Saturday 29 December 2018

UB40 - Many Rivers to Cross Filmed St Pauls Church Deptford. getting you in mood 4 Deptford Heritage Festival

Thursday 20 December 2018

#London #Poetry #poen #festival #MustGo #Events #ChristmasGifts #3InternationalDeptfordHeritageFestival

The Browning Society will be giving a talk by Dr Simon Avery as part of The 3 International Deptford Heritage Festival on ; Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning , their opposition to the slave trade  , with thoughts and readings by leading poets of their work  including Scot Lewis, Sue Brown,And Jayne Thomas with more names to be confirmed on  their period as local New Cross Deptford Residents. 

2pm Saturday 2 February 2019 with tickets just £5 the perfect gift for poets and lovers of literature  or if you have bought tickets for the play #Liberty admission is included with this ticket. 

If your a poet or have a favourite poem to share we would love to include you as part of this event 

The romance between Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett is legendary. Here's the first letter that Robert Browning sent to Elizabeth, who would eventually become his wife. 
January 10th, 1845
New Cross, Hatcham, Deptford
I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett,--and this is no off-hand complimentary letter that I shall write,--whatever else, no prompt matter-of-course recognition of your genius and there a graceful and natural end of the thing: since the day last week when I first read your poems, I quite laugh to remember how I have been turning again in my mind what I should be able to tell you of their effect upon me--for in the first flush of delight I thought I would this once get out of my habit of purely passive enjoyment, when I do really enjoy, and thoroughly justify my admiration--perhaps even, as a loyal fellow-craftsman should, try and find fault and do you some little good to be proud of herafter!--but nothing comes of it all--so into me has it gone, and part of me has it become, this great living poetry of yours, not a flower of which but took root and grew... oh, how different that is from lying to be dried and pressed flat and prized highly and put in a book with a proper account at bottom, and shut up and put away... and the book called a 'Flora', besides! After all, I need not give up the thought of doing that, too, in time; because even now, talking with whoever is worthy, I can give reason for my faith in one and another excellence, the fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought--but in this addressing myself to you, your own self, and for the first time, my feeling rises altogether. I do, as I say, love these Books with all my heart-- and I love you too: do you know I was once seeing you? Mr. Kenyon said to me one morning "would you like to see Miss Barrett?"--then he went to announce me,--then he returned... you were too unwell -- and now it is years ago--and I feel as at some untoward passage in my travels--as if I had been close, so close, to some world's wonder in chapel on crypt,... only a screen to push and I might have entered -- but there was some slight... so it now seems... slight and just-sufficient bar to admission and the half-opened door shut, and I went home my thousands of miles, and the sight was never to be!
Well, these Poems were to be--and this true thankful joy and pride with which I feel myself. Yours ever faithfully Robert Browning

Robert Browning (7 May 1812 – 12 December 1889) was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of the dramatic monologue made him one of the foremost Victorian poets. His poems are known for their ironycharacterization, dark humour, social commentary, historical settings, and challenging vocabulary and syntax.
Browning's early career began promisingly, but collapsed. The long poems Pauline and Paracelsus received some acclaim, but in 1840 the difficult Sordello, which was seen as wilfully obscure, brought his poetry into disrepute. His reputation took more than a decade to recover, during which time he moved away from the Shelleyan forms of his early period and developed a more personal style.
In 1846 Browning married the older poet Elizabeth Barrett, and went to live in Italy. By the time of her death in 1861, he had published the crucial collection Men and Women. The collection Dramatis Personae and the book-length epic poem The Ring and the Book followed, and made him a leading British poet. He continued to write prolifically, but his reputation today rests largely on the poetry he wrote in this middle period.
When Browning died in 1889, he was regarded as a sage and philosopher-poet who through his writing had made contributions to Victorian social and political discourse. Unusually for a poet, societies for the study of his work were founded while he was still alive. Such Browning Societies remained common in Britain and the United States until the early 20th century.Tickets for festival ; .

