Past events

Dissenters do it differently…

Past events


Sunday November 19, 3pm, St Matthias Church – Charles Court Opera’s 11th boutique Christmas Panto King Tut

Missed the Mikado? We’re offering another chance to see Charles Court Opera performing, but this time it’s their boutique panto. We are thrilled to be hosting the final open rehearsal of King Tut – A Pyramid Panto before CCO head off for the panto season at The Kings Head in Islington.

They promise madcap and mayhem – and anything might happen – but bar and LUXORious toe-tapping are guaranteed. Start your Christmas here!

Directed by John Savournin. Music directed by David Eaton.

Saturday 7 October, 5.30pm Stoke Newington Town Hall – Tubular Bells and Two Hallelujahs

Our season finale at Stokey’s splendid Deco people’s palace. A gala concert of wonderful music, fundraising for the Rebuild Barbuda Appeal Fund. Our home, St Matthias Church, is the parish church for the Antiguan Barbudan community in London, and we want to support our neighbours in the gargantuan task of raising funds to rebuild Barbuda.
The programme is our usual gorgeous eclectic mix, with audience participation obligatory. Please also bring LOTS of money to donate to this important cause at the concert itself, and pay more for your ticket (which remains at a bargain price) if you can afford to. PLUS Chorus of Dissent’s Post Concert Fundraiser for Rebuild Barbuda Relief Fund at St Matthias Hall, 7pm

PLUS Chorus of Dissent’s Post Concert Fundraiser for Rebuild Barbuda Relief Fund at St Matthias Hall, 7pm

Join us for a delicious supper cooked by Yvonne and friends from the Antiguan Barbudan congregation at St Matthias. Cash bar. All profits to the Rebuild Barbuda Relief Fund. Do come, eat, drink and enjoy yourselves, and help us raise lots of money for this urgent and important cause.

SOLD OUT! Saturday 29th July 2017 2.30pm, St Matthias Hall – The Mikado Matinee 

An exclusive opportunity to attend the costumed final rehearsal of Charles Court Opera’s sizzling production of one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular operas, before they take it on a short summer tour. This informal event will include a Q&A session with cast members, led by Cecilia Darker, former artistic director of The Rosemary Branch Theatre where CCO started out over 10 years ago. Director: John Savournin. Musical director: David Eaton

★★★★ “Wickedly funny” The Guardian

★★★★ “Dazzling” The Daily Mail

Doors 2pm. Bar and barbecue from 1pm. St Matthias Hall, Wordsworth Road, London N16 8DD

Sunday 18 June, 2.30pm, Midsummer Music at Dissenters’ Chapel, Abney Park, N16 0LH

Chorus of Dissent celebrates musical themes relating to Abney with some gorgeous a capella sounds. Featuring a world premiere (almost) of a stunning new piece by the brilliant Clara Sanabras, accompanied by harpist Alina Bzhezhinska. Tempt Me No More was inspired by a poem written by Isaac Watts who lived here, and we are delighted to be bringing it home.

Our concert marks the recent restoration of Abney Chapel with other Abney themed music. It’s delightfully short, free, and is offered in the spirit of the Great Get Together weekend in honour of murdered MP Jo Cox. We would love you to join us.

Saturday 3 June, 5.30pm, St Matthias Church – as part of Stokey Litfest

Our amazing 5th anniversary season continues with a concert of music about love, perfect for a summer’s evening, which includes the world premiere of a wonderful new work Tempt Me No More written especially for us by composer and vocalist Clara Sanabras, and starring Clara Sanabras. We will also be singing Mascagni, and excerpts from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Bernstein’s brilliant West Side Storywill be framed by orchestral fireworks from the Elastic Band. We will include some gorgeous a capella by Vaughan Williams. Conducted by Ruth Whitehead and John Sloboda. Another delightfully short concert and, as usual, a surprise…

Sunday 14 May, 5pm, St Matthias Patronal Festival

We’ll be putting on our Sunday best and joining Father David and the congregation of St Matthias in their yearly festival celebrating the Feast of St Matthias the Apostle.

