On 14 June 1903, Emily Wilding Davison’s memorial service at St George’s Church in Bloomsbury attracted crowds of 6,000 women. The Greenwich-born Suffragette and University of London graduate had died earlier that month at the Derby, running in front of the King’s horse to highlight the Votes For Women cause. This week, a multi-arts festival inspired by Wilding Davison takes place in and around that same church.
Curated by London-based arts collective Soundcastle in partnership with the Museum of London and St George’s Bloomsbury, the festival presents music, theatre, dance, visual art, and discussion in the recently restored St George’s Bloomsbury, the last of Hawksmoor’s London churches (completed in 1731).
Performing and exhibiting artists include Soundcastle, Consortium5, the London Gay Men’s Chorus, Akhila Krishnan, LightBox, Voice, Folie a Deux Femme, Sage Dance Company, Jasper Cho and many more. There are also some pre-festival talks taking place tonight and on Tuesday.
As well as the concerts, look out for the art exhibition Mirror Of the Open Road, open throughout the festival in the church. Crafty types can join in a hat-making workshop on the Sunday: none of your teeny modern-day fascinators here; these will be big, bold 1913-style statement pieces. Or you can get active in other ways on the Saturday, joining a festival procession from Russel Square to St George’s Bloomsbury, alongside the Olympic suffragettes who took part in last summer’s Olympic opening ceremony. Don’t forget to wear the Suffragette’s colours of purple, white and green.
There’ll also be tours taking place on Saturday and Sunday, run by Most Curious Tours, fusing performance, story telling, and material from the Suffragette archive and the British Museum.
The Wilding Festival runs from 13 to 16 June at various venues in and around St George’s Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Way, Bloomsbury, London, WC1A 2SR. Book tickets in advance at wegottickets.com/wildingfestival. For a full programme of festival events, go to thewildingfestival.co.uk. Find the festival on Facebook and Twitter @wildingfestival