Friday 14 December 2018

#Theatre #Director #Legend #KarenDouglas interview on Directing #Liberty most important #LGBTQ & #CivilRights stage play of 2019


I am really excited to be directing Ray Barron-Woolford’s play, Liberty, about the working-class London based Scottish activist, Kath Duncan. Not only is this a subject matter very close to my heart, and my own experiences as a socialist activist of more than 40 years, but Ray has assembled a very exciting cast and his script includes some amazing staging and production concepts.
Following in the footsteps of the wonderful Donmar Warehouse all female Shakespeare trilogy, and recent productions by the National Theatre and other well respected companies, the casting is gender fluid and I am very much looking forward to meeting and working with the diverse, multi-talented team.
Ray’s concept of a fully immersive theatre piece, incorporating multi media and encouraging full audience engagement and participation, is something I am very familiar with, having regularly incorporated some or all of this in productions by my own theatre company SpartaKi, over the last 15 years. I am delighted to be directing Liberty and relish the opportunity to bring Ray’s vision to life, while adding more than a few distinctive touches of my own.

Kath was a real force of nature who was never afraid to speak truth to power. A tiny pocket rocket, little over 5 foot tall, she needed a box to stand on so she could be seen as she delivered her fiery, inspiring speeches. Kath embraced and spoke up for all disenfranchised minorities of her time – women, homosexuals, transvestites, the poor and unemployed, anyone without a voice of their own. At no small cost to herself. Kath’s activism and prison sentences resulted in her losing her beloved teaching post and affected her health for the rest of her short life, ultimately contributing to her death.
Kath’s legal case was the first test case supported by the newly formed Council of Civil Liberties, which we now know as Liberty. The imprisonment of Kath and other activists, was raised in Parliament, and eventually set a legal precedent for the right to freedom of speech and peaceful protest.

Although set in the 1930s, Kath’s story is still very much the story of our times, and I intend to bring this out clearly in this production. The real life characters in Liberty may be long gone, but their stories are still highly relevant, and many today will recognise and relate to their struggles, struggles that are still ongoing.

Still nowadays, in the 21st century, the poorest and weakest in society, and those most marginalised and discriminated against, are being not only punished for their mere existence, but also blamed for all the ills of society. Ills that have been imposed by a greedy, self serving, upper class political elite.
Kath would despair at the current manufactured, politically motivated austerity regime punishing, humiliating and grinding down the poorest and most vulnerable in society, and she would be horrified at the widespread rise of the extreme right wing, manifest in Brexit, Trump, Brazil, Hungary and indeed throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
Feminism Symbol Vector. Feminism Power. LGBT Society. Female Icon. Feminist Hand. Girls Rights. Female Future Protest. Woman Resist. Isolated Illustration 
Historically women suffer more in times of economic uncertainty and ‘belt-tightening’ policies. They still tend to occupy the majority of (generally low paid or unpaid ) caring roles, and other positions in the publicly funded – and so ever threatened by cost cutting – sectors of healthcare, eduction and childcare.
In her own time Kath was used then abandoned and shunned by the political party she loyally served and supported. Her activism was first and foremost about making life better for ‘her people’, at a grassroots, local community level, and she had little time or inclination for internecine party political strife. That her invaluable contribution to the class struggle has been ignored is disappointing, if not particularly surprising. There are many unsung heroines working in communities the length and breadth of Britain today who are never lauded or acknowledged. History is, after all, written by the victors. And these are rarely working class women.
This is therefore a very timely production of Liberty. It is time, and our duty, to reclaim Kath’s story, recognise and celebrate her struggles and successes, and celebrate her continuing relevance. Were she still with us, Kath, and her box, would be very much in demand.
Links: @Raywoolford

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Trans - The History of the LGBTQ and Civil Rights movement bought to London Stage with #Liberty