John Sloboda will be conducting the Easter Hymn from Mascagni’s Cavalliera Rusticana, and Chorus of Dissent will be singing several hymns including Old Hundredth and Jerusalem, accompanied by the Elastic Band.

Saturday 8 April, 5.30pm, St Matthias Church – JS Bach: St John Passion

A very 21st century take on this 18th century towering masterpiece. Chorus of Dissent goes again where no choir has gone before, with a semi-staged  version of Bach’s dramatic setting of the Easter story, featuring members of the congregation of St Matthias and supported, as always, by our own Elastic Band. Streamlined, edited and, yes, shortened for today’s audience.

Bach himself always mixed old and new, and tailored his performances to his audience, expecting them actively to take part. Sounds just like a typical Dissenters’ concert, doesn’t it?

This very special performance of one of the very best pieces of music ever written heralds the beginning of Dissenters’ very wonderful fifth anniversary season. Directed by Ruth Whitehead.


Wednesday 25th January, 7pm: St Matthias Church Hall

Come to Dissenters’ first annual fundraiser quiz night on Burns Night, Wednesday 25 January at St Matthias Hall.

Fantastic prizes, including a haggis! Fantastic questions, including music. Plus special bonus round – Feeling Scottish? Quizmasters Farquhar Mckay and Mel Rogan.

Tables of eight – form a team beforehand, or buy tickets individually and join a table when you get here.

7pm doors and cash bar: 7.30pm quiz. Bring nibbles if you wish.

Tickets £10 We’re fundraising for a portable PA system for Chorus of Dissent.


Sunday 18 December, 5.30pm, St Matthias Church – Christmas by Candlelight1029_rwa_christmas_web

Our festive feast of traditional to modern music for two choirs, two conductors, orchestra and audience. Come and raise the roof with us!

With special guests – some seasonal reindeer.

All faiths and none welcome at our delightfully short concert, followed by refreshments

Conducted by Ruth Whitehead and Harvey Brough

Free entry – but you have to pay to get out. Donations to our chosen charities gratefully accepted

Saturday 15 October DOUBLE BILL!

5.30pm, Stoke Newington Town Hall, N16 0JR: Music without Borders

Chorus of Dissent’s season finale gala concert is in aid of the wonderful Hackney Migrant Centre and Akwaaba, its social offshoot, at our local people’s palace.

Music is, and always will be, a Schengen area. We will use the universal language of music to cross continents, cultures and centuries, and celebrate our connections.

We set sail on our musical journey in 17th Century Peru, cross to England, and then fast forward to the 20th and 21st Centuries for a return trip to South America via Argentina.

This second stage will showcase two contrasting works by the exceptionally versatile Cecilia McDowall. We’ll be performing her quietly contemplative Ave Maris Stella, celebrating the history of this island race, and her vibrant and thrilling Theatre of Tango, based on Argentinian tango, with solo tango violin from David Juritz. We will be honoured to have Cecilia with us in the audience.

And, while Chorus of Dissent and the Elastic Band swing into two of Piazzolla’s Argentinian tangos, Rojo y Negro will treat us to a short but dazzling display of the dance itself.

To follow, a travelogue of beautiful choral music from mainland Europe, returning finally to the UK for a Dissenting take on a piece by Elgar for choir, orchestra and audience.

Come and listen to wonderful sounds to drown out Brexit racist rhetoric, and support this very worthy cause. Bring your favourite flag to wave at the end.

7.30pm, St Matthias Church Hall, Wordsworth Road, N16 8DD: Post-concert Cabaret Party

Drink, dine and be dazzled by the quick wit and quirky humour of the UK’s most popular poet comedian John Hegley – and sing with Chorus of Dissent – in DissentersN16’s double bill Music Without Borders evening. Delicious Syrian supper from pop up Daffodil Soup chef Linda Galloway. And cash bar. Tickets £15

It’s all part of DissentersN16’s fundraising for Hackney Migrant Centre and its social offshoot Akwaaba who are both making the world on our doorstep a better place.

