News: The Albany Launches Festival of Radical Care

Angela Clerkin and the Albany, South-East London’s award-winning arts centre launches an autumn festival celebrating local acts of caring.

“Radical Care is connected to positive political change by providing spaces of hope in dark times” HJK Hobart

The festival includes a mix of art installations, a series of LGBTQ+ drama workshops, as well as a music showcase and cabaret night. Curated by Albany Artist of Change performer, actor and theatre maker Angela Clerkin.

Over the course of 4 weeks, the Albany is home to a series of thought-provoking art installations, all highlighting a wide range of local acts of care and projects. Featuring work from the Albany and Entelechy Arts’ award-winning programme for the over 60s, Meet Me At… and Albany Connects. Other local artists and companies contributing include Spare Tyre, Sounds Like Chaos, Entelechy Arts, Bernadette Russell & Friends and Displace Yourself.

REZON8, the Albany’s new youth-led record label, showcases a night of music performers featuring a selection of 8 Drill, Grime and RnB artists – all talented young creatives originating from South-East London.

Queer Cabaret, will be a joyous closing event – a night about how Kings, Queens and inbetweens care radically through queer joy, swagger, spoken word and lip syncing. Featuring Cocoa Butter Club’s Mr Wesley Dykes, the West End’s DeathDrop and Drag Idol UK star Louis Cyfer and award-winning performer, artist, producer and neo burlesque star Rhys’Pieces.
Other participatory events include a Wellbeing World Café from theatre company Spare Tyre, a conference addressing anti-racism care in the theatre industry as part of Improbable’s, Devoted and Disgruntled series and also Homecoming: A 21st Century Tea Dance presented by Entelechy Arts in partnership with the Albany.
Festival curator Angela Clerkin comments: “As one of the Albany’s Artists of Change I wanted to create a festival to highlight and celebrate some of the amazing creativity and connections from the art centre’s resident companies, Associate Artists and Lewisham residents that went on during lockdown – and continues today. This festival is about acknowledging that it takes the whole community to care for the whole community, it’s time to celebrate, to protest, to create, to dance and to laugh, It’s time for The Festival of Radical Care.”

Artistic Director and CEO of the Albany, Gavin Barlow said: “We’re so pleased to be working with Angela on this festival that highlights the acts of care that have been happening not only over the last 18 months, but for years throughout Lewisham and beyond. The festival also highlights the importance of joy and togetherness as a means for caring for one another and we hope people come away with fresh ideas on how to care for each other and themselves.”

Joining the festival are also some wonderful, radically caring guests including Lewisham Young Carers, Dr Yewande Okuleye, theatre-makers Tabby Lamb and theatre director Emily Aboud.

Based in the heart of Deptford, the Albany is an award-winning performing arts centre that exists to inspire, develop and support creativity in South-East London.

Highlights in more detail

8 OCT, 7.30PM, £5

The Albany’s inspirational youth-led record label presents a one-off showcase event featuring live performances from REZON8’s roster of homegrown artists, including DAYSH, SDidIt, KB, and KAY-LA. With genres ranging from Drill and Grime to R&B, alongside a viewing of REZON8’s new documentary and selection of music videos.

Set up in 2020 by 20-year-old vocalist, producer, sound engineer & youth worker Kieron Morris, the record label mentors young people aged 14 to 21 across South-East London who have a strong interest in creating and releasing music or learning more about the music industry. REZON8 gives young talent who don’t readily have the know-how, access to essential resources, studio time, support and industry knowledge. It also provides a safe space for them to express themselves freely through the music of any genre without restrictions or censorship. Morris has worked with 40 young people and made over 60 tracks with them so far with REZON8.

17 OCT, 7.30PM – 9PM, FREE

This cabaret night is about how Kings, Queens and inbetweens care radically through queer joy, swagger, spoken word and lip syncing. Featuring three of the best:

Mr Wesley Dykes is your favourite storyteller, using spoken word, poetry and music to bring the complexities and fun of playing with gender to the stage. A proud member of the esteemed Cocoa Butter Club, Dykes is your favourite rapper, your favourite RnB singer and your friendly neighbourhood fxckboi.

Yorkshire lad Louis Cyfer was the first ever DragKing to snatch the crown at DRAG IDOL UK. Since then LJ Parkinson the creator of Louis Cyfer has stormed the the UK and international scene conquering the theatre world starring in the West End as the Tory MP Rich Whiteman in DeathDrop, LoUis is the future of neo masculinity. He speaks, he sings, he shimmies and he sparkles…. all while making you question your sexuality.

Rhys’Pieces is a multi-faceted performer, producer and artist. They have won awards having worked in the cabaret scene and beyond, around the UK and internationally for 5 years. Rhys’s work draws from a variety of sources: Mythology, pop culture, comedy, race, sexuality, substance issues and more. They express and create through a mixture of performance artforms specialising in movement, lip-sync and rap but also host, act and perform neo-burlesque.

For details of the full programme, please visit


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