On Immersion: Secret Theatre Comes to London

The CultureJukebox team have always had their finger on the pulse of new immersive experiences, so intriguing to hear about Secret Theatre coming back to the capital.

Secret Theatre: Project Mayhem

Project Mayhem follows a sell-out, critically acclaimed, immersive site specific production of “Hell Hath No Fury, From Dusk Till Dawn” in both London and Hong Kong, and this summer the team are back with a new secret show in central London.

The new show is an interactive adaptation of one of modern history’s most twisted tales of fraternity, violence and all-out psychological warfare. Project Mayhem will completely engulf its guests as part of the set and story, encouraging them along the way to interact with the characters and carefully-created surroundings.

Here’s the trailer to whet the appetite. Promising a wild theatrical ride..

It runs until August 21st. Organisers promise to transport audiences to an underground to a secret world, there’s more information (albeit suitably cryptic) and ticket details here:  https://www.secretstudiolab.com/home + there’s even a special Project Mayhem hotline too.. Call 07583465494

On Festivals: This Summer’s New Festival Experiences – Tickets Still Available!

This summer’s festival season is in full swing, and if you’re still thinking about where to go, who to see and what to do then you’re in luck. Because there’s some epic and super creative festivals still to come this summer. But more than music, people are now looking for the right experience. Sure, they want great content for their social feeds (who doesn’t?) but what really matters is what’s different. What is feedworthy? This means unexpected collaborations, big ideas and where music, fun & stories collide.

So, what can you still get tickets for?

Happy Kanye, at Bestival – increase the peace

Standing over seven metres tall on a rainbow plinth at the epicentre of Cuckoo Clump, Happy Kanye will be bold and beautiful, a beacon of positivity encouraging Bestival-goers to step into the rainbow and celebrate our togetherness. And, just like in real life inside Kanye’s head is where the magic happens. A full interactive art experience, once inside it’s down to you to unify with your fellow party people and channel positive vibrations to the world. Let us know how you think you can increase the peace with Happy Kanye! It’s one of many Bestival highlights, which also includes Jamie T, Danny Brown, The xx, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pet Shop Boys, Justice, Dizzee Rascal and many more big names and dance legends.

More info: bestival.net

Beer Freedom – at London Craft Beer Festival

This summer marks the fifth birthday of London Craft Beer Festival, taking place at the Shoreditch Electric Light Station, Hoxton Square, on the first weekend of August. Much more than a regular beer festival, this is more a carnival of beer –

with almost 50 of the world’s finest breweries coming to East London for the event. This is a festival with a pretty unique ‘all in’ ticket, means you get total freedom to try what you want. So, what about the music? Hot Chip, Foals, Norman Jay MBE and Olugbenga from Metronomy are among the artists playing.

More info: blondoncraftbeerfestival.co.uk

Houghton Festival – fusing music, art & sculpture

Produced by the critically acclaimed Gottwood Festival team, Houghton is set to be the UK’s only summer festival that fuses art, music and sculpture, whilst its licence uniquely allows musical programming of both sunset and sunrise. Ricardo Villalobos, Nicolas Jaar, Floating Points, Seth Troxler, Hercules & Love Affair, Andrew Weatherall, Ben UFO and Horse Meat Disco are among the huge names on the decks – this festival looks pretty special. Takes place between August 10th and 13th.

More info: www.houghtonfestival.co.uk

Way Out West – Join The Green City

Now established as one of Europe’s music festival highlights, Way Out West is also one of its most environmentally sound. This year’s theme is Green City, a continuation of the festival’s long-term commitment to environment issues. It has a meat and fish free food ethos, and is taking big steps to drastically reduce its carbon footprint. But it’s not all about saving the world, there’s also partying to be done. Frank Ocean headlines, with The xx, Chance The Rapper, Danny Brown, Lana Del Ray, Major Lazer, PIXIES, Young Thug and other stellar talent playing too.

More info: wayoutwest.se 

Music, tech & art in a 15th century castle – Romania’s Electric Castle

Franz Ferdinand, Paul Van Dyk, Zedd, Unkle, Cassy, and Mike Skinner are among the highlights of Electric Castle 2017. This is a festival that’s completely unique, set within the breathtaking environment of a 15th century castle hosting music, technology and art for a five day adventure basking in the Romanian sunshine. With beers just over £1 within the festival walls ticket holders can expect a 24 hour music policy that welcomes over 130,000 people. Epic experience!