Saturday 4 June 5.30pm, Music and Poetry Mix at Stoke Stokey-Litfest-web-A4Newington Literary Festival, St Matthias Church

Proud to be part of the illustrious and brilliant Stokey Litfest, we present another delightfully short concert featuring two great anthems of personal and sexual freedom, by Vaughan Williams and the Pet Shop Boys, with Philip Glass’s Three Songs for Chorus as an alternative sound from the 1980s. Conducted by Ruth Whitehead   AND ALSO

Find Your Voice at Stokey Litfest

Venue – The Drawing Room, Clissold House, Clissold Park, 11am

Ever fancied singing in a choir? Young Dissenters, Stoke Newington’s very own choir for 7 to 16 years olds, invites you to join them for this relaxed and family-friendly taster workshop led by Penelope Manser and Harvey Brough. All welcome, no experience necessary. Come and sing about the park and why we love it. Run in partnership with Chorus of Dissent and the Clissold Park User Group.



Saturday 23 April, 5.30pm, St Matthias Church: Shakespeare and St George, a celebration of English music

Come and hear the breadth of English music, from the 16th to 21st centuries, from madrigals to anthems and featuring composers including Benjamin Britten, Charles Parry, John Bennet and Cecilia McDowall – and, of course, a surprise…

Programme: Parry I Was Glad, McDowall Ave Maris Stella, Bennet Weep, O Mine Eyes, Walton music from Henry V, Britten Soirees Musicales, Parry Jerusalem (for choirs, orchestra AND audience)


Sunday 6 March, 6pm:  Barbican – performing at the album launch of Clara Sanabras’ A Hum About Mine Ears with Vox Holloway & The Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Harvey Brough

From its grass roots in Stokey to a world stage, Clara Sanabras’ folk opera A Hum About Mine Ears was commissioned by Ruth Whitehead, conducted by her at its world premiere at St Mary’s Old Church in 2014, was part of Stokey Litfest at St Matthias Church in 2015, has now been professionally recorded featuring our very own community choirs Chorus of Dissent & Young Dissenters, and will now soar in front of a Barbican audience.

As part of Ruth’s remit to support women composers, she describes it as ‘a joyous privilege’ to have commissioned and conducted Hum. Chorus of Dissent are especially excited to be singing it again with Clara, this time at the Barbican.

Read all about it in The Guardian

Our community arts organisation goes global at the Barbican

CDs available for £12 from or click here to order through Amazon £12.99

Play this for a taster….


Sunday 20 December 5.30pm St Matthias Church: Christmas by Candlelight0953_RWA_Christmas_web

A festive musical feast for two choirs, two conductors, orchestra and audience. Come and raise the roof with us!
With special guests – a virginals and the man himself, Father Christmas (but only if you sing well enough; he’s very busy)
All faiths and none welcome at our delightfully short concert, followed by refreshments

Conducted by Ruth Whitehead and Harvey Brough

At our home, the gorgeous Grade I listed St Matthias Church, Wordsworth Road, N16 8DD by kind permission of Father David Lambert
Free entry – but you have to pay to get out – donations to our chosen charities gratefully accepted

Saturday 28 November 6.30pm St Matthias Church Hall: Towards the Roof!

John Hegley will be raising the roof at St Matthias Church hall

John Hegley will be raising the roof at St Matthias Church Hall

Benefit night for St Matthias Church roof with performance poet, comedian and musician John Hegley.

Plus delicious supper, home-cooked by experts in Caribbean cuisine. Authentic dishes include sweet potato and corn curry, fried fish, plus Jamaican classic curried mutton. And Caribbean wouldn’t be Caribbean without a mound of the famous  rice and peas. We’ll also be serving coleslaw and green salad.

So – let us feed and entertain you. All proceeds to the church.  Doors open & refreshments 6.30pm, supper 7pm, John Hegley 8pm. The event is at St Matthias Church Hall, Wordsworth Road, London N16 8DD.

