Celebrating culture

Lucinda-ImageLucinda Dickens Hawksley

Fabula Festival – Redbridge Libraries’ biggest cultural event of the year – is back this autumn and promises to delight residents with a jam-packed programme. Anita Luby reports

Fabula Festival (2 to 13 October) is a celebration of the arts and libraries and their power to transform lives. It’s delivered through a programme of performances, children’s events, author talks, films, writing programmes, workshops and arts projects. It gives residents the opportunity to participate in a range of new and exciting activities delivered by a range of local and national organisations, showcasing the very best in literature, music, drama, dance, film, art and technology.

Festival highlights include an evening with author Lucinda Dickens Hawksley at Wanstead Library (10 October, 7.30pm). Everyone knows Charles Dickens’ novels, but did you know he was also a keen actor, mesmerist and conjuror? Lucinda – who is also Dickens’ great-great-great-granddaughter – will talk about the man behind the novels: the journalist, social campaigner, dog lover, travel writer, and a man who was so influential in his own time that when he died the whole country went into mourning. She will also look at the changes he helped bring about in society, which still have resonance today.

Elsewhere in the festival, there are writing workshops galore and opportunities for emerging artists to learn from established performers. Spoken word artist Yomi Greeds Sood from Apples & Snakes will be leading a masterclass for aspiring writers followed by a performance event featuring him and rising star on the poetry circuit, Debris Stephens.

The ever-popular Kids Take Over events at Redbridge Central Library over the weekend of 12 and 13 October are once again delivered in partnership with Discover Story Centre. Kids of all ages will be treated to an array of author events such as David Litchfield, Sufiya Ahmed, Nadia Shireen and Simon Moles, writing workshops, comic book workshops, exhibitions, theatre and dance performances. There will also be opportunities to explore the world of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) in our award-winning digital makerspace: Lab Central.

Thanks to generous funding from Arts Council England, the festival is even bigger and better this year as we celebrate the power of libraries during National Libraries Week (7 to 13 October). Focusing on the theme of libraries in the digital age, visitors to the festival will get the opportunity to discover the digital innovation taking place across Redbridge Libraries from Hublets, Yetitablets, eBooks, eMagazines, makerspaces, film streaming, a tech lending library and more. All of this can be accessed for free with your library card to open up a world of possibilities.

Fabula Festival is curated and produced by Redbridge Library & Culture Service, managed by Vision RCL on behalf of Redbridge Council.

For more information and to book tickets, visit visionrcl.org.uk/fabula