Fight! Fight! Fight!

Posted 25th Apr 11 by Marie in News

Ding-ding! Round Two of London Word Festival. We’ve had two days to rest up, limber up and psychologically prepare ourselves for Mel Brimfield’s Intergender Wrestling. Check out this short trailer we made in training:


Intergender Wrestling from londonwordfestival on Vimeo.

In case you missed it, Tony Law will be joining the amazing Kevin Eldon as a commentator for the match. Mr Simon Munnery will be inviting to the ring Josie Long, Helen Lederer, Rachel Pantechnicon, Isy Suttie & the Beaux Belles, with referee Mr Tim Wells keeping things clean. With motivation courtesy of the wonderful Oompah Brass.

**Due to unforeseen circumstances Joanna Neary has had to pull out of tonight’s show, but will be replaced by Jerry Springer The Opera star Lore Lixenberg**

Tickets are flying ahead of the fists. Book now.



Comments (0)

You are Cordially invited to my Birthday Party. Regards, The King

Posted 22nd Apr 11 by Marie in News

So tomorrow, we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with our friends at Stoke Newington International Airport & the Henningham Family Press. ‘How many more lego Bible images can we pull out of the bag before this event is done’, we hear you ask. The answer is plenty. And they’ll be more tomorrow.

As well as The Fig Tailor, The Tree of Useless Knowledge, Johnny Cash, lots of printing,  more Lego and a whole load of apples, we’ll be hosting performances from Nathan Jones, the Henningham Family PressKerry YongKerri Meehan & Sophie Von CundaleMarcus Orlandi. Hosted by Tim Clare, music will be provided by the Disco of the Sheep & Goats, and we’d like your suggestions for Bible themed tracks for them to play on the night. Email suggestions to .

Comments (0)

Daniel Garvin introduces “extraordinary” hedge fund Infinitas

Posted 21st Apr 11 by Tom in News

During the course of their investigations of elite hedge fund Infinitas, the team behind The Crash have uncovered one of the firm’s corporate marketing videos.

Introduced by Senior Partner Daniel Garvin (missing presumed dead since September 2008).

Guided tours around the Site Investigations Office at 60 Farringdon Road are at 2pm and 2.30pm on Friday 29 April, Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May. Tours include a short lecture by Iain Sinclair (Fri), Geraint Anderson aka Cityboy (Sat) and David Aaronovitch (Sun).

Details and tickets.

Comments (0)

This Charming Fan

Posted 20th Apr 11 by Marie in News


Visitors to our site & browsers of our programme may have noticed a theme in the festival this year – Libraries and Public Reading. This Thursday, Bethnal Green Library plays welcome host to No Furniture So Charming, an evening dedicated to thinking about what the library of the future might look like.


Bethnal Green Library

I, for one, am a big fan and regular user of the library. I like them all. The big, posh, exclusive copyright libraries, and their bustling, ‘never a dull moment’ (despite the occasional napping user) -type local brethren. I felt pride when I was deemed worthy enough to grace the tables of the iconic British Library, and gladly surrendered my pens at door. I felt shame when I received notice from Hackney Central of a £50 fine for books 3 months overdue, and dutifully returned them knowing the books themselves had a greater market value (before briefly relocating to a new borough where my reputation remained unknown).

I’m not much of a writer, just an occasional purveyor of terrible puns (such as this very title). But here’s a little something I wrote for FutureBook, trying to articulate in my own awkward way the thinking behind this year’s library orientated programming. Do come along tomorrow night if you can, but if you can’t, Emmy The Great’s The Goodbye Library comes to The Nave next Wednesday, and the wonderful Quiet Volume continues its run at Hackney Library this week. Enjoy.


“When the DCMS released figures ‘affirming’ the steady decline in library use last year, we decided early on to make public libraries a central theme for London Word Festival 2011 .