“Scandalously Talented” Sunday Times  “Bleeding marvellous” NME

Saturday 10th October Stoke Newington Town Hall, 5.30pm:   Magnificent Mozart              Requiem-poster

Our concert is a celebration of one of the greatest of all composers who produced so much in such a tragically short life. The programme will include movements from the Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments, and the iconic Requiem. We’re thrilled to be collaborating for the first time with the rather good Salomon Orchestra. We shall also be joined by our inspirational community youth choir Young Dissenters (conducted by Harvey Brough) making their debut at the town hall. And a surprise. Of course.

Saturday 27th June, 6.30pm, St Augustine’s Church N5:  Chorus Of Dissent in Cabaret, with dinner

A night to celebrate the cornucopia of talent that is Chorus of Dissent, with a star-studded series of solos and small ensembles. Kurt Weill, Cole Porter and Walton guaranteed, plus other decadent turns. The whole event will be centred around a fine four-course banquet provided by London’s premier pop-up feast specialists Pestle and Mortar. The bar features specially selected wines to complement the banquet, and all profits to the charity CARIS Islington, which runs cold weather shelters for homeless guests in a network of local churches, including St Augustines.

You will be seated at round tables of eight and ten. We will do our best to accommodate group tickets purchased in one transaction. Please email special dietary requirements to once you’ve purchased your tickets. Doors and bar open at 6.30pm. Cabaret commences promptly at 7pm. Tickets £35 + £2.80 booking fee.

Saturday 6th June, 5.30pm, St Matthias Church: Clara Sanabras in Concert

After going down a storm at Stokey Litfest in 2014, they have invited us back again. We are absolutely thrilled toMiranda_-_The_Tempest_JWW announce another collaboration with the staggeringly talented composer and singer Clara Sanabras. We will be performing songs from her latest album El Vol Dispers – Songs of Spanish Exile and also A Hum About Mine Ears, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which we were honoured to premiere last year and will also be recording professionally with the Britten Sinfonia in July. These will be conducted by Harvey Brough, and Ruth Whitehead will conduct Cantique de Jean Racine by Fauré. We are looking forward to welcoming the Litfest audience to our our new home at the beautiful Grade I listed St Matthias Church (entrance in Wordsworth Road) with its incredible acoustic (just a stone’s throw from Church Street).

Sunday 17 May 2015, 5pm: St Matthias’ Patronal Festival

We are honoured to be the church choir in the patronal festival celebrating St Matthias, singing hymns and plainsong together with the congregation. Barbeque and fete beforehand and a small Elastic Band ensemble playing at 3pm. Entrance to the church is in Wordsworth Road.

Saturday 18th April St Matthias Church N16, 5.30pm: The French Connection with Young Dissentersst matthias 2

We make our debut at St Matthias Church (right), a hidden Grade I listed gem of a building with a magnificent acoustic. Our Gallic themed programme will include Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, which is neither small nor solemn.

This is a most significant event for us: as well as our first concert in our new home, we will be presenting the debut performance of Stoke Newington’s first ever youth choir Young Dissenters singing a piece written and conducted by the eminent composer Harvey Brough.

As usual our concert will be delightfully short, and will be followed by a delicious supper home-cooked by the congregation, and drinks, with all proceeds going to the church roof repairs. Music, food, wine, community and sociability on a sunny spring evening in Stokey. What could be better? Do join us.


Wassail Weekend 13 December 2014

We will cut a Dissenting swathe through Stoke Newington, singing traditional carols peppered with ironic and populist festive music – and our very own Dissenters’ anthem.

We’ll be supporting two things that make Stokey great – our favourite local wilderness Abney Park Cemetery hosting their Winter Fun Day and our favourite local campaign Stokey Local at Stokey Town Hall’s Christmas Market.

2pm performance outdoors but under cover at Abney Park Cemetery (High St entrance)
3.30pm performance at Stokey Town Hall Christmas Fair when we’ll be bringing more festive cheer to visitors, and Stokey Local will be collecting while we sing.

October 11 – Season Finale: Peace not War

Stoke Newington Town Hall
We take over the iconic venue of the Town Hall for the first time in our own right, with a very special event. In this concert, we focus on peace and the celebration of life rather than war and death, as many others have already marked the centenary of the start of World War I.