More info: www.electriccastle.ro

Where it all began? LIMF returns

Liverpool is a must-visit destination for music and culture, one of the UK’s most interesting and creative cities. LIMF has helped established the city as a current voice of global music city with an experimental but accessible programme for all. There’s a garage classical set from DJ Spoony, mainstream music from Gorgon City, Corinne Bailey Rae, Naughty Boy, and an incredible line-up of new talent too.

More info: www.limfestival.com

The New Generation Festival – in Florence 

An unprecedented event in the private Gardens of the Palazzo Corsini – a renaissance masterpiece belonging to one of the oldest families in Florence. This festival brings classical and opera music to a new, younger audience in a breathtaking location. Florence is a wonderful city too, an opportunity to see stars of the future in a grand space.

More info: newgenerationfestival.org

Sunfall – celebrate the underground, in London

Delivered by the teams behind London clubs XOYO, The Nest and Phonox – this summer sees the second edition of Sunfall. It’s a festival of two halves. Party together by day, then continue into the night at one of the events many late night club sessions. It is a real celebration of the underground; Sunfall’s music policy reflects the many London sounds and beyond – spanning jazz, electronica, house, hip hop, dubstep, techno, soul, drum & bass and disco. Uniquely, it features a Knowledge Arena this year – offering a program of music creation and performance workshops, music focused talks, interviews and discussion with industry professionals and artists.

More info: sunfall.co.uk

Corona Sunsets Festival – turning Greenwich Peninsula into a beach

The team behind the super-fun Corona SunSets Festival are coming back to London this summer. They are turning Greenwich Peninsula into a fully-fledged beach, with 400 tonnes of sand, some huge DJ sets and plenty of cold Corona too. A solid line-up and some epic views, make this a London day festival not-to-be-missed.

More info: coronasunsets.com

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What’s your top festival for the summer? Or is there a big event later this year that brings music, arts, technology and brands together? Let us know, email us on jukeboxjournalist@gmail.com 

Our Neighbourhood: Bare Brew opens in Wanstead

Wanstead is blessed with some of the best places to eat & drink in East London – and the offering has gone up a notch with this summer’s opening of Bare Brew.

Found at number 7 on Wanstead High Street, the cafe has a light and creative feel. More Shoreditch than Snaresbrook really! We’re big fans of the wallpaper (when you see it, you’ll know what we mean…), the super-cool paintwork and design.

Just hanging today…

A post shared by Bare Brew (@barebrew) on

Its owned and run by Gemma & Lisa; two women with a passion for coffee, fitness, arts & music.

So, what about the menu? It has awesome Square Mile coffee,  Hans Sloane hot choc, Tea & The Gang teas and daily smoothie specials. Food-wise; there’s tempting cakes, and changing brunch and lunch menus.

It seems like a great place to get some work done too. Has free wifi, USB ports and even offers pre and post workout snacks.  Kids are welcome, there’s board games etc and Bare Brew is really doggy friendly too. There’s plenty of treats for four-legged friends.

The CultureJukebox team will definitely be regulars here.. We think it’ll be a great place for late-opening and live-music too.. Watch this space! Find out more about Bare Brew here.

 

On Culture: Floating Cinema comes to South Ferriby

The CultureJukebox team really believe in democratising film, so it’s great to read about the Floating Cinema making a move from London and reaching a series of interesting locations around England.

The stop-off in South Ferriby, North Lincolnshire, piqued our interest – with the floating cinema stopping off on the beautiful River Ancholme to screen all-time Hollywood classic Sunset Boulevard.

The Floating Cinema, 2016 Image: © Hydar Dewachi

The Floating Cinema is led by Up Projects and is being supported by the Canal & River Trust for In Dialogue. This is a free programme of feature films, documentaries and a newly commissioned artwork entitled On the Bench by Leeds based artist, Harry Meadley.

The Floating Cinema, Sunset Boulevard, South Ferriby tour stop

The commission is a series of eight short films by Meadley featuring interviews with individuals that live and work in the eight waterway locations where The Floating Cinema will stop.

The Floating Cinema tour begins on 1 July 2017 and ends on 13th August 2017 – visiting Sheffield, Rotherham, Swinton, Doncaster, Thorne, Goole, South Ferriby and Hull.

For more information and tickets click here.

On Culture: the progressive new intersection of VR and promenade performance

The intersection of art and technology is one of the most interesting creative spaces – so great to hear about progressive new performance WHIST coming to London this month and then touring the UK.