One of the first #LGBTQ direct action activists was Percy Duke whose love for a fine pair of heels and the latest frock despite the law, was hugely influenced by his house mate , Kath Duncan who encouraged people not just to live their lives as they chose and NOT hide behind closed door, but challenge every police man and every Judge that would arrest and charge #LGBTQ just for looking as they did in 1930s Britain .
Percy Duke arrested and charged whilst living at Kath Duncans house in New Cross Deptford turned his arrest into a political statement despite the huge personal cost to himself, by speaking out against the injustice and FOR all #LGBTQ civil rights, he was give not a few days jail, but 12 months jail with hard labour. Percy Dukes story is one of the amazing Civil Rights activism stories bought to life on the London stage with the first ever staging of the true events of these brave people lead by Kath Duncan who fought, campaigned and established the #LGBTQ and #CivilRights movement in 1930s Britain , it seems shocking that in Britain 2019 so few people are aware of how the UK LGBTQ and Civil rights movement was established and the names of its leaders who paid a terrible personal cost to fight OUR battle, whilst Kath Duncans 2 Jail terms lead to establishment and first court case of National Council Civil Liberties .
Red Blouse Theatre who are staging this long overdue but stunning new stage play #Liberty as part of the Global #LGBT History Month and as an International Deptford Heritage Festival Highlight have signed Drag Idol Star Claudia F ( Giorgio Borghes ) to tell this story and whilst this is a period drama Claudia F, will be in the present and highlight the reality of fact every week in #USA alone a #Trans person is killed just because of who they are, whilst still in 72 Countries it is still against the law to be #LGBTQ and with so many other countries banning protestors calling 4 basic Civil Rights, this Play will be a political statement and show of solidarity with activists who fight today .. live streamed to every country they can reach that denies people there Civil Rights with Opening night Valentines Day 14 February 2019 being a tribute to Civil Rights activists around the World with many flying in to support this extraordinary stage production on track to be the most talked about stage play of 2019, and with Tickets £15 the perfect Christmas gift .If you only ever go to Theatre once, make it this show .Directed by leading highly respected Scottish Director Karen Douglas , The battle and fight scenes directed by multi award winning global film and stage fight director Ronin Traynor with the stunning musical talent of Rona Topaz , although this is NOT a musical it does have some powerful new songs especially written for this production including the new Gay Love song #ForbiddenLove , with a cast lead by leading British actor Emily Carding , just back from rave reviews in New York playing Kath Duncan and Brazilian Star Ana Ulsig playing Kath Duncans husband Sandy Duncan and celebrity big brother winner and Holly Oaks Star Alex Reid playing the Leader of Infergordon Mutiny ,Fred Coleman in one of the most creative & exciting gender fluid casts to perform on the London Stage ,this production is a must . Delivers a great stage production, whilst telling a true story we should all be aware in a World that still sees people dying for their Civil Rights i n 2018 , We hear much about the 1930s, this play brings you the reality alive in 2019 
Press Interviews text 07871187162 or email website Twitter @BlouseRed ( Red Blouse Theatre ) 

Tuesday 4 December 2018

#Liberty The Must go see #London #Theatre #production of 2019. latest Press release

Release: Tuesday 4 December 2018 

World first !  a 1930s period play telling the true events that established the LGBTQ and Civil rights movement in 1930s Britain  to be streamed globally as part LGBTQ history month to  mobilise people in every country in which these rights still do not exist 

 LGBTQ & Civil Rights play #Liberty will be  streamed internationally to every country in the world especially the 72 countries in which being LGBTQ and fighting for civil rights in 2018 is still a crime as part of global LGBT history month 14-28 February 2019 

#Liberty a highly anticipated new stage production based on the bop star and presently choir director and leading disability activist  Rona Topaz as musical director ( although this stunning production has songs, it is NOT a musical ) ,the fight and battle scenes for the production are being staged by the Worlds number one film and stage fight Director , Ronin Traynor .The gender flued and rising acting cast is one of the most interesting to come to the London stage and will see Music, Film, and social media used in the present in a way never used before on a Theatre stage, with Kath Duncan played by one of the UK finest actors Emily Carding whose productions of Hamlet, Richard111 have won high acclaim and awards from Edinburgh, Prague and Brighton fringe to her resent stunning reviews on New York Broadway  , established as one of the finest actors of her age for playing men , Emily will lead an almost full female cast playing men’s roles in a mainly all women lead  Red Blouse Theatre production , recreating  on stage for the first time since 1930s, Kath Duncan , other cast members include the Brazilian International star who has fled fascism in Brazil Ana luiza Ulsig , celebrity big bother winner and Hollyoaks actor Alex Reid whilst in the age in which one Trans person is killed every week I  USA alone, Actor Singer Giorgio Borghes will bring to the stage the present through his Drag Idol creation Claudia F to highlight the activism of Percy Duke in 1930s who was given 12 months hard labour for wearing a dress in public, Giorgio whilst reflecting on this story will bring the play back up to date with were we are NOW.