Another significant date this year is the 25th anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Those old enough to have seen the news coverage will never forget the images of divided families finally able to hug each other, and East and West Germans united in tearing the Wall down brick by brick. We’ll be performing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from the 9th Symphony, because Bernstein conducted it in Berlin on Christmas Day 1989 as part of the worldwide celebrations. It was the first time for many years that East and West German, Russian, British and Jewish musicians had the opportunity to make music together. At that concert the choir sang ‘Freiheit’ (Freedom) instead of ‘Freude’ (Joy), and we will do the same.

In that spirit we will be also bringing together singers from other local choirs and, as always, performing with our very own professional orchestra, the amazing Elastic Band.

September 26-28 – Made in Hackney

The Old Church, Stoke Newington Church Street
Made in Hackney poster Dissenters proudly present an arty party based around Hackney scenes starring local photographers, Heather McDonough and John Sloboda. Their interestingly contrasted static exhibition will be surrounded by a swirling marketplace featuring books, prints and housewares from local artists & designers Cathy Brear * Amelia Rose Frances Johnson * Victoria Frances * Robin Heighway-Bury * Myra Heller * Karin Littlewood * Vicky Samuel * Jane Smith * plus locally-sourced deliciously different dishes from Pestle & Mortar Events & a bar selling craft beers. All made in Hackney.

Everyone has a chance to actively participate. Write your reactions to your favourite photo for a chance to win it. The best responses will be posted on the Dissenters N16 website.
Favourite photographs winners’ responses (PDF)

Sounds perfect. And all of this takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Stoke Newington’s latest and loveliest community arts space, the Old Church

Lots to see, hear, eat, drink, purchase, and enjoy!
The Launch Party will have live improvised music from viola-player Valerie Albrecht, inspired by the exhibits on show. Plus food & drinks on sale.
Download the made in Hackney poster (PDF)

June 21 – Shakespeare Solstice, music for Midsummer’s Eve

St Mary’s Old ChurchA Hum About Mine Ears poster
A Hum About Mine Ears – Clara Sanabras
By overwhelming public demand we are performing a reprise of our own world-premiere piece specially commissioned for Chorus of Dissent by internationally-acclaimed singer and composer Clara Sanabras.

A Hum About Mine Ears is a spellbinding setting of speeches and themes from Shakespeare’s Tempest. We complement that with other Shakespeare settings by Tavener, Vaughan Williams and Mendelssohn. Yes, we will perform music from Midsummer Night’s Dream on Midsummer Night.

The choir will as usual be conducted by Ruth Whitehead, and will feature our own professional orchestra The Elastic Band.

Fresh from touring Germany as a soloist with the Lord of the Rings in Concert, Clara Sanabras’ gypsy blood, Catalan background and classical music training enable her to create crossgenre music in a unique and innovative way.
Download A Hum About Mine Ears poster [PDF]
Visit Clara Sanabras’ website

We were delighted to be part of Clissold Park User Group’s celebrations of the park’s 125th birthday, also taking place on 21 June.

7 June – Musicfest at the Litfest: Music inspired by Shakespeare

Stoke Newington Town HallStoke Newington Literary Festival logo
We are delighted to be invited to take part in the illustrious and nationally famous Stoke Newington Literary Festival and in honour of his 450th birthday will be performing music to celebrate Shakespeare.

We are joining up with our professional orchestra The Elastic Band to perform a programme that will include Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, John Tavener’s Song For Athene, and Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Midsummer Night’s Dream, plus one or two surprise numbers.
As ever with Dissenters, expect the unexpected….

This will be our debut concert at Stoke Newington Town Hall and all friends and supporters are especially welcome.
Visit the Stoke Newington Literary Festival website

3 May – A Hum About Mine Ears, Clara Sanabras

St Mary’s Old ChurchA Hum About Mine Ears poster
The world-premiere of a piece specially commissioned for Chorus of Dissent on the theme of exile, featuring the unusual combination of a female composer/soloist and female conductor.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with internationally-acclaimed singer and composer Clara Sanabras who has written a spellbinding setting of Shakespeare’s The Tempest especially for us. The choir will as usual be conducted by Ruth Whitehead.

