Open Arts Café, January 28th ‘Memento’.

Happy New Year! First, an announcement about the next 6 months – we’re going to be experimenting with producing 6 Open Arts Cafés per year, to give me more time to organise each one.  It will be OAC as you know it, but you’ll have to keep an eye out for the dates!


This month’s theme is ‘Memento’. Ever since my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia last year, I have been keen to have a subject that deals with memory. The theme is meant to discuss all manner of remembering – including forgetting (obvs), nostalgia, and of course, keepsakes.


To start off with and delve into the subject in a serious (but gentle and surprising way) we have writer and performer Laura Wyatt O’Keeffe, who has been working in various ways on exploring dementia. She recently created a soundscape project called Pillowtalk, which she is now adapting as a performance piece. In her own words “Pillowtalk gently guides its inhabitants into the almost silent world of the dying mind, a mind digested by dementia.” You can follow her on twitter @LauraWOK


Next up is dancer and solo choreographer, Francesca Willow. She has been experimenting on combining dance and poetry. Her new piece “Church of the Broken Axe Handle” is a work-in-progress that plays with ideas of memory and metaphor.



To end the first half, I am very pleased to have been approached by the young theatre company ‘To the Moon’. They are supporting the work of singer and poet Ivy Davies, who has been working on her first solo performance combining song and spoken word.  You can listen to her songs here:


During the interval (where I have some memory games prepared for you!), you will also have another chance to visit the exhibit by Lianne Milward and Tariana Pestana.

Tariana is an emerging photographer. She has created a series she calls ‘The Presence of Absence’.


Lianne is a painter and photographer. She has been working on some new pieces to do with the theme.

Kitchen Quartet (with myself, Saraid Dodd and Sara Cluderay) is back with a new song (scientific!), an old song, and an In Memoriam song.
I am delighted that Katia Kvinge, character and sketch comedian, is joining us with some of her comedy sketches including one or two new bits dealing with memory.


To end the evening, Lou Vilstrup is returning to Open Arts Café. She is a Scandinavian/Thai singer, songwriter and musician. Her songs are performed under the original project, named ‘Dear Joy’.


As for our traditional OAC singalong…I’ve chosen the most nostalgic song I can think of…


See you there!




Open Arts Café
Thursday, January 28th

Doors open 7:15PM
Show starts 8PM

34 Upper Berkeley Street W1H 5QE (gated entrance near Green Valley Shop)

Nearest tube Marble Arch
Pay what you can (£8 suggested donation)
Wine and bites available





Leave a Reply