ALSO Twixtmas 2020
27th - 29th December: A winter festival of talks, Q&As, workshops and performances to carry you into the new year. Programme and tickets here.
To slow the pace of climate change, the fossil fuel industry, the aviation sector and auto business have to be dismantled. Until recently that was thought impossible. But Covid019 shows that it is possible to shut businesses overnight, cut greenhouse gas emissions and pay people during a transition, showing part of a shimmering sustainable future that could be within our grasp. LIVE from Taiwan - Graeme Maxton and Bernice Maxton-Lee explain how.
It’s the Twixtmas Papers. Our Festival tradition is returning for a special end-of-year edition. Broadcast star, Natalie Haynes hosts a News Review of the Year with a panel of comics (who else can make sense of 2020) including comedian, actor and writer, Robin Ince, comedian, writer, musician and writer Al Murray and comedian, writer and musician Rob Deering. Bring your coffee (you might need an Espresso Martini) and review the year in style with us.
Our relationship with nature is always a big theme that runs through our ALSO work, and we’ll be building and going deeper into the subject this Twixtmas.
From understanding the science behind forest bathing with the world's foremost expert in forest medicine, Dr Qing Li; an extraordinary virtual Guided Tree Walk with the founder of The Street Tree and author of the acclaimed London is a Forest, Paul Wood and journalist and author of Losing Eden, Lucy Jones explains nature’s place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing.
Comedy, poetry, songs and nonsense from a delectable selection of international comedians, compiled and compered by Alexis Dubus. ALICE FRASER (The Bugle & Tea With Alice podcasts) CHARLES QUARTERMAN (Nominee: Malcolm Hardee Award For Comic Originality) CHRISTOPHER BLISS (Comedy Central) NATHAN CATON (Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week) ROB DEERING (BBC Radio 2’s Out To Lunch) SIMON MUNNERY (BBC2’s Attention Scum) Hosted by ALEXIS DUBUS (Comedy Central, BBC Radio 4’s Word Of Mouth)
So Sarah McCartney has two superhero skills. She’s a yoga teacher AND the founder of perfume house 4160 Tuesdays. So, especially for us at ALSO this Twixtmas time we’ve asked her to bring both together to lead our Scented Twixtmas Yoga Session, with vials of perfume sent to the home of those of you who want to book on.
Come with us further into the forest, as we build on our big love for the Japanese art of Shinrin-Yoku - Forest Bathing. To do this we have invited the world's foremost expert in forest medicine and the author of Into the Forest: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, Dr Qing Li to beam in from his University in Tokyo. Understand from this pioneer of this practise the proven health benefits of Forest Bathing and put your questions to him in this very special live-streamed event translated by Japanese translater Lindsay Whipp. And then start to plan your next forest walk...
For centuries, we acted on an intuitive sense that we need communion with the wild to feel well. Now more scientific evidence is emerging to confirm nature’s place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing. So we’ve asked journalist and author of Losing Eden, Lucy Jones to steer us through the research to help us consider our indoor, disconnected from the natural world, lives anew.
As seen at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, The Box Soho and on BBC1’s The John Bishop Show, Silvia is a mesmerising contemporary circus act from Italy, whose LED hoop act has been rapturously received all around the world. She’s now making her online debut at Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique.
Come together with people around the country and join our workshop offering. Having new, unusual experiences is the core of any ALSO event and no digital edition would be complete without offering festival-goers the chance to experience something new.
We’re so pleased to be partnering with the amazing Making Made Easy experts, Yodomo to bring you curated LIVE experiences as well as returning festival-favourites including Scented Yoga with Sarah McCartney, Dance LIVE with award-winning professional dance artist Jemima Hoadley and a whisky appreciation society with Rachel McCormack and Barry Smith.
In Sweden, they are Kanelbulle, in Denmark Kanelsnegl, in Norway Kanelbolle. Whatever you decide to call them - you’ll be baking your own delicious cinnamon buns in ALSO’s workshop with Jess and Liz from Breadforlife in this session designed to help you create some serious Scandinavian style for your twixtmas. This is a free workshop, but you'll need to sign up for details.
We’re proud to be showcasing a new poem from Poets for Peace who bring poets together to break down barriers and promote social cohesion. They hope their words will touch upon your heart and help us all to see the beauty within every faith and community this Twixtmas time.
It's Demo Time! Be shaken and stirred as the ALSO regulars, the fabulous Crafty Boys - Charlie and Louis Hamblett reveal how to make the perfect ALSO espresso martini. Be ready to go with vodka, Kahlúa, espresso and coffee beans.
We have an incredible line-up of DJs enhancing your late-night adventures at Twixtmas 2020. And with no genres left unturned and no songs out of bounds, they’ll be creating the perfect soundtracks to your festival experience. Dress up. Get down.
How do jokes work? How can you be funny? How do you tell a joke? Head of Comedy at Also Festival, Alexis Dubus (“Very funny, quick-witted and exceedingly sharp” - British Comedy Guide, “Uniquely funny” The Scotsman, Edinburgh Fringe) has been writing and performing stand-up around the world for over 15 years. He will explain the secrets of creating a great joke in this fabulously entertaining and interactive session. Don’t miss it.
