Voyage of the Dead

November 2013

Michael experimenting with “the Dalston Walk” in Voyage of the Dead costume

The Voyage of the Dead

Once Upon a time there was an Artist/ Musician called Nwando Ebizie with a  Diva alter-ego with a direct line to Nigerian priestesses of earth and ancestry.. One day she was telling her friend Lucy Red Shoes that she wanted to locally tour this character, playing in African hairdressers and trendy cafes and generally around and about their neighbourhood. She wanted to do this on the Day of the Dead. Lucy Red Shoes liked this idea and said “Let’s organise a procession.. and a flotilla”..

Nwando agreed and employed a Production Manager

Eme Cruse and Lucy Red Shoes started tracking down way-stations, boats and participants and also contacted Leslie Goosey of the Apiary Studios and we decided to join forces.. ending the procession of at the Apiary. Leslie also employed Eme as her production manager.


Lucy talked about these plans with her studio-mates and with some of the groups she was developing with various folk at Unit 61 performance makers, Wet Granny Improvising and devising group, the Drawing and Dancing Society and also to involve the open studio practice that Matt, Ewelina and Lise had begun on Saturday afternoons. Lucy made flyers and some of Wet Granny met to plan possible choreographies and a Costume and a mask making party and a Drawing and Dancing Society were organised for the weeks before the procession..

Great and Beautiful Costumes and Characters and Decorations were created in just two sessions by Lucy, Nwando, Lise, Matt, Mala, Juliana, Moe, Tete, Javier, Jasia, Michael, Ailin, Heather, Nico, Pablo, Ben and Ellie..

Matt JacksonJasia Smith

Saturday 4th November duly arrived and  we arranged to collect people together  at Unit 61 to head off for the first stage..

Ailin Conant

It took longer than I thought to round folk up and it took longer than anticipated to wend our way and Eme had said that the Procession was running late and it was not a problem and we arrived at the first stage, G G’s hair salon, late and the parade had moved on.. this was quite a shocking moment, no-one had called to enquire where we were, luckily friends had arrived in the parade and let us know where they were and we hurtled toward De Beauvoir Square,

   having missed the Dalston Walk and the Junk Orchestra and joined the parade and began to move toward the towpath. Maryam and Ian were awaiting us at the pirate cinema

Lady Vendredi disappeared into the Cabin to fix her sound because her sound engineer (Baron Samedi) had come down with a cold..

Dasha Pluzhnyk was valiantly holding the fort with a few junk drums being softly beaten “Do your thing Lucy” yelled Miss Eme..

Sonya Caller (Stories from the Magic Tree.. no photos) told a beautiful story to all on the towpath and afterwards Me, Matt, and Edwina valiantly took the stage..

Lise Marker                          Jenny Matthews

(Who took most of the photos)

Ellie Doney                                 Lucy Red Shoes

Then Lady Vendredi Emerged..

..and then passed through the veil between life and death..

Otherwise known as Kingsland Basin..

        BEFORE
Kingsland basin in 1996
                Spirit of 1996 alive for one night in 2012

The Beleaguered Boaters of C.H.U.G. valiantly supplied mulled wine and cider and amazing Sausage sandwiches.. and then apologised profusely and made a generous donation to Vareska Floating Kitchen as we had arranged for them to be doing the cooking. the Sonya told another Story from the magic tree, Everyone was very comfortable there, Juliana Brustik channelled her Egyptian dancing expertise into a most remarkable performance as a Crone throughout the day and evening..

but Lady Vendredi was on a mission and so we set off again.. by land and by.. canal..

I’d like to say we danced all night..