‘WHIST’, created by dance company AΦE, is a new production combining VR with interactive promenade theatre. WHIST incorporates 360˚ interactive film, soundscapes and an architectural art installation to create an environment that blurs all boundaries – between consciousness and unconsciousness, reality and fiction, the physical and the virtual.

Inspired by Sigmund Freud’s dream theory, WHIST invites audiences on a journey into the unconscious mind, where instincts will be the guide through a narrative of surreal dreams and fears. And you, or your subconscious, choose your own path.

The performance incorporates 360˚ interactive film, soundscapes and an architectural art installation to create an environment that blurs all boundaries – between consciousness and unconsciousness, reality and fiction, the physical and the virtual.

Using interactive ‘triggers’ positioned in the virtual world by its makers, WHIST allows for a total of 76 narrative possibilities to exist, creating a unique experience for each viewer. No simple ‘red pill vs. blue pill’ format, WHIST implements interactive elements, subtly woven into the film to effect unconscious decision making.

According to the team behind the show, this puts the production at the very forefront of immersive storytelling innovation – leaving the strings that bind and pull at all times invisible. You, or your subconscious, choose your own path.

So, what are the upcoming dates?

  • Ugly Duck – London
    • 23-25 June 2017
  • Pavilion Dance South West – Bournemouth
    • 3-4 July 2017
  • Colours International Dance Festival – Stuttgart, Germany
    • 6 – 15 July 2017
  • Festival Theatre – Edinburgh
    • 21st July – 3rd August 2017
  • The Old Market – Brighton
    • 19-20 September 2017
  • (further dates to be confirmed)

Check the website for more information: http://www.aoiesteban.com/whist/

 

On Culture: HighTide Festival comes to Walthamstow

Fantastic news for East Londoners who love progressive new writing and theatre – HighTide Festival is coming to our capital.

The Suffolk festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016, and later this year makes its debut in Walthamstow in a temporary theatre space in partnership with Waltham Forest Council.

Kanye the First: Photography by Helen Maybanks and Rebecca Pitt

HighTide Theatre will present two world premiere productions in 2017, Heroine by Nessah Muthy (Host) directed by the Festival’s Artistic Director Steven Atkinson and comic dramaKanye The First by Sam Steiner (Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons) directed by HighTide Theatre Associate Director Andrew Twyman. A co-production with Theatre Clwyd, Muthy’s devastating exploration of patriotism and nativism in modern Britain follows young ex-soldier Grace as she struggles to reassimilate into society following a medical discharge from the army. Steiner’s first commissioned, and highly original, play will chart the second coming of global pop icon Kanye West. The play takes a timely look at identity and guilt in contemporary culture. Kanye The First is a co-production between HighTide Theatre and Paul Jellis in association with The Marlowe and The North Wall. Alongside these productions Theresa Ikoko’s Girls, joint winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), is set to return. Telling the tale of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, Ikoko wrote Girls to highlight the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news. Girls is a co-production between HighTide Theatre, Talawa Theatre Company and Martha Rose Wilson.

New work: Heroine, Photography by Helen Maybanks and Rebecca Pitt  

This year we’re focused on what HighTide Theatre is renowned for: commissioning bold and timely plays from the best new writers. We look forward to developing and previewing these world premiere productions in our beautiful home of Aldeburgh, and then for the first time bringing the whole festival to Walthamstow, alongside showcasing work by local artists. This new producing model for HighTide Theatre of two festivals allows us to take risks and continue to develop our productions with the input of our audiences in Aldeburgh. And then our new partnership with Waltham Forest Council and the National Theatre enables us to bring our fully formed productions all together to Greater London, where they can be seen by a wider and diverse community who would like a greater cultural provision in their area.” ~ Steven Atkinson, Artistic Director of HighTide Theatre 

It will be in Walthamstow town centre for 12 days after its Aldeburgh season, bringing an eclectic arts programme to an area of London. The programmes in both locations will include three headline plays (two of which are world premieres) and a programme of comedy, cabaret, talks and music.

HighTide 2017 Walthamstow Artist’s Impression, by SKA

The Walthamstow Festival will run 26 September – 8 October with Press Nights on 26 & 27 September.

