Be There First: The Last Refuge's First Festival

By Zoe Craig Last edited 67 months ago
Be There First: The Last Refuge's First Festival

Tucked away between art galleries on the Copeland Industrial Cultural Park in Peckham is The Last Refuge, a warehouse-bar-theatre-gallery-space-thingumy.

Onto this relatively blank canvas arrives a first ever festival. Niftily called The First Festival, it runs from 24 April to 4 May and features theatre, comedy, cabaret, poetry and film.

Whatever you're into, there's likely to be something to see during the fortnight of frolics: there’s musical and sketch comedy by Stockton-based Hoist the Rag’s Saturdaynightitis; an improv spectacular called Fuck, Marry, Kill by Bear Bones Theatre; and stand-up from Friday Night Dinner’s Tom Rosenthal.

For theatrephiles, you can choose from Ocelot’s surreal short plays; one-woman shows Shipwrecked and To London, Love Me; or the verbatim coming-out drama The Lasting Sense of Sudden. Or you can go on a headphones-based audio adventure with Dog Rough; or, if you're brave enough, experience an intimate 10-minute one-on-one show The Affection Sessions.

Poetry fans can look forward to London’s hot young poetry stars Clinic, who'll be launching their third collection of poems at the festival.

And The Last Refuge is also showing visionary director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s iconic film Salò, or 120 Days of Sodom. Banned in several countries, Salò is an intensely graphic, violent, sadistic, sexual metaphor for the political corruption in Mussolini's Italy.

Finally, the festival is rounded off with fabulous all-French cabaret Soiree Pompette, an absurd night of variety acts, bingo and red wine… all in French! Even if you can't parler français, this tongue-in-cheek cabaret guarantees you'll feel bilingual by the end of the night.

The Last Refuge's First Festival runs from 24 April to 4 May at 133 Rye Lane, Peckham Rye, London, SE15 3SN. Tickets range from some free shows up to £12. Visit to find out more.

Last Updated 17 April 2013