Headliners announced for SEEN Lewisham. Unmissable performances, family events, workshops, and the borough’s best emerging talent

Words: Sophia A Jackson
Published: Friday 24 May 2024, 7:00am

SEEN grant recipients with Ryan Calais-Camero and Cllr. Huynh
SEEN grant recipients with Ryan Calais-Camero and Cllr. Huynh

SEEN Lewisham will be kicking off on Monday 10 June, at the Broadway Theatre Catford, with a packed week-long programme of events showcasing the borough’s best Global Majority talent.

  • Tippa Irie and Richard Blackwood announced as headliners for the Kings of UK Comedy – Father’s Day special.
  • Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor to round off the celebrations at the SEEN Lewisham festival finale.
  • See Lewisham’s emerging talent, featuring diverse theatre, dance, and music performances supported by grants and mentoring.
  • All studio theatre tickets are £10 and under, with a free family day on Saturday 15 June.

SEEN Lewisham is a collaboration between the London Borough of Lewisham and the innovative, award-winning arts organisation Nouveau Riche. Funded by Lewisham Council, the Mayor of London, and the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, this festival promises to be a celebration of creativity and diversity in the heart of London.

Broadway Theatre will be filled with the sights and sounds of artists of Global Majority backgrounds from Monday 10 – Sunday 16 June. This is a festival for everyone, whether you’re looking for family friendly events, thought-provoking drama, inspiring talks, up-lifting music or laugh out loud comedy – there is something on the SEEN Lewisham programme for you. All studio theatre tickets are £10 and under. Tickets are on sale now on the Broadway Theatre website.

SEEN Lewisham presents a line-up of homegrown talent brought together through a February call for submissions. These artists receive grants and mentoring to bring their acts to life. Theatre performances include Monique Day’s ‘Mirror Mirror’, exploring racial identity and dreams amidst societal pressures. Amaarah Roze’s ‘This Is Embarrassing’ celebrates vulnerability and authenticity. Zahra Dalilah’s ‘Anatomy of a Black Rebellion’ offers a retelling of the classic rebellion narrative. In dance, Masumi Saito and An-Ting fuse Japanese and Taiwanese cultures, while Amanda Thompson’s ‘The Nest’ celebrates curiosity inspired by nature. Musical performances feature Sahra Gure and Tendo, known for their soulful melodies and dynamic blend of music, poetry, and film. Kanar Iessa and Valeria Salinas Toro contribute to the festival’s sound and visuals experience through set, costume, and lighting design, ensuring an unforgettable event.

Catch the performances of Black Wall Street -The Dreamland, Kings of UK Comedy featuring Richard Blackwood, Curtis Walker, and Slim. The festival will close with a gala event hosted by Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor and will feature the Lewisham Goes Gospel choir – this will be a choir of Lewisham residents, led by Let’s Go Gospel.

Family and cultural events will also be on offer throughout the week. Saturday 15 June is an exciting family day jam-packed with free events suitable for children of all ages including storytelling, dance and music workshops. Relax in the curated Lewisham Libraries Reading Room, where you can enjoy stories, songs, and crafts all week. Also, participate in talks and workshops hosted by leaders from the Global Majority community. Head to the Show & Sell Market on Tuesday 11 June, showcasing products from Global Majority-owned businesses.

Ryan Calais-Cameron, Nouveau Riche Co-Founder and Artistic Director said:
Having grown up in Catford, I am thrilled to be able to bring the SEEN festival to Lewisham. SEEN promises to be a celebration of local talent and global perspectives, offering residents and visitors alike an opportunity to immerse themselves in a diverse array of artistic experiences. From captivating visual arts to engaging performances, the festival will showcase the work of talented artists whose stories reflect the richness and complexity of our community.”

Brenda Dacres, Mayor of Lewisham said:
Investing in our community to nurture our local talent and cultural vibrancy is vital, as highlighted throughout our fantastic year as London Borough of Culture 2022. SEEN Lewisham continues this legacy, empowering communities to share their creativity and tell their stories. I am proud that we are continuing this journey. Seeing the culmination of work from grant recipients who have collaborated with mentors, including Alleyne Dance and Nouveau Riche, will be inspiring. This festival is for London, by Lewisham, and it celebrates the richness and diversity of our borough.”

Cllr Edison Huynh, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities said:
“SEEN Lewisham is celebration of what makes Lewisham such a vibrant community: our diversity. It’s especially important that we nurture home grown talent and this festival is part of our efforts to provide young people with opportunities to enter the creative sectors. This festival will support both local artists and businesses as well as strengthening Lewisham as a cultural hub for Global Majority talent. We want everyone to get involved with SEEN Lewisham and so we have a range of live performances and events as well as a free family day on the Saturday – there truly is something for everyone. Look forward to seeing you all there!