The debate about the future of the library has been fought publicly and with some heat. Over the last six months, familiar names and faces have rallied to defend municipal libraries against closure, ‘reading-in’ with Joe Public as well as speaking out. Industrious and dedicated ‘Joe’s’ have formed independent groups in protest, gathering numbers through social media. There are those who feel the move is overdue – with cheap secondhand book sales on Amazon, who uses the libraries anyway? Its been suggested more than once that supporters have romanticised the buildings themselves rather than the service they provide. But statistics justifying public spending cuts seem to have ignored how usage has changed – e-lending & online reservations reducing but not eradicating the need for us to visit the library itself.


Stony Stratford library protest

With the event, No Furniture So Charming, we wanted to present something that explores the importance of the library as a physical space, as a place we go to. How inherent is this physicality to its definition? Could the future library be an entirely remote experience? Or is it just as integral as a place where people come together? Perhaps there is ‘No Furniture So Charming’ as books as Sidney Smith once said, but even books are being re-upholstered by the digital age (and the man himself is best remembered for immortalising a recipe for salad dressing in rhyme form). We’ve pulled together a cross-section of thinkers to find out what the future library might look like for them, providing a forum for audiences to respond in the process.

It’s important to us to explore the public library in a way that celebrates its significance and looked to the future. Our focus as a festival has always been an artistic one – commissioning and supporting artists to create and present new and challenging work. We aimed to curate a strand of artistic work that gives both artist and audience space to consider and create, but in very different ways.

We approached singer Emmy The Great to collaborate with poet Jack Underwood on a personal celebration of the space, culminating in The Goodbye Library with guests Miriam Elia, Nikesh Shukla and Submarine writer Joe Dunthorne. And running every day of the festival in reading rooms across London, Ant Hampton & Tim Etchells’ The Quiet Volume is a whispered, self-generated performance for two, exploring the tension of concentration and silence in reading. It is currently resident in Hackney Central Library, and has certainly drawn in some audiences who hadn’t thought to set foot inside their local library for quite some time.

London Word Festival at Hackney Central Library

Visiting nearly 30 library spaces in preparation for The Quiet Volume, I can tell you people are using the spaces, but perhaps differently from how they once did. People are still borrowing books, studying, teaching percentages to their siblings and stumbling across hidden gems (as I did myself with Wayne Winner’s beautiful, comical graphic novel, Art House Cinema). But they are also reading newspapers. They are using computers because they don’t own one, or need assistance sending an email. Many need help with the language to apply for jobs or grapple with the internet. Hackney is a hubbub of (often unpredictable) activity, but it is anything but dormant.

Wayne Winner reworks The Wickerman

This Thursday, with the help of co-curator Katy Beale, we invite you to consider the space itself, how it is used, how it could be used and how creative thinking can challenge and find new possibilities within it. To think beyond the bricks and the mortar and the furniture, and consider how we define what a library is and could be for the modern user”.


Comments (0)

Private View

Posted 20th Apr 11 by Sam in In Pictures

Monday 18th April. Ye Olde Axe.

All photos by Rosie Reed Gold


Comments (0)

Festival Programme 2011

Poster illustration by Oliver King

festival programme

Thu 7 - Wed 20 Apr (ex. 16 Apr)


Fri 8 - Sat 23 Apr

The Quiet Volume

Sat 9 - Sun 10 April

This is just to say

Tue 12 April

Books vs. Cigarettes

Sun 17 Apr

Scrabble Sunday Tournament

Mon 18 Apr

Private View

Tue 19 Apr


Thu 21 Apr

No Furniture So Charming

Sat 23 Apr

King James Bible Bash

Tue 26 Apr

Intergender Wrestling

Wed 27 Apr

The Goodbye Library

Thu 28 Apr

Like You Were Before

Thu 28 Apr

Keep Breathing

Fri 29 Apr - Sun 1 May

The Crash

Tue 3 May

Christian Bök

Wed 4 May

Alan Moore’s Dodgem Logic

Thu 5 May

Be Seeing You

Across the Festival

Ladies of the Press*

featured project | the broadsheet ballad

Featured Project

about the festival

Since 2008 the festival has swiftly gained a reputation for pioneering innovative approaches to cross-arts programming and generating new work in non-traditional spaces [More]