Everybody needs good neighbours; this is no longer just the opening line of an Aussie soap , it’s the Southbank Centre’s mantra for the summer season. Ringing in the warmer weather with the Festival of Neighbourhood the Southbank will set the stage for choirs from all over London to perform.
Kat Brown from Camberwell is a choir member of Lambeth’s Pop Up Choir, who will be performing as part of the festival. Running for nearly four years, the group of 15 to 23 members is mainly formed of singers from Camberwell, Kennington and Brixton. “We do all sorts of stuff, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springstein, Adele, Bowie, we’re very eclectic,” Kat says. “When we haven’t got anything new to learn we busk on the southbank for practice.”
Lead by director Dom Stichbury, the choir doesn’t do anything by the book, Kat says. “Dom creates these amazing arrangements for us, we’ve got a great mash-up of Rolling in the deep, Wouldn’t it be nice and Ain’t no Sunshine; it’s just a lot of fun.” The group will be singing one gig outside and one indoors as part of the festival. “It should be lovely; the most exciting part of pop up is it gets people to join in. You just enjoy it.”
“Singing together really does something to you, it’s quite magical. There’s always something to love in singing.”
Chorus is part of Southbank Centre’s summer Festival of Neighbourhood, which runs from 4 May to 8 September. The festival will celebrate neighbourhood in all its meanings and explore what it is to have and be a neighbour. Communities who live close by and partners from across the UK and abroad will participate in creating the festival – from nearby Elephant and Castle in South London to young people from Pelhourino in Salvador, Brazil – with a diverse programme of events including poetry, discussion, visual arts, performance and art installations across Southbank Centre’s 21-acre site.
The Pop Up Choir will be performing on Sunday May 5 at 2pm at the Mandela statue at the top of the stairs leading to Royal Festival Hall’s terrace doors, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX. Phone: 0844 875 0073. http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/