“Waltham Forest Council is delighted to be partnering with HighTide Theatre for the first time this year.  Whilst the borough has a thriving cultural scene we do not have any bespoke theatres and a recent survey of residents showed that this was the cultural provision they felt was most lacking.  By bringing the Festival to Walthamstow Town Centre we are able to provide theatre right on residents’ doorsteps. Some of our talented local artists are included in the programme and a number of our young people will have the chance to gain first-hand experience of a professional theatre. We’re proud that our borough is home to one of the most diverse populations in the country and it’s of the utmost importance to us that our cultural programme reflects this diversity. We’re sure that the range of shows on offer will appeal to a wide cross-section of our residents. We also look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide to experience Waltham Forest’s creative buzz.” ~ Lorna Lee, Head of Culture & Heritage, Waltham Forest Council

Free or discounted tickets will be available to those with a Waltham Forest postcode and HighTide Theatre will be working to help young people find routes into creative roles, in collaboration with local organisation Big Creative Training, hosting a traineeship and work experience placements. The full programme in Walthamstow will include a late night comedy and cabaret strand, a series of talks, a site-specific production,Mobile, and a strand of work showcasing and supporting local creative talent. The comedy line-up is set to include: Phil Wang, Suzi Ruffell, Dane Baptiste, Tez Ilyas and Jayde Adams. Cabaret and music artists include Joe Stilgoe who will perform Songs on Film, The Beatbox Collective and an exclusive preview of new music from Arthur Darvill.

More information is online.

On Beer: East London’s Burgeoning Beer Mile (and a bit)

The CultureJukebox team are fond of a real ale or two (or three or four…)  So, it’s great to hear about some awesome new breweries opening up close to our home in East London.

In fact, the team here thrilled that some of these new breweries are putting purpose before profit too. Opening up near each other, this new brewing scene is top tribute to a fantastic beer culture that is brewing in our corner of the capital.

So, what’s new?

The Magic Spells Brewery, Leyton

The newest and latest independent Craft Brewery in East London currently produces three bottled beers:  A Craft Lager, a Pale Ale (called Hackney Hare) and an IPA.

Magic Spells’ beers are a somewhere between modern brewing techniques and old styles and methods; taking inspiration from classics and adding a modern twist. The brewery creates distinct flavour profiles for the beers – an up front and bold hoppy flavour, a satisfying bite to the beer, smoothly balanced due to a nice malty body and warming alcohol.

The brewery sources most of the malt used in its beers from the UK plus British hops boosted by punchy flavoured hops from New Zealand and America.

It was founded by Jas Hare, an Eastender born-and-bred, who has a fantastic track record in the drinks industry as well as being a craft beer enthusiast.

Magic Spells Beers are available in both 330ml and 500ml bottles with an RRP of £2.49 and £2.99 respectively. They’re all available online, and in venues around London too.

 

Nirvana Brewery, Leyton

Another new brewery for 2017, Nirvana does something completely different. A low / no-alcohol brewery – sure a great idea for our increasingly health-conscious times.

It’s the UK’s only micro brewery dedicated to zero and low ABV craft beers. Beers on offer include Mantra (an IPA at 0.7% ABV), Kosmic (a stout at 0% ABV), and Chakra (a stout at 1% ABV). The team at Nirvana promise “no compromises” on flavour, so we’re excited about our first visit!

Pretty Decent Beer

Opening up just down the road in Forest Gate, Pretty Decent Beer Co has just opened its doors.

On Sheridan Road in Forest Gate, near Cann Hall Road, this brewery looks like one to watch. The team promise: “We make decent beer and do decent things with the money you spend drinking it. We brew our beer in London and every bottle helps to fund sustainable water projects around the world.”

 

The CultureJukebox team hasn’t had chance to visit yet, but this brewery promises to be really superb – we like what we’ve seen on Instagram so far.

And Pretty Decent Beer Co is just a few minutes walk from some of Forest Gate’s best independent venues – The Wanstead Tap for an incredible selection of real ale and provocative programming, Burgess & Hall for beautiful wines; and the quirky and delicious Hawkes cider HQ.

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A proper round-up of some of Forest Gate, Leyton and Leytonstone’s best watering holes for this summer is coming soon. Where do you think should be on the list? Send us a Tweet and let us know where we should visit..

 

On Design Ideas: Plain Sailing Seasoning..

The CultureJukebox team are always on the look-out for quirky things to make our East London home look good..

.. So, it was great to hear about with Kikkerland’s Sail Boat Salt & Pepper Shakers.  Stylish, fun and just a great idea.

Time to sail away?
Plain sailing – looking good

 

We love it!

Based on a traditional sail boat design, the table-top seasoner is perfect for salty sea dogs and marinade-mad mariners. The Sail Boat Salt & Pepper Shakers are just adorable abstract stacking shakers.

Finished in a simple blue and white glossed ceramic colourway, the Sail Boat Salt & Pepper Shakers add a nautical twist to tea time. The two triangular sails, separated by the mast line sit together onto of the blue boat base. When separated, the sails reveal the discreet salt and pepper sprinklers.

