Friday, May 30, 2008

Ted Craig talks about Twilight Rainbow

Ted Craig talks about the new production at the Warehouse Theatre, The Twilight Rainbow, playing 30 May - 15 June, a pulsing, laughing, bittersweet tour of memories shared by the inimitable crew of multi-skilled Zimbabwean refugees and asylum seekers, directed by Peter Mutanda Wa-Ndebele.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Holocaust Memorial Concert at Ruskin House

Ruskin House is hosting a concert to mark Holocaust Memorial Day tomorrow. Featuring artists from Poland, Ireland, Australia and Ukraine, there will be poetry and music, including Russian, Jewish and Gypsy music by Balalaika.

It takes place from 8pm on 27 January, in the Cedar Hall, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon. Tickets £2 available on the door or from 020 8688 5339. The event has been organised with the support of the Ruskin House management committee, Croydon TUC, Croydon Labour Party, Croydon Co-operative Party, the Folk & Blues Club and Croydon Communist Party.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Was Oscar winner's feud formed at the Warehouse Theatre?

In musing on the Warehouse Theatre's current play, Drood, Mark Shenton of The Stage tells a story about the roots of a theatrical spat down under, which might trace its roots back to a play in Croydon at the Warehouse over a decade ago.

In his blog entry, "Emigrating to Croydon", Mark highlights the suggestion made by Michael Billington in the Guardian last October that Colin Moody's walkout from the Sydney Theatre Company was inspired by his experience in Croydon when he performed Michael Gow's Sweet Phoebe there in 1995. His co-star was Cate Blanchett, in her first UK stage performance, and it was she who got the glowing reviews. Moody's meanwhile were merely "respectful". So was it this which was at the root of Moody's objection to Blanchett's appointment with her husband to run the STC, despite her Oscar glory?

In the blog full of other gossip, Shenton describes the Warehouse as "a dynamic, but largely unsung, little producing theatre" and looks at the international connections of Croydon. Drood, meanwhile, is on until 24 February and is full of fun and innovation. Book now and don't forget the Victorian-inspired menu for interval food.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Healthcare for London - a consultation

Following the ground-breaking announcements of health minister, Professor Lord Darzi, London's Primary Care Trusts have launched a major consultation on the future of Healthcare for London. Essentially the government and the NHS want to provide more excellence in urgent, acute specialist care which may mean having a smaller number of specialist hospitals for strokes, major injuries, etc; and more local, generic services in the community, bringing together GPs, blood test services, dentists, pharmacies, etc.

I think there is a lot to be said for these proposals. Long-term conditions like diabetes could be better dealt with in community medical centres, without the need for hospital visits or stays, and the very best technology and clinical expertise can be gathered together to assist those in acute need. Now we just need them to recognise the importance of accountability and the participation of patients and staff along the lines of foundation hospital trusts - a sense of ownership and involvement, being more patient-focused, and strategic beyond even these expanded and generalised services.

It's important the views of Outer London boroughs like Croydon are heard. People can find out more and get involved by:
  • Coming to the Croydon roadshow on 7 February, 2pm-8pm at the Fairfield Halls
  • Visiting :
  • Calling: FREEPHONE 0808 238 5430
  • Writing to: FREEPOST, Consulting the Capital

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Vote for cycling improvements - Croydon's share of the People's £50 Million

Online voting has opened for Sustrans’ Connect2 to win the Big Lottery Fund’s: The People’s £50 Million contest. Croydon’s Park Links is one of the 79 schemes UK-wide that will happen if Sustrans’ Connect2 wins, so please vote to bring a share of £50 million to Croydon.

You can vote online now at

Sustrans’ Connect2 is one of four projects competing for the £50 million and Lorraine Kelly championed the Connect2 project on ITV1 the other night. Telephone voting begins today. All voting concludes at 12 noon on Monday 10 December.

Croydon Park Links will create a linking network of green paths and walkways across the Borough, joining up existing parks and open spaces to make it easier for pedestrians, cyclists and others to get around. The scheme will link central Croydon to the Wandle Trail and Wandle Park and will join South Norwood Country Park, Ashburton Park and Addiscombe Railway Park to the town centre.

If Sustrans wins the £50 million award Croydon Council will receive £550,000 of it to develop the Croydon Park Links.

To find out more about Connect2 please visit

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Are Kate and Amy really the faces of Croydon?

Today's email from the Croydon Guardian has three stories about Kate Moss and one about Amy Winehouse. None of the stories has a direct link to Croydon - it is simply that the celebs involved spent some time here before being famous.

Kate Moss, of course, is a Croydonian. She went to local schools and it's no secret that she grew up in Addiscombe and South Croydon. But it's not clear to me why her Croydon roots means our local paper has to make space for stories about Kate's nanny, her Top Shop designs and her boyfriend's convictions.

Amy Winehouse on the other hand has rather dubious connections to Croydon. Hailing from Southgate at the northern end of London, she trekked her way down to Croydon to attend the Brit School for a few years. This is enough for the Guardian to include the latest ups and downs in her marriage with Blake.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against these celebs or celeb gossip in general. But if I want to hear about Kate and Amy, I'll read Vogue or the NME or the 3am Girls or Popbitch. It isn't as if these stories happened in Croydon or even that these women's careers have much to do with their Croydon connections. I want my local paper to focus on news that involves Croydon and affects Croydonians.

If we want Croydon heroes, people whose fame was moulded by their Croydon experience, perhaps we should consider England rugby players George Chuter and Paul Sackey. Both attended Croydon schools and honed their skills week in week out on our playing fields. But maybe even then their exploits are best left to the back pages of the Telegraph than in the local paper.

Mind you, anything is better than hearing about Dane Bowers' latest appearance at a Croydon nightclub...

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Thursday, October 04, 2007


Talk2Croydon is a new site courtesy of Croydon Voluntary Action, Croydon Primary Care Trust and Croydon Council to give a community forum for views and ideas. Its vision is "to create debate, dialogue and increase community involvement in local decisions reaching those not able or willing to attend meetings/events."

Currently there are surveys about trees, pavement cycling and reducing waste. Anyone can post community events and networking opportunities.

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