lip fest

27th -28th october

croydon’s first poetry and spoken word festival



Poetry is life. From an initial idea between friends to a two-day celebration LIP FEST is a fresh take on poetry festivals. Combining scratch performances from emerging voices with masterclasses from award-winning poets it is a programme brimming with talent, discussion and powerful performances. Proudly sponsored by Arts Council England and Croydon Council. 2018 event was a massive hit! See below for what was included and check back for more information on LIPFEST2019.


We’ve catered for everyone! All ages and abilities. LIP FEST is designed to be enjoyed. A menu of delicacies. If you’ve never been to a poetry event before - there are free open mics to whet your appetite . Just starting out; workshops and panel discussions. Looking to make poetry your profession; masterclasses and top-tips from industry professionals. Need to entertain the little ones; we’ve thought of that too! Have a browse of our full programme here.

workshops and



Performance Workshop

Russenï is an explosive poet with exceptional performance ability. He has featured widely including at the Olympic Park, Southbank and as opening act for the Last Poets at the Love Box Festival 2015. He is definitely one to watch. This workshop is designed to help you find new ways to bring the poetry off the page, using theatre. Gain great techniques for commanding the stage and leaving your mark.

Saturday 27th October £4


Likkle Rum with Grandma

This show is a journey over a generational bridge. This emotive piece of new writing by Croydon based writer Jeremiah ‘SugarJ’ Brown mixes poetry, storytelling and a Jamaican grandmother’s voice to bring to the fore issues of loneliness, immigration, community, what distance does to family love and the waviness of Port.


an inter-generational creative workshop; open to all wanting to explore how the past makes them who they are today. Using poetry and performance as catalysts for introspection and discussion



‘The poem exists not in the first burst of creativity, but in revision’. Steve Dobyns

In this workshop, we’ll explore techniques for shaping the first draft into a poem that is ready to face the world in publication or performance. Moving through a variety of exercises and example poems, we’ll learn methods to get to the core of what your speaker wants to say including a variety of options for deconstructing your poem so that you can understand it, get the best out of it and enjoy the process.

Bring your drafts and your notebook and polish them up under the tutelage of Tolu Agbelusi -

Saturday 27th October £10


Post-War Apocalypse

Francesca Beard takes us on an epic adventure through a wonderland of lies, fictions and Wikipedia facts in a show for anyone who has ever said they read the terms and conditions.

Your host is a sham-shaman, who will lead you through a stranger than fiction underworld of lies, fabrications and “facts” to explore make-believe in its many forms.

Directed by Rob Watt (Standby for Tape Back-up, Goosebumps).

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Poetry Writing Workshop

Led by Victoria Adukwei-Bulley whose work has been shortlisted for the Brunel University International African Poetry Prize, featured on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour and in The Poetry Review, and commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts. She is a Complete Works fellow, and her debut pamphlet, Girl B, edited by Kwame Dawes was published in 2017.

Get ready to be inspired in this workshop.

Sunday 28th October

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Back of the Head with a Brick

Her fingers pinch my plate. Her thumbnail, a light pink.
The end worn out from plate washing. A side of it chipped from London bad luck.
I give her an awkwardly humble nod.
She whispers a “thanks mate” picking up the plate.
I know she’s saying something people just say but it makes me want to wash the dishes myself

A story about mental health and London, a city that suffocates. Walk up a hill to see an old friend who’s in need of help, all the while listening to the same song over and over again.

Sometimes I wake up wishing I could sleep for years.

Sean Mahoney is a writer performer. He is the co-creator of spoken word night Boxedin. He’s featured at Jawdance, Bang Said the Gun and Chill Pill. His show Until You Hear That Bell, ran at the BAC, toured the country and has also run at Stratford Circus, Albany Theatre, and The Unicorn.

Saturday 27th October