The Salt & Pepper Shakers offer quick, chic, coastal charm, making them ideal for a sunny summer fish supper. They arrive gift-boxed, providing present inspiration for birthdays, anniversaries and home-movers (and shakers).

There’s some great homeware ideas on Kikkerland’s website, definitely worth exploring.

On Culture: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything – “gig theatre” at Hull 2017

As regular readers will already know, the CultureJukebox team grew up close to Hull – so it’s been great to see the energy of the city be unleashed throughout this year. And a press release about theatre outfit Middle Child piqued our interest further..

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything opens at the wonderful Welly nightclub in Hull on 6 June 2017.  If you’ve never been to the Welly, it’s one of the city’s very best clubs. The home of a lot of indie, alternative culture and the odd lost night out or two.

So, whats the show all about? It’s “gig theatre”, which means it’s a fusion of live music, theatre performance and an immersive experience. It mixes original live music from James Frewer with bold new writing from Luke Barnes.


This three-act anthem, set across three decades, from 1997’s Cool Britannia to 2007’s Broken Britain and today’s Brexit Britain, is a story about the world we inherited and the one we’re leaving behind.

The story follows two young people from Hull over 20 years as they struggle to realise their hopes and ambitions, against the backdrop of an asteroid heading for Earth. Alice Beaumont performs behind a Daft Punk-inspired mask as The Asteroid in the production, using synths and drum machines to give the character a distinct electronic music sound, in contrast to the guitar-based music of the human characters. James Frewer also performs live on stage alongside the actors, playing guitar and keyboard.

The show is from the creative minds of Hull-based theatre company Middle Child. Check out the website for more on the music, the story, and to buy tickets (they start at £8, and there are concessions too).

The All We Ever Wanted Was Everything EP features original electronic music written by James Frewer and arranged with Alice Beaumont. The EP is a great idea, introducing the audience to the characters and themes from the show.

James said: “One of the sole reasons you go to a gig is to hear the band or DJ’s big tunes and so we thought we’d get on it and release some of the tracks from All We Ever Wanted Was Everything before the event. “The character of The Asteroid in this show has her own techno vibe so we thought we would release the majority of her songs as a concept EP, detailing the journey of her view on humanity, from the euphoria of its possibility to her broken hearted execution of the planet. “We want people to play this EP loud, have a dance to it and then come along to hear it live at Welly this June.”

This sounds awesome, check out the show website here.

 

On Food: Zona N16 Opens in Stoke Newington – we try it out

The CultureJukebox team are fond of a delicious morning treat out on occasion, so it was great to hear about a new addition to Stoke Newington’s burgeoning breakfast cafe scene – Zona N16.

The space is a gastro-cafe by day, serving artisanal hot drinks and light bites brunch menu. Wines, cocktails and craft beers by night.

So, what did we think?

Zona N16 is right at the end of Church Street and about a 15 minute steady meander up from Dalston Kingsland.  Stepping in off the busy Stoke Newington High Street, the first thing that greets you is the sense of space and calmness.

It’s more impressive inside than out; nicely complimented by wonderfully friendly staff, with customers ranging from couples on dates, families enjoy a Sunday brunch out and hipsters-that-should-know-better cooking up something creative on their Macbooks.

 

Zona N16’s decor is superb, boasting clean lines and tasteful furniture with plenty of elbow room. A state-of the-art Kees van der Western coffee machine takes pride of place as you step in.

Q) What do you call a day without coffee? A) Depresso. ~ image c/o Zona N16

After a silky smooth cappuccino, it was time to place our order.

I went for Smoked Salmon Benedict, served on a fragrant croissant with mustard hollandaise and a sliced gherkin. It was served with avocado too. The salmon was full of flavour, the fragrant croissant was a unique twist on the brunch classic – this was a delicious portion of food. After running the Hackney Half Marathon the day before, I was hoping for a bit more carbs on the plate! But it was a truly delicious.

My significant other had the granola bowl and ordered the sourdough toast too. This was a lighter option, but really satisfying. The yoghurt was creamy, the granola had a true luxury crunch and the sourdough toast? Well, you’re in Stoke Newington. It just has to be done.

After lolling about, enjoying the atmosphere and great service we decided to order a dark hot chocolate drink as a pud. This was perhaps a bit too indulgent, but was a decadent finish to a sublime Stokey sustenance.  We’ll definitely be back!

Reality? It's just a collective hunch