Porridge & Knowledge: Melissa Harrison | Arcola Theatre | Lleuwen Steffan

Doors Open 9:45 to 13:00 @ St Mark's

Advanced Tickets £4-£15 online

Porridge & Knowledge Workshops & Talks

Porridge and Knowledge

Nestled in a quiet enclave in the heart of East London, Porridge & Knowledge is the Saturday morning breakfast club that brings world-shaping speakers and spirited musicians to your breakfast table.


Melissa Harrison

Are writers born or made? Is creativity innate, or can it be taught?

In this relaxed and informal event, which will include plenty of time for questions and group discussion, novelist Melissa Harrison will talk about the internal transformation necessary to become a writer (or an artist of any kind), why she doesn’t believe in ‘writing tips’, and the highly personal creative process by which she turns elusive ideas into finished works. If you want to make something and put it out into the world, whether in words or otherwise, this talk is for you.

Nick Connaughton

Can Theatre ever meaningfully create Community? 
- Arcola Theatre’s Community Performance Company approach.

Britain was a pioneer in the early development of Community Theatre and Participatory Arts Practice across the globe, mainstreaming what began initially as a social and political response to reclaim art and performance by the groups of disenfranchised people. Over more than 50 years latter, the practice and methods of community theatre remain core to British Theatre practice, but has the intention, focus and impact been blunted by shifting interpretations of what exactly Community means? Are arts organisations mistaking audience, for community?

Since it’s foundation in 2000, and more significantly in the last five years, Arcola have been running an experiment looking back to the traditional routes of Community Theatre, as vehicle to provide a direct voice to underrepresented groups, groups that whilst benefiting from the resource of an organisation, but function and operate with a significant degree of autonomy. This year Arcola will work with five distinct but interconnected groups, currently Ala-Turka (Turkish and Kurdish Language), Arcola Queer Collective (LGBT+), Arcola 50+, Men’s Mental Health Theatre Company, and a new group focusing on Women’s representation, via the lens of Intersectional Feminism. These relationships are long term (with some groups having been run for over 10 years) providing an opportunity for the theatre to develop a meaningful and authentic sense of community, whilst providing a platform for underrepresented groups to develop and share their point of view at a time when large national arts institutions are in danger of viewing community as one homogenous group.

Lleuwen Steffan

Lleuwen Steffan was raised up to the sound of words and music, being the daughter of singer-composer Steve Eaves and she sang on some of his recordings as a young girl. She also gained valuable experience at Ysgol Glanaethwy, the school at Bangor renowned for its choirs, but Lleuwen was always keen to broaden her musical horizons and develop her own unique voice. This she did with the jazz group Acoustique and her first solo albums ‘Duw a wyr’ and ‘Penmon’, all of which were critically acclaimed.
She moved to Brittany, where she became engrossed in the musical traditions of that Celtic country, and learnt the Breton language. She worked with songstress Norwen Korbel, and also with the bassist Vincent Guerin, and together they composed songs and experimented with new sounds which resulted in the album “Tan”, released simultaneously in Brittany by Keltia Musique and in Wales by Sain.

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Melissa Harrison

Lleuwen Steffan

Venue Info:
St Mark’s

St Mark’s Church, St Marks Rise
Colvestone Crescent, Dalston, London E8 2LJ

Venue Notes:
Nearest stations are Dalston Kingsland and Dalston Junction on the Overground (both 10 minutes walk). The entrance to St Mark’s Church sits on Colverstone Crescent just east of St Mark’s Rise, postcode E8 2LJ.

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