Torriano Meeting House

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Poetry Art Politics Community 

Torriano Meeting House  is a user-funded grass-roots volunteer-run arts and community organisation in Kentish Town. We are best known for our poetry events but we have many other long running strands including storytelling for adults, writing and storytelling workshops, hosting local political campaigning groups, theatrical events, left wing folk club, and we very much support grass-roots creativity and social change.  

Torriano is a space for you to organise events and projects.

“What is the purpose of resisting corporate globalization if not to protect the obscure, the ineffable, the unmarketable, the unmanageable, the local, the poetic and the eccentric? So they need to be practiced, celebrated and studied too, right now.” – Rebecca Solnit
 

We are making preparations for safely coming together again.
Autumn brings stirrings of new growth in a topsy turvey world. 
Our capacity audience is 8 people. Please bring a mask to events.

If you would like to make a financial contribution, donate here:



Torriano in cyberspace

On Sunday 17 January 2021 at 7.30 Dan Kennedy, the fierce head poet, will again be hosting Torriano Poetry in cyberspace. Bring poems to read or just listen. Join us there:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3940991487?pwd=VXN0djNHU0F5M2pDK0dscXdRTkJwZz09
Meeting ID: 394 099 1487
Passcode: 8dFNdWq

Torriano in cyberspace

On Sunday 10 January 2021 at 7.30 Dan Kennedy, the fierce head poet, will again be hosting Torriano Poetry in cyberspace. Bring poems to read or just listen. Join us there:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3940991487?pwd=VXN0djNHU0F5M2pDK0dscXdRTkJwZz09
Meeting ID: 394 099 1487
Passcode: 8dFNdWq

Torriano in cyberspace

On Sunday 3 January 2021 at 7.30 Dan Kennedy, the fierce head poet, will again be hosting Torriano Poetry in cyberspace. Bring poems to read or just listen. Join us there:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3940991487?pwd=VXN0djNHU0F5M2pDK0dscXdRTkJwZz09
Meeting ID: 394 099 1487
Passcode: 8dFNdWq

Unity Folk Club in cyberspace

Unity Folk Club at Torriano| Drawing Emily Johns


Greetings everyone!

Just to remind you that we will be having a one off Unity Zoom on Monday 28 December, 7.45pm – which is when we would have been meeting had it been in normal times.

Red and Green choir have provided the words for some singalong songs (below) and one of them will be leading a couple of these to start our ‘performance’ round  off.  For those of you who have not yet sung on zoom, everyone will have to remain muted other than the one person leading.  It is not possible to join our voices together on zoom as the time delays cause chaos and cacophony.  However, we will start by going around the room saying hello since it is so long since we have been together.

Everybody welcome, especially singers and poets who sing or read against war, capitalism, exploitation, privatisation, imperialism and globalisation.

Join us by clicking on the link below:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86559551875

Meeting ID: 865 5955 1875
——————————————

1. Hanging on the old barbed wire

If you want to find the general
I know where he is
I know where he is
I know where he is
If you want to find the general
I know where he is
He’s pinning another medal on his chest
I saw him, I saw him
Pinning another medal on his chest
Pinning another medal on his chest


If you want to find the colonel
I know where he is
I know where he is
I know where he is
If you want to find the colonel
I know where he is
He’s sitting in comfort stuffing his bloody gut
I saw him, I saw him
Sitting in comfort stuffing his bloody gut

If you want to find the sergent
I know where he is
I know where he is
I know where he is
If you want to find the sergent
I know where he is
He’s drinking all the company rum
I saw him, I saw him
Drinking all the company rum
Drinking all the company rum

If you want to find the private
I know where he is
I know where he is
I know where he is
If you want to find the private
I know where he is
He’s hanging on the old barbed wire
I saw him, I saw him
Hanging on the old barbed wire
Hanging on the old barbed wire

2. Bella Ciao

Una mattina mi sono alzato
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
Una mattina mi sono alzato
E ho trovato l’invasor


O partigiano, portami via
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
O partigiano, portami via
Ché mi sento di morir


E se io muoio da partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
E se io muoio da partigiano
Tu mi devi seppellir


E seppellire lassù in montagna
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
E seppellire lassù in montagna
Sotto l’ombra di un bel fior

E le genti che passeranno
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
E le genti che passeranno
Mi diranno: “Che bel fior”


Questo è il fiore del partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Questo è il fiore del partigiano
Morto per la libertà

3. H – bombs thunder

Don’t you hear the H-bomb’s thunder
Echo like the crack of doom?
While they rend the skies asunder
Fall-out makes the earth a tomb
Do you want your homes to tumble
Rise in smoke towards the sky?
Will you let your cities crumble
Will you see your children die?