Fresh from touring Germany as a soloist with the Lord of the Rings in Concert, Clara Sanabras’ gypsy blood, Catalan background and classical music training enable her to create crossgenre music in a unique and innovative way.

The rest of the programme includes other songs of exile in the form of excerpts from Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and Verdi’s Nabucco.

Proceeds to Macmillan Cancer Support in memoriam John Dervan, founder member of Chorus of Dissent.
Download A Hum About Mine Ears concert poster
Visit Clara Sanabras’ website

21 February – Exploitations and Expectations

St Mary’s Old Church
Exploitations and Expectataions posterPrivate view. Four final year art students explored themes around taking advantage of someone’s situation, enslavement to an ideal of perfection, and technology.
Contributing artists: Helen Turnbull, Hannah Elliott, Thomas Griffiths, Michelle Ledgerwood.
It was unusual to have an exhibition on the theme of enslavement, rare to host a private view in a church – let alone one where three anti-slavery campaigners are buried – and unexpected to have live music at a private view. All these combined to make our Exploitations and Expectations exhibition an extraordinary event.
“Thought-provoking,” said the Rector. “Engaging and moving,” said local musician and peace activist John Sloboda.
And we were delighted to have Stoke Newington’s answer to Simon Schama – local art historian Geoff Quilley – giving the most enlightening talk about the invisibility of the slave trade in paintings of the time, and the viewpoints of young artists on enslavement in the 21st Century.
For those who missed it, here’s Geoff’s illuminating speech …
Download Geoff Quilley’s talk on Exploitations and Expectations [PDF]


12 October – Music is for Everyone

St Mary’s Old ChurchMusic is for Everyone concert poster
It’s our Tudor church’s 450th birthday, so we’re performing music (probably) written by Henry VIII, and (definitely) by Byrd, Vaughan Williams, and that prolific composer, Anon. We’re also acknowledging the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth with his setting of Christopher Smart’s ‘Rejoice in the Lamb’. Forget TS Eliot and Lloyd Webber, this work contains THE definitive song about a cat.
St Mary’s last major relaunch was after being bombed in 1940s and we’re marking that with Gershwin music from that period – raising the roof with excerpts from ‘Porgy and Bess’. Audience participation obligatory.
Music is for Everyone concert poster [PDF]

22 June – Midsummer Music

Abney Public HallMisdummer Music poster
Chorus of Dissent proudly presents a Midsummer feast – Bernstein’s West Side Story and Chichester Psalms, and the Elastic Band’s electrifying realisation of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. This concert has it all – star-crossed lovers, the 23rd Psalm, and universal themes of conflict and passion. Featuring mezzo-soprano Katharine Schopflin, soprano Lucy Myers and tenor Rich Mead. Proceeds to and Abney Park Cemetery.
Midsummer Music concert poster [PDF]

27 April – Happy Birthday Mary Wollstonecraft

St Mary’s Church N16Happy Birthday Mary Wollstonecraft concert poster
A delightfully short concert from Stoke Newington’s very own choir and professional orchestra, The Elastic Band, celebrating the 254th birthday of the author of The Vindication of the Rights of Women with music performed in London during her lifetime. Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah juxtaposed with Haydn’s Creation and Ravel’s Pavanne pour une Infante Défunte. Plus novelist Elizabeth Woodcraft on Mary’s significance and her legacy for modern feminism. All proceeds to
Happy Birthday Mary Wollstonecraft concert poster [PDF]

9 February – Chorus of Dissent & the Elastic Band

Another delightfully short concert featuring two Dissenting Vivaldi concertos with soloists Sue Eversden and Frances Taylor, and Bach Cantata 140 ‘Sleepers Wake’ featuring soloists Lucy Myers and Maurice Wren. As always we present world class music in our inimitable and inclusive Dissenting style.

