Royal Court Theatre Announces Listen Local: The Performances - Five Free Events Taking Place Across Waltham Forest in September 2019

Published on Wed 4 Sep 2019

Today the Royal Court Theatre announced Listen Local: The Performances, a series of free events taking place across Waltham Forest as part of the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2019. Listen Local: The Performances has been created by community groups, young people, Waltham Forest residents and local artists, in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre.

Taking place across two weekends in September – Friday 20, Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 September 2019 and
Friday 27, Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 September 2019 – the five performances, will incorporate sport, storytelling, dance, theatre, music and visual art. Each event will take place at a different location across the borough and will include; a film installation in the vibrant community hub of Chingford Mount; South Asian songs performed around the iconic fountain of Waltham Forest Town Hall; an interactive experience along the streets of the Bakers Arms area inspired by the journey of a young person in Waltham Forest and a community theatre performance on a Routemaster bus.

The Performances are the final phase of Listen Local, a year-long collaboration between the Royal Court Theatre, The National Trust and communities in Waltham Forest. Previous phases of the project have included; film competition See the Real, the Mini Forest Cinema; and a series of workshops led by professional artists focusing on writing, performance and design.

Listen Local was commissioned as part of Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 with support from the Airbnb Community Tourism Programme.


Listen Local: The Performances:


Monumental Citizens

Chingford Mount, South Chingford, E4 6SH

Fridays from 1pm – 6pm
Saturdays & Sundays from 12noon – 6pm

The short films will run continuously on a loop for the duration


Three of the borough’s young filmmakers, Emmanuel Li, Naomi Soneye-Thomas and Lamar Harper will collaborate with selected ‘Monumental Citizens’ – local citizens identified by community leader Satvinder Cubb as being an integral part of the fabric of South Chingford – to create a series of short films. Using these films, designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad will create an interactive film installation on Chingford Mount activating the civil architecture of the space. Chingford Mount is a vibrant hub used by many different people in the community. Two of the filmmakers previously took part in See the Real, the first phase of Listen Local earlier in the year. The Mini Forest Cinema’s visit to Chingford Mount provided the inspiration for this piece.


The Fountain Stage

Waltham Forest Town Hall, Forest Rd, London E17 4JF

Fridays 5pm & 6pm

Saturdays & Sundays 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 4pm & 5pm

Running time: 30 mins


The iconic fountain at Waltham Forest Town Hall will be transformed for a performance that retells the stories of popular South Asian songs through the medium of live music, performance and illustration. The idea came from a meeting with a community group of male South Asian Elders including music promoter Fazal Hussein.

The audience will be guided through a booklet produced in collaboration with illustrator Aleesha Nandhra, playwright Emteaz Hussain and women from the South Asian Community. The illustrations will take a contemporary slant on the classic films songs. Audiences will be invited to sit around the edge of the fountain and watch the performance.

Director Milli Bhatia, whose recent work includes seven methods of killing kylie jenner at the Royal Court Theatre; will work with the band, singer and performers.


Intercept – The Street Challenge

Written by Kamahl Sami Miller

Meeting Point: The corner of Lea Bridge Road and Bromley Road, E10 7DN

Fridays: Meeting point at 5pm and 6pm

Saturdays & Sundays: Meeting point at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm
Shows will run throughout the afternoon, audiences gather at the meeting point on the hour.

Running time: 20 mins


Intercept – The Street Challenge combines sport and dance in an interactive performance. A local choreographer will be collaborating with a young writer from youth engagement group Street Base, and sports groups in the borough to combine dance, sport and storytelling to create an interactive experience about the journey of a young person in Waltham Forest. The interactive experience, which will unfold along streets in the Bakers Arms area, will see audience members working in groups to take on a street challenge to complete the experience.


Breathing Space

Langthorne Park, High Road Leytonstone entrance, near E11 4JT

Friday 20th, 6pm

Friday 27th, 5pm & 6pm

Saturdays & Sundays, at 12noon, 1pm, 3pm & 4pm

Running time: 30 mins


Breathing Space is a trail around the park where audiences will discover bold celebrations of the daily triumphs we all share. The audience will discover pop up performances including a 5 minute play written by members of the Listen Local writing group, a performance of a piece composed especially for the project by WAVE Choir and an act based on escapology.

Breathing Space is inspired by conversations with Waltham Forest Hearing Voices Group and Waltham Forest Bipolar Group from Harmony Hall. Harmony Hall is a vital community resource which is currently under threat of closure.


I’m An Earthling

Meeting point: Look out for a green National Trust Routemaster bus near Leyton Fire Station, Oliver Road, E10 5HG

Fridays: Gather at the meeting point at 6.30pm

Saturdays & Sundays: Gather at the meeting point at 12 noon, 1.30pm & 3.30pm

Running time: 30 mins

Free – due to the nature of the space, tickets for each performance will be limited. Tickets will be issued on a first come, first served basis 20 minutes before the start time. Maximum of 2 per person.

For full details, see the press release here.