‘Afterlife’… on the roof

It was during our frantic search for another Heygate Estate location that I found the roof of the bakery.

That was when we decided to do a late-night ‘tales from the afterlife’ on the roof. The roof would make such brilliant, lonely theatre for ancient myths, with the starry sky as our curtain. (In fact, with only a small movement of barbed wire we could have got onto the ‘Little Angels’ nursery roof, which was even higher, as you can see in the picture. But Nigel persuaded me that someone might fall off and it would be our fault.)

So we set a date and sent it around the usual places. After the initial flurry, bookings slowed down and then, suddenly, we were inundated. 150 emails in one day might not sound like that many, but when you have to answer each one and copy the email addresses down, it soon starts to eat up the hours. We knew that half the people who booked wouldn’t come, but we were also aware that many bookings were “…for me and a few friends”.

In the end we added an extra show at 6.00pm – and we were glad we did. The rows of empty estate windows looked magnificent in the pale blue twilight. As the light faded, the stars were especially bright. Many thanks to Simon and Martha for being our torch-bearers so the crowd could see us!

(Thanks to audience member Christopher Basu for the above photo.)

Even so, I must admit the late one was my favourite. It was great to see some of London’s finest cultural ambassadors: Chris Roberts from One Eye GreySouth London Hardcore and John Constable. Nice also to meet John Kennedy – bollard-obsessive, black-cab driver and fascinating blogger. The stars gleamed from the darkness and our breath was grey in the cold night air, but we couldn’t help feeling warm! Innumerable thanks to everyone who came along, both early and late. With your candles, cushions, blankets, garden torches, folding chairs, full bottles and open minds – you really made it a night to remember.