Leytonstone is a little bit of east London that has always punched above its weight. It’s created talented people across all kinds of disciplines: from Damon Albarn to Alfred Hitchcock, Derek Jacobi to Fanny Cradock (oh, and also Jonathan Ross).
That creative buzz will be evident across the next two and a half weeks with the joyously random Leytonstone Festival. The wide array on offer covers (literally) everything from celebrity sound-a-likes to agitprop entertainment, history talks to henna hand art, bingo, a hoe-down and cheese-tasting. Something for everyone then.
Particular events we’re looking forward to include three Hitchcock film screenings in a cemetery and sunset tours of the tower of St John’s Church (book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org). There’s comedy in the form of CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation, where a murder mystery play will be made up on the spot, and also a rambunctious-sounding east London vaudeville night.
The area will be alive with music throughout with pretty much every genre covered. There’s a heavy metal all-dayer and a Cher tribute act (random, as we mentioned) alongside jazz, folk, funk, country and singer-songwriters galore (try the cinematic sounds of Blair Jollands). There's also Elements, a family friendly celebration of all things hip-hop event at the ever-excellent Red Lion pub.
Food-wise there’s also plenty to look forward to including beer and cheese tasting, a curry and quiz night and a supper club run by Masterchef semi-finalist Michael Sanders. Music and mastication combine meanwhile at the free-to-enter What’s Cookin’ Picnic.
And coinciding with all these performances you can also investigate the Leytonstone Arts Trail from 4-13 July.
Scan through the website for the full list or head along to the launch party to meet the people involved and get your bearings — that takes place at St John’s Church on Saturday 4 July 11am-5pm. The festival starts today and continues through until 19 July.