There's a new venue on the New Cross/Deptford border – a 40ft lorry container. Yes, a lorry container. It will host live music, poetry readings, theatre, a cinema club, and comedy bingo from someone who goes by the name of Frog Morris.
The trailer is the brainchild of sculptor and businessman John Cierach, also behind the equally improbable pizza restaurant known as Big Red that is housed in a double-decker bus that bursts out onto Deptford Church Street like a pop art explosion next door. We got a sneak preview ahead of a performance by Ceri James on Saturday (25 February).
The trailer can seat 45, with room for 80 or so standing, and is linked to the pizza bus by a canopied patio with seating for around 40. It’s early doors; so early, in fact, that it hasn’t even been given a name, but big things are planned.
John said: “There’s a very rich seam of artistic and creative talent here that we want to generate interest in. What we’ve done here is quirky, intimate and fun."
There will be showcases of two or three bands inside the trailer on Fridays and Saturdays and possibly outside on the patio during the summer. The music will be acoustic jazz, latin, world, folk, country and even classical. Caffy St Luce — who knows as much as there is to know about the Deptford/New Cross music scene – is helping out, while the cinema will be hosted by the Deptford Film Club. John plans “light sculptures” for the underside of the bridge over the creek and there’s already a piece of Chris Getliffe artwork on the toilet door.
And the trailer?
It used to be owned by Lewisham council and was used as a mobile cinema. It’s been given a second lease of life. A sequel, if you will.
Big Red and its new live venue can be found at 30 Deptford Church Street, SE8 4RZ.
By Paul Dietrich