The beauty of living in London is that even now, in the early 21st century, it still resembles a collection of villages all vying to best each other in terms of food, fun and festivals. This is especially true of the parts that may have been playing second fiddle to more illustrious neighbours for many years. Chief amongst these in north London is Archway, for a long time dwarfed by Highgate and Camden town for culture and cuisine. But plucky old Archway is fighting back and there is no better example than later this month when it plays host to a cornucopia of literary and performance heavyweights at the third ArchWay With Words Festival.
The classy, smooth pun in the title is matched by the twinkle provided by various speakers over the nine day event, which starts on October 10th. Located in five diverse venues across Archway the festival includes talks, book-readings, story-telling, a massive communal singalong, sitar-playing and some fiendishness from the Times cryptic crossword setter. If you’ve always wanted to meet your puzzle-setting nemesis and give them a piece of your mind (or perhaps steal a piece of theirs) then this is your opportunity.
The headline contributors are a pair of nationals: comedian, actor, poet and cartoonist Phil Jupitus and multi-talented broadcaster and journalist Joan Bakewell, who will respectively be sharing their autobiography and a meditation on ageing. If that’s a little too introspective, then there will be talks by ebullient Professor of Neuroscience Sophie Scott, who has been heard on Radio 4 speaking warmly and entertainingly about the science of laughter, the lolloping rhythms of Jamaican poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and plenty of games, workshops, puppetry shows and surprises to keep families entertained.
Clearly this is going to be an event for Archwegians (absolutely the best new collective word around for a specific group of Londoners) to be brimming with pride about, as they create their own little Hay-on-Wye in the sunny land between Holloway and Tufnell Park.
For more details about venues, tickets and how to get involved head to http://www.archwaywithwords.com/tickets/