The 3rd International Deptford Heritage Festival will be London’s largest heritage festival and will run from 1 to 28 February 2019, which includes the global #LGBTQ History Month.

The Deptford Heritage Festival brings together the country’s leading experts on people such as Lord Nelson, Christopher Marlowe, Peter the Great, the MacMillan sisters, Kath Duncan, and Olaudan Equiano, whose lives in Deptford have not just shaped the history of Deptford but of the whole world.

Traditionally held over the first bank holiday in May, the Deptford Heritage Festival brings together local schools, community groups, choirs, artists, writers, performers, poets, musicians, historians, and local residents of all ages and diversity, to celebrate community and working class history at a period in our history in which gentrification seems about to erase the area’s awesome heritage, identity, sense of community, and place and importance in world history.

Red Blouse Theatre, a local radical theatre company first formed in the 1930s and newly re-formed for the festival, will stage a remarkable production of #Liberty, a new and highly acclaimed play that tells the story of Kath Duncan, one of the most significant Scots and UK civil rights activists of the past 100 years, whose campaigns in the 1930s laid the groundwork for The National Council Of Civil Liberties. The cast includes Emily Carding, who will play Kath Duncan, and Alex Reid, who will play Fred Copeman. Although it is not a musical, the play contains several songs, one of which, Forbidden Love, is a duet between the two gay characters in the play whose sentencing to a fifth jail term for a total of 12 years just for looking gay led to the events portrayed in the play.

It seems extraordinary that most people are at least aware of the importance of Nelson Mandela for South Africa, of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Stonewall for the USA, and of Gandhi for India, while almost no one, including leading human-and-civil-rights lawyers, are aware of the importance of Kath Duncan for the UK, and how a key battle for civil and LGBTQ rights was fought and won here in Deptford. In the year in which we celebrate 100 years of women’s activism, it seems more than appropriate that Kath Duncan, one of the most vigorous and successful activists of her time, be brought out of the obscurity to which she was condemned, most likely on account of her gender, sexuality, class, and politics.

Tickets for #Liberty cost £15 and give free access to ALL other festival events except for the History Tour Bus.

The opening night celebrity gala on 14 February 2019 (Valentine’s Day) will be a tribute to the country’s inspirational women activists with the UK and some of the Worlds leading Civil rights leaders , a full list to be published soon. Production and tickets will cost £25.

Tickets are on sale now from and and would make fantastic Christmas presents or Valentine’s Day gifts. 

All profits from the festival will fund a school holiday project run by the local community that keeps kids fed and safe during the school holidays, and which, despite growing need, receives no government or council funding. The festival and the play #Liberty are still looking for sponsorship so that more of the funds raised can go directly to this project.

For press interviews:

Text:                              07871187162


Twitter:                          @BlouseRed @DeptfordHerita1

Telephone (Festival Office): 0203 632 196

Website:                         www.KathDuncan.Com

A long overdue biography of Kath Duncan, The Last Queen of Scotland, has been written by Ray Barron-Woolford and will be published by New York Publisher Austin McCauley early in 2019. are about to start production of a film about Kath Duncan’s life based on Ray Barron-Woolford’s play and biography. You should contact them direct if you want to get involved.

Buy tickets for Deptford Heritage Festival 's forthcoming events. Click the link for further information and to secure your tickets now!

