Press Release: Waterloo Festival 2021 (11th May)

RESPAIR: Waterloo Festival 2021 Signals a Return of Hope

May and June 2021

Waterloo Festival, an annual celebration of the arts, community and heritage hosted by St John’s Waterloo, has returned for its 11th year with real-life and online events running now until the 27th of June 2021.

Its theme is Respair, an old English word meaning the return of hope after a period of despair, and as the pandemic recedes, the Festival provides the opportunity to get out, attend events and celebrate real-life creativity again.

Artistic Director Euchar Gravina said: “Waterloo Festival 2021 is a glorious, high-energy programme of sculpture, digital and experimental art, classical, rock, blues, folk and jazz, podcasts, audio tours and tea parties. No more blank diaries folks! I’d urge everyone to check out the Events calendar on our Waterloo Festival website, tell your friends and come along.”

Indoor events will observe social distancing and St John’s churchyard garden provides the perfect place for pre-and post-event socialising.

Festival highlights include:

Spotlight Chamber Concerts – Intense and immersive concerts by some of the world’s finest classical musicians including Angela Hewitt, Anthony Marwood's trio, Pavel Kolesnikov and the Doric Quartet, held in the darkened nave of St John’s. From 2nd June. St John’s Waterloo. Book here. (Local residents are encouraged to use the code “COMMUNITY” to get a £10 discount.)

Penny Lecture: Healing the Nation – Reviving Morley College’s oldest tradition of accessible public lectures, this talk by C20th Society expert and author Alan Powers will look at the Festival of Britain 70 years on.

Thursday 10th June. Morley College. Book here.

A Jewish Jesus: Art and Faith in the Shadow of World War - Introduced with a video message from Edmund de Waal, this will be a lively day of talks by art historians, theologians, and the relations of Jewish refugee artists who fled Nazi Europe, settled in Britain and made significant artistic contributions to churches and public places in the post-war era.

Wednesday 16th June. St John’s Waterloo. Book here.

BBC Antiques Roadshow’s Marc Allum in conversation with Paul Werth, grandson of Hans Feibusch whose 1951 murals grace St John’s Waterloo.

Wednesday 16th June. St John’s Church. Book here.

Inner Vision: Folk Music of the World - The world's only professional ensemble of blind musicians, The Inner Vision Orchestra brings music from across the globe to St John's.

Friday 18th June. St John’s Waterloo. Book here.

In the Dark III: Weaving in the Dark - Part mobile kinetic sculpture and part audio-visual projection collage, this collaborative exhibition is a multi-sensory experiment by The London Group, held in the historic crypt of St John's Waterloo.

Saturday 19th – Sunday 27th June. St John’s Waterloo. Read more here.

Nonclassical - Stationing four vocalists in separate corners of the St John’s spacious nave, Nonclassical Associate Composer Yfat Soul Zisso explores themes of solitude and connectedness in this new immersive work, composed specially for the Festival.

Tuesday 22nd June. St John’s Waterloo. Book here.

Revd. Canon Giles Goddard, Vicar of St John’s Waterloo and Chair of Waterloo Festival, said: “It’s 70 years since the Festival of Britain brought a renewal of hope to the South Bank and to the nation after a period of despair. We’re celebrating that anniversary and once again making Waterloo and the South Bank a place of creativity, community, and renewal. Do join us!”

Euchar Gravina concluded: “Morley College, The London Group, Hart Club Gallery, Spotlight Chamber Concerts, the Inner Vision Orchestra, Insiders/Outsiders, Art and Christianity, Coin Street, the Messengers, Flux Soup, Nonclassical, the Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Earth, University of Westminster, Unity Music Arts Team, these are all important partners in the Festival this year, organisations either based in our special part of London or who have decided that the Waterloo Festival is the place to be.

“We’re also grateful to have generous and active support from MyLondonHome, our lead sponsor this year, and returning sponsor HB Reavis. This wouldn’t be happening without them!”

The Inner Vision Orchestra



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