Chorus:
Men and women, stand together
Do not heed the men of war
Make your minds up now or never
Ban the bomb for evermore

Tell the leaders of the nations
Make the whole wide world take heed
Poison from the radiations
Strikes at every race and creed
Must you put mankind in danger
Murder folk in distant lands?
Will you bring death to a stranger
Have his blood upon your hands?

Chorus:
Men and women, stand together
Do not heed the men of war
Make your minds up now or never
Ban the bomb for evermore

Shall we lay the world in ruin?
Only you can make the choice
Stop and think of what you’re doing
Join the march and raise your voice
Time is short; we must be speedy
We can see the hungry filled

House the homeless, help the needy
Shall we blast, or shall we build ?

Chorus:
Men and women, stand together
Do not heed the men of war
Make your minds up now or never
Ban the bomb for evermore

4. Stand where I stand

Stand where I stand 

See what I see

Your truth and my truth

Shall keep company
———————————————

Unity Folk Club  was started in the late 40s / early 50s by Jack Firestein, a Unity Theatre management committee chair, and the front of house face of Unity Theatre, running the bookstall in the foyer during every performance (weekends only) and the folk club in the bar on Wednesdays. Jack remained a steadfast, principled and caring socialist all his life. It was his life.

Unity was of course the left-wing theatre in Mornington Crescent that specialised in socialist theatre, famous for its political pantomimes and living newspapers and for being at the heart of the militant national theatre movement in the 1930s. The Unity made its name with Waiting for Lefty and was the first theatre to stage a Brecht play in Britain.

Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson. Photo: Library of Congress via wikicommons

The folk club had to move after fires shut the Theatre. Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson were two famous singers connected with the Unity Theatre and Jack.

The Unity Folk Club was at the Enterprise in Chalk Farm Road until 2003 when it moved to Torriano Meeting House.

The central point of the club is to help to keep political folk singing alive, which is particularly necessary in the present climate.

Everybody welcome, especially singers and poets who sing or read against war, capitalism, exploitation, privatisation, imperialism and globalisation.

Torriano in cyberspace

On Sunday 27 December at 7.30 Dan Kennedy, the fierce head poet, will again be hosting Torriano Poetry in cyberspace. Bring poems to read or just listen. Join us there:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3940991487?pwd=VXN0djNHU0F5M2pDK0dscXdRTkJwZz09
Meeting ID: 394 099 1487
Passcode: 8dFNdWq

Torriano in cyberspace

On Sunday 20 December at 7.30 Dan Kennedy, the fierce head poet, will again be hosting Torriano Poetry in cyberspace. Bring poems to read or just listen. Join us there:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3940991487?pwd=VXN0djNHU0F5M2pDK0dscXdRTkJwZz09
Meeting ID: 394 099 1487
Passcode: 8dFNdWq

Silent exhibition: Do you See this Music? Delineation of lockdown London

An exhibition of drawings by Agnes Hay

Merry Christmas Torriano Meeting House.
This year there will be no celebration in you.
I made this exhibition just for you.
You are a lovely space.

Tagged , ,

Torriano in cyberspace

On Sunday 20 December at 7.30 Dan Kennedy, the fierce head poet, will again be hosting Torriano Poetry in cyberspace. Bring poems to read or just listen. Join us there:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3940991487?pwd=VXN0djNHU0F5M2pDK0dscXdRTkJwZz09
Meeting ID: 394 099 1487
Passcode: 8dFNdWq

Torriano in cyberspace

On Sunday 13 December at 7.30 Dan Kennedy, the fierce head poet, will again be hosting Torriano Poetry in cyberspace. Bring poems to read or just listen. All welcome. Join us there:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3940991487?pwd=VXN0djNHU0F5M2pDK0dscXdRTkJwZz09
Meeting ID: 394 099 1487
Passcode: 8dFNdW

Torriano in cyberspace

On Sunday 6 December at 7.30 Dan Kennedy, the fierce head poet, will again be hosting Torriano Poetry in cyberspace. Bring poems to read or just listen. Join us there:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3940991487?pwd=VXN0djNHU0F5M2pDK0dscXdRTkJwZz09
Meeting ID: 394 099 1487
Passcode: 8dFNdW

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