Thursday 29 November 2018

#Best #London #Theatre #Show #Tickets 4 #Liberty just £15 the perfect #ChristmasGift

INTERVIEW: Ana Ulsig talks Brazil, Liberty the play, Kath Duncan and more

I recently sat down Ana Luiza Ulsig who is starring in the LGBTQ play “Liberty”, where she will play the Prison Governor and Sandy Duncan (Kath’s husband,) directed by the highly acclaimed and respected Karen Douglas. We talked through a wide variety of topics, including the state of politics in Brazil, LGBTQ history and Liberty, Kath Duncan, history and a wide number of topics in this fantastic interview.
Ana is a Brazilian Danish performer and writer based in London, where she recently completed Rose Bruford College’s Master program in Actor Performer Training. Ana started taking theatre lessons by the age of 11 and holds a BA in Acting from the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO).
She says that she accumulated a vast experience in theatre, including improvisation, street theatre, musicals, comedy; as well as TV soap operas, commercials, and films. Ana participated in the project “Nós do Morro”, a cultural/social initiative in the slum of Vidigal, in Rio, and has always been engaged in projects that aim for social transformation.
That includes the work developed with TÁ NA RUA street theatre company, with regular presentations on the streets; as well as the project “Rock’n Lixo”, which she co-wrote and produced, and was awarded a 100.000 BRL grant from the Rio Municipality to tour around arenas in less favored areas of the city. This project included a Sign Language interpreter for the hearing impaired, free transportation for students of public schools, and recycled puppets workshops, as this related to the subject of the play.
Currently, Ana is rehearsing for the play “Liberty”, by Ray Barron-Woolford, and working on the authorial project “The Journey of a Warlike Mind”, about the birth of a woman’s voice. The play is inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft, a British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights, considered the mother of modern feminism.
  1. With recent events in Brazil in mind, how important is it for you to participate in a political production of this calibre?

Seb, for me being in this production at this moment it’s not only important, it’s essential. It is an exercise of democracy and self-expression, by celebrating and remembering part of our heritage that had been buried until now. Digging up the story of Katherine Duncan and making it known for the public is in itself a fight against silencing people who fight for freedom and equal rights for all human beings.

As I give voice to this story as an actress, lending my body, my voice, my work, I feel that the story is feeding me in return, awakening my own voice and giving me strength to continue fighting in these dark times.

I feel that we, as a society, naively think we have outgrown certain mistakes from the past, when it comes to justice, to a fair world, to humanity. But the truth is, in my view, we are repeating old structures without asking ourselves if they serve us, individually and as a collective.

In Brazil today we have an immense parcel of the society who used to be suppressed, and/or to be in misery, and who are finally speaking out. The indigenous, black people, miserable people (economically speaking) and women.
Ana says that Women in Brazil, have finally visualized our value and where we deserve to stand. What is happening in Brazil (and in other corners of the world now as we speak) is a reaction to these masses finally awakening. Because it means change, it means transformation, and some people really don’t want to leave their comfortable positions.

It is my responsibility as an artist to provoke questioning and transformation in a deep and intimate level. For it is in this deep and intimate place within us that it all begins. Changing the micro to change the macro. I like to say the artists are the doctors of the souls.

Nowadays, we see a play or a movie about the time when Hitler was ruling and we say “wow, it was so horrible what they did back then. Thank god we’re over it.” Right? I’m proud to be in this production because it asks: are we? Are we over it?

  1. What was it about the story of the Scottish communist activist Kath Duncan that inspired you about the play?

That has actually to do with how I decided to apply for this play. I was in the middle of an intense phase of my master’s course (at Rose Bruford College), facing several deadlines, and I wasn’t looking for jobs yet. But I was keeping an eye out for what was going on, and when I saw the post about the auditions for LIBERTY, I didn’t think twice. I just knew I had to apply, and I got the part!

Ana speaks passionately about the character, the main inspiration for me was the fact that such an important person in history had been “forgotten”, “lost in files”, do you know what I mean?

Moreover, that this person was a woman. For me, that was extremely inspiring. It resonates with my own story, with my family’s stories, with the stories of women in my life and from previous generations. Women who were silenced, forgotten, lost in files.

We are talking about centuries of abuse, of suppression. Kath’s story talks about the lives of the baby girls who were thrown in the river in China, and it talks about me. It is a story that still trespasses time, still! So, I want to listen to her and learn from her. Kath awakes me to the notion that we are still in a battle for free speech.

  1. Kath Duncan participated in the battle of cable street against Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, with the election of Bolsonaro and the current emergence of far-right forces in society how important is the anti-fascist struggle to you. 

I like that you mention this because in this play we are talking about heritage, history and the importance of learning from the past to understand the present to be able to build the future.

