Now in its fifth year, Brixton’s annual arts festival MADD for Brockwell Park has begun, with events as diverse as a history walk beginning at the park’s historic clocktower, swing dance performances and community scratch opera. Arts contributor Sarah Solomon looks ahead at what next weekend holds.
Fans of musical cabaret will be happy to hear that regulars to MADD, Sixteenfeet Productions, are once again showcasing ‘Catch me a Song’ – a dynamic outdoor performance over sunset combining classic songs from musical theatre with jazz, swing, classical, Motown and much more. On Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June, for two evenings in the great surrounds of Brockwell Park, singers with West End credits Paul Hazel, Jennifer Rhodes, Amanda Posener and Hamilton Sargent, will perform renditions of musical greats.
With formal training at top institutions including Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Mountview Theatre School, and appearances in West End shows such as The Lion King, A Chorus Line, Rent and Dancing in the Streets, Catch me a Song is set to be a fantastic show, bringing musical classics to Brixton. Lambeth-based singer Paul Hazel elaborates, “it’s great to perform locally as not everyone can get to a show, so we bring the show to them. It’s wonderful to perform in the outdoors, we have a natural backdrop.”
Through performances such as ‘Catch me a Song’, founders of Sixteenfeet Productions Caroline Funnell and Guy Holden aim to bring arts to the park, collaborating with local creatives to produce theatre in unconventional yet accessible spaces for the public. MADD for Brockwell Park is a particularly good platform for Sixteenfeet Productions’ work. As Funnell states, “MADD is a great initiative and it’s good that it hosts so many arts activities. What makes it special for us to take part in MADD is that it is on home turf.”
‘Catch me a Song’ is suitable for all age groups with something for everyone, and audiences are encouraged to bring a picnic. For tickets and more information contact 07958448690 or visit www.sixteenfeet.co.uk. The Lambeth-based quartet will also be performing at Streatham Rookery on 12th July and the New Streatham library on 13th July as part of the Streatham Festival.