited to the story and set very clever; it fascinated our 5 year old that Percy’s hut could be in a park, then turn inside out and become the interior to a smooth and seamless scene change! Thank you again. Mrs Wilkinson -Parent Clapham Manor School 2012.

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