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6 October – Frenchfest of Faure and Bizet

St Mary’s Church N16Bizet's Carmen suites and Faure's Requiem poster
World première of our very own professional orchestra, the Elastic Band – together we’ll be performing Fauré’s Requiem and Bizet’s Carmen suites.
Frenchfest of Faure and Bizet poster [PDF]

13 October – Dissenters Dinner

We’ve created a pop-up restaurant at a secret grade 2 listed private location in N16. It’s a fundraiser for Chorus of Dissent and the Elastic Band.
Our kitchen conductor is Linda Galloway, a trained chef and caterer based in Highbury, who revels in doing something different every day. As it’s October her theme for the very first Dissenters’ Dinner is Autumn Harvest, and will draw on the best the season has to offer, with fish and game as local as we can get it – it may be rabbit from Essex or slipper soles from Southend.

23 June – Chorus of Dissent: a choir is born

St Mary’s Old Church
Popularly believed to be Stoke Newington’s first community choir open to all, Chorus of Dissent – the brainchild of local businesswoman financial advisor Ruth Whitehead – launches its career with Faure’s Requiem, plus Ruth’s own arrangement of Freddie Mercury’s “Somebody to love”. All proceeds to the campaign to convert St Mary’s Old Church into a versatile arts space for the people of Stoke Newington.
John Sloboda, musician and activist living and working in North London, and passionate about Stoke Newington, was part of the choir and wrote this for us:
Download John Sloboda: a view from the inside – on the birth of Chorus of Dissent [PDF]

23 March – Behind the Scenes at the Gallery – Tintype Gallery

Private view. Artistic Director Teresa Grimes showcasing the work of George Eksts, whose current show at Tintype, Infinials, has been selected by Time Out & The Whitechapel gallery as a Top Five event this month as part of their First Thursdays art & events. Teresa will also be speaking about her personal journey from filmmaker to gallerist.
Teresa turned her back on film and along with friend and collaborator, Pat Treasure, decided to take on the challenge of running an art gallery. Moving from Highbury to Shoreditch and then EC1, Tintype has now established itself as an important player within the contemporary art scene.

For Teresa, the ‘contemporary’ is the most exciting, vibrant and challenging space within the art world: the place where boundaries are crossed, blurred or constantly played with and where we are called upon to engage with the question of what art is or can be.

With her approachable and welcoming manner, her curating style intends to put the non-specialist viewer at ease whilst keeping alive the complexity and the spirit of the visual experience.

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27 January – Politics & Production: An Evening with Robyn Slovo

We are delighted and honoured to have Robyn with us for a wide-ranging discussion on politics and the world of film.

Robyn Slovo, film producer, will be discussing her work and her extraordinary family. She’ll be talking about her latest film, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, what it’s like to be an established female film producer when there are so few, and what it’s like to be a Slovo. Not necessarily in that order.

The Slovo family are regarded as national heroes in South Africa and beyond for their fight against apartheid, a fight which ultimately cost Robyn’s mother her life.
Robyn has made it clear that her early experience of political struggle informs the decisions she makes. Like her novelist sister Gillian and screenwriter sister Shawn, she works on stories which reveal important truths about our world and retain their artistic, cultural and political integrity.

In 2006, she produced Catch A Fire, a dramatic thriller about the political journey of Patrick Chamusso, who became a radical activist against the apartheid regime, written by Shawn. Their parents were characters in the film, and Robyn also played the part of her mother, Ruth First.

6 December – Dissent, Drink & Dine in N16 on – Homa restaurant

Dissenters’ event for women only at Homa in N16 on Tuesday 6 December, where Natasha Hughes will be introducing us to some fine wines and pairing them with delicious food from the Homa kitchen.

Our Dissenters’ drink and dine evening is hosted by Natasha Hughes, who is [almost] a Master of Wine. Theory and practical passed, good luck with the dissertation, Natasha. There are only 300 MWs worldwide, of whom 79 are women, pioneering in a traditionally male-dominated area. Natasha is also an experienced food critic, a crucial point for us. Dissenters don’t do a long table full of wine bottles from which people pour a little, sip, spit out and make knowing remarks. We think food and wine go together like, well, food and wine. Natasha will guide us on our happy passage through four courses and six wines in a knowledgeable and jargon-free manner.

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