The current emergence of far-right forces shows how far behind we still are. It shows the worst and darkest part of the Brazilian society. It is impressive that 55% of the valid votes were in favor of a fascist figure. 57,8 million votes. It is an outstanding number of people who think like him, on some level.

During the elections process, people started showing what they really think. Voting for Bolsonaro, is basically an authorization for racism, male chauvinism, hatred against LGBT, and so on. People who think like that, now feel they have a legitimation, they are not hiding it anymore.

In the past months, I have heard speeches of hate, of people admitting they agree when Bolsonaro says that women should earn less because we have babies. Who says that some woman didn’t deserve to be raped because she wasn’t pretty enough. It is absurd, and on some level 57,8 million people (in Brazil only) agree with the vision that this man has of the world.

It also shows the ignorance of a lot of people, who sees him as a saviour (Ana draws on the similarities between Bolsonaro and Hitler are says they are not mere coincidence….) and don’t really research about him, about the work he has done and what he represents.

It shows the lack of education, of knowledge, which is the result of centuries of suppression of the society, by feeding the herd without allowing each individual to think on his/her own, have opinions and, ultimately, the right of free speech, which Kath fought so hard for.

In the play, I play the prison governor. It is the role I auditioned for because I like the challenge of putting myself in other people’s shoes and lighting up the darkness within my own self. It is the only way of understanding where we are and how things can change. This prison governor represents to me this view that still lives among us, narrow-minded, male chauvinist, that women are inferior, that the poor don’t deserve civil rights, that gays should be killed.

This is the kind of thing I have been hearing. This mindset exists, and apparently in a wide scale. I am proud to give voice to this view on stage, in order for us to see it, acknowledge it, admit it among us, discuss it, change it. We can’t continue pretending everything is fine, this far-right/fascist dictatorship still lives discreetly among us, in us, it is about how we see ourselves, and each other.
This struggle makes me ask questions like “Who am I? What do I think? Do I value myself, as a woman? Do I need to change my own view of my own self?

  1. Considering how the story of Kath Duncan and the LGBT civil rights struggle in the 30’s isn’t too well known, what is the significance of these events today?

The thing that strikes me the most about Kath’s fight is that she wasn’t only after changing things for a particular group, or for women, she was fighting for ALL, for human kind. And she was a woman with an incredible generosity to extend her actions. She was fighting for the right of free speech, independently of who you are – gender, race, economic state…

She became a symbol of liberty in a broader sense. I believe that it is our duty to cherish and respect the work she did in the past, and continue it, increase it, grow and transform.

  1.  What is your opinion on the current political happenings in Brazil such as former president Lula’s imprisonment and the election of Bolsonaro?

At this moment, I find it hard to know what is true. We are living in a big messy pool of information, opinions, news of which we don’t know the source; and in Brazil the unmasking of a massive corruption that started with our colonization. I think it’s funny that many voted for Bolsonaro because “PT (the labour party) destroyed the Brazilian economy, was corrupt, etc etc…”. But what has to be taken into account is that this structure started 500 years ago, not 13 years ago. That during the ruling of Lula and, afterwards, Dilma, the corruption finally had the chance of being broken, this space was given. I don’t agree with everything they did during their governments, but I recognize they gave space for a massive part of the society that was in misery, and the space for corruption to show its faces.

I think Bolsonaro being ellected is a step back, BUT I also see that we have built a strong base, that allows us not to fall back into old habits. I think we are facing danger but we are also prepared to fight. And this is new.
That is why stories like Kath Duncan’s are so important to be told, and celebrated. She is part of this base, part of why today we can say we are prepared to fight. To continue fighting. For Kath, for you, for me, for our ancestors, and our future generations.

The plays website can be found at and the link to buy tickets, 

If you’re interested in finding out more information about the hugely inspiring Ana, her website can be found here,

Cover Photo Credit: Andre Groth, group Ta na Rua.

Seb Chromiak

I was born 09.10.1997, I currently study Economics and Politics at the University of Manchester and have an interest in Neo-liberalism, Russian Politics and Current Affairs.
    Seb Chromiak has 20 posts and counting. See all posts by Seb Chromiak
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