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Everything you need to know about the Dulwich Festival

Becky Danks

The Dulwich Festival 2017 is a ten-day art and culture extravaganza featuring walks, talks, theatre shows, food, music, fairs – and very posh street art. One-time Bond Pierce Brosnan has been known to drop into previous festivals too, so you never know who you might spot. Here are seven more things you should keep an eye out for during the fest: 

Bat walk with the London Wildlife Trust

If you go down to the woods at night you’re sure of a big surprise... You might catch sight of a few winged nocturnal friends. Both Britain’s largest and smallest variety of bat live in Sydenham Hill Woods so there’s a chance you’ll encounter these fascinating creatures out hunting. In the capable hands of an enthusiastic LWT guide carrying a bat detector, this is a rare opportunity to learn all about their habits. And no doubt you’ll be joined by a few wily local foxes as well. Fri May 12. 8.30pm. £6, £4 concs.


The Element in the Room

This is a musical version of scientist Marie Curie’s life and death. While they may have picked an unlikely sounding theme for a vaudeville show, the amazing Tangram Theatre company plan to pull out all the stops. Expect catchy tunes, cross-dressing and comedy, all revealing what life was like for a scientifically gifted woman in a male-dominated world. Sat May 13 at 7pm. £12, £10 concs.

Street Art Walk

Leading international artists have reinterpreted the Baroque paintings in the world-renowned Dulwich Art Gallery and created them in their own style as part of an ambitious outdoor art gallery project. This unique two-hour guided tour offers a rare opportunity to view both the street art and the paintings that inspired them. Sun May 14 at 2pm. £9, £7 concs.

Dulwich Festival Fair

Beer tents, bouncy castles, homemade cakes and live music: what more could you wish for on a lazy Sunday? Head along to the main fair on Goose Green or check out one of the other two going ahead in the area for a creative twist on traditional British entertainment. Sun May 14, 11am-4pm.

Artists’ Open House

Local creative types are flinging open their doors and offering visitors a rare glimpse into what goes on inside their workspaces at this open house. Over 250 artists will be displaying an eclectic mix of lovely things including pet portraits, neon signs, nude sculptures, teapots, crocheted bikinis and taxidermy. Sat May 13-Sun May 14; May 20-21. Prices vary.

Political Discussion

In the run-up to the general election, you can attend this timely interview with journalist Robin Lustig, who’ll talk about his distinguished 40-year career. He will be in conversation with BBC News’s deputy political editor John Pienaar and they’ll talk about how the media has changed dramatically over the years. Wed May 17, 7.30pm. £10, £8 concs.

Dulwich Burial Ground Tour

Dating back to 1616, the gates of Dulwich Burial Ground have been locked to the public for many years. Join a creepy tour – if you dare – to hear macabre tales of bodysnatchers and the unfortunate local victims of the Great Plague of 1665, who are buried in unmarked graves. Sun May 21 1pm-5pm. One-hour tours on the hour. Free.  

Find out more about the Dulwich Festival.


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