The New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival opens today and runs every day till Sunday 4th May at various venues. In Deptford the extra special venues that make this festival special include Big Red Pizzeria, Old Tidemill School, The Bird's Nest, Deptford Lounge, Deptford Market and Vinyl café and record shop on Tanner's Hill. On the high street there'll be film showings at Honey's Bakery, Shades Snooker Club, Deli X and Gallop Workshop. Watching The Hustler in Shades and The Harder They Come in Honey's sounds just perfect. And that's just Deptford. There are outdoor bike-powered showings too... Download the programme here. To get a flavour, here's a short video of last year's festival...
This evening is also the last Friday in the month, so that means, as always, art galleries are open in and around Deptford and beyond. See www.southlondonartmap.com/events/last-fridays
Assembly, the group temporarily transforming the garden at Old Tidemill School (which was originally created by a Tidemill teacher living on Crossfields), are open every Saturday between 12 and 4pm for all things to do with growing food and gardening. There's a Free bike-powered film screening tomorrow, Saturday 26th April, and May Day Celebrations on Saturday 3rd May. On Sunday 4th May at 1pm, they're screening Ping Pong, a film about octogenarian ping pong players vying for a world championship title – followed by ping pong tournaments for the film goers (2-3pm).
Down on the river, a "rarely performed masterpiece" of Restoration post-Shakespearian tragedy drama (we had to look it up) can be seen at Paynes & Borthwick Wharf. Venice Preserv'd (written by Thomas Otway and brought to life by The Spectators' Guild) opened yesterday and continues till 8th June.
Tickets are expensive but concessionary tickets at £10 appear to be available from May 1st. According to the website, these tickets must be "accompanied by proof of debt in the form of a recent student loan letter, bailiff's letter, final notice or negative bank statement". Whilst this is profoundly insulting, we've got our obligatory negative bank statement and will be taking it with us when we go to see this "tale of corruption, friendship and love" next week – even though we think that the funding behind this extravaganza could have supplemented more reasonably priced tickets for local people without them having to plead and prove poverty.
Now we're onto pay-to-view rather than free shows, we'd like to give special mention to a show featuring partially sighted Crossfields resident Heather Gilmore. Extant presents The Chairs by Eugene Ionesco, with blind actors in the two main roles of an interpretation of this classic text. Tuesday 29th April - Friday 2 May, 7.30pm (£12/£10 and £5 for companions and supporters of disabled attendees).
Lastly, preparations are under way for Greenwich & Docklands International Festival in June. LIFT (the London International Festival of Theatre) will be presenting Deblozay, a "processional theatre show, with acoustic and amplified sound, choir and local participation, plus light, theatrical pyro and fire effects". And Crossfields will be part of it.
On June 20th & 21st at 9pm-ish, Deblozay will set off from St Alfege's Church in Greenwich, through Bardsley Lane and Claremont St estate to Norman Road, where it will cross the Ha'Penny Hatch and come into Crossfields estate at the railway arches at about 10.35pm. The spectacle will then move north to arrive somewhere near the Laban where there will be an outdoor bar until midnight.
Rehearsals on Crossfields will be on 19th June. We're not sure which 'locals' are participating since Crossfields residents were not asked to get involved, but nevertheless it promises to be a local event worth looking forward to – and it's free!