Delving into human relationships. Knot sees two male dancers using extreme physicality, complex lifts and contact choreography, to explore the many facets of human relationships through physical expression. Twisting and turning, the balance shifts from one dancer to the other as they use their physicality to express their emotions. Inspired by Salvador Dali’s ‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus’, Knot asks questions about who we are; delving into our inner lives and our relationship with others. Motionhouse is supported using public funding through Arts Council England.
Whether you’re missing family board games or became an expert these past few months, it is the season to play. Join award winning comedian and UK board game champion James Cook and his comedian guests as they play board games with an international flavour. Play-along from the comfort of your own festive bubble, and either help/hinder the players depending on how much eggnog you've consumed. Can you inspire them to victory, or make them want to flip over the table in a fit of rage?
As the western world struggles with its legacies of racism and colonialism, what can we learn from the past in order to move forward? Philosopher Susan Neiman will be in conversation with award-winning business psychologist, Margaret Heffernan.
We'll be having our own Queen of Speeches at ALSO Twixtmas at 3pm. Don't miss it!
Playing music for the enjoyment of others has propelled Ferdie since he saved up for his first boombox. From rocking university halls with his Maxell C90 mixtapes to graduating with DJ honours onto festival stages. Barrio boss man Ferdie can now be found at the helm of his DJ bars across London, feeding the masses with his own colourful take on music, accompanied by a few choice cocktails along the way. A keen collector of remixes and re-edits, expect an excursion on well-loved versions. With no genres left unturned and no songs out of bounds, Ferdie’s unashamed mash-up of party-beats and singalong classics will get you all in a funk-frenzy! He'll even be taking requests at ALSO Twixtmas.
Bruce Nash is the founder of the leading film industry data analysis company The Numbers - and for nearly 25 years Bruce Nash has been following the movie money. He’ll be beaming in from California to talk to us about films this Twixtmas. Find out where our blockbusters have gone (Bond, Top Gun 2) and when they might appear. How our love of streaming will change cinemas, how the Film Studios have reacted to 2020 and how on earth the Oscars are going to work next year?
A cult favourite on the international drag & cabaret scene, Virgin Xtravaganzah, AKA the Mother of Gawd, has blessed crowds around the land with her vocal talents and shimmering magnificence. You may have seen her at spaces such as Soho Theatre, Underbelly Festival or Royal Vauxhall Tavern, now she’s part of Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique for ALSO Twixtmas. “Sparkling, scintillating… an increasingly insane amalgamation of performance, song and comedy” - QZ Magazine
Immersive, interactive, and irresistible Cocoa Runners will tempt you to the small screen to try some of the best chocolate in the world. Indulge yourself in the science and art of tasting chocolate and discover the craft, the story and the people beaming in for this ultimate digital chocolate tasting.
Put your dilemmas to both Natalie Haynes, author of The Ancient Guide to the Modern World, and Edith Hall, Professor of Classics at King’s College, who will give you advice from the ancient world of the classics to the modern dilemmas you are facing.
Radio presenter, podcaster and journalist, Julia Raeside, is at Twixtmas 2020 to review of all the options to watch on TV - helping you curate your Twixtmas TV.
We are so thrilled to have White Tail Falls as part of our ALSO programming with three new, beautiful and evocative tracks recorded for your soundtrack to Twixtmas, they are peppered throughout our festival, based on some time he spent in New York, they tell the story of how our lives can become brighter. Irwin Sparkes presents three songs inspired by time spent in New York. “I could end it all, just a shift of body weight, sun rising as I fall from the top of the Golden Gate.” – ‘Body Weight’, White Tail Falls
Is your free will easily overcome? Magic Research Lab and Goldsmiths University of London’s, Alice Pailhès thinks you just might be! So she’ll be showing you how magicians are masters of manipulations and how their powerful ways of influencing our decisions can be hacked by those not wearing a black top hat or suspended in a glass box. Now that’s magic!
Enjoy an ALSO Twixtmas by joining our ALSO ALLDAYER. Designed for anyone to join our festival community it works as well if you are there by yourself or come with friends anywhere in the country. As usual, the line-up will be our house style of big ideas, music, food experiences and comedy, and our line-up is so jam-packed that we're already spilling over to the night before and the morning after.
So with our live and catch-up feature, you'll be able to watch and get involved as we stream or catch up later, at a time that suits you.
In this magazine style show about Works in Progress we'll be chatting to Prof Bobby Duffy author of The Perils of Perception & Why We're Wrong about Nearly Everything about his new book as yes untitled, we’ll then hear from Tawseef Khan about his first non fiction book with a lot to add to public debate The Muslim Problem – Why We’re Wrong About Muslim and Why it Matters publishing in March and then we’ll be hearing from memory expert and neuroscientist Prof Catherine Loveday who’s going to be talking about some of her academic work that is in progress the way that lockdown has affected our memory.
Some things we’ve been pondering, we know science is an astounding achievement, but are we really any wiser than the ancients? And as science erodes faith must it also be a death knell for mythology? Bringing together the cutting edge of scientific research with our deep need for myth and wonder, live from Jerusalem, Professor Oren Harman will offer his brilliant reimagining of modern science and ancient mythology the subject of his book Evolutions, 15 Myths that Explain Our World.
Pre -talks join in our ALSO Twixtmas stretches to help you literally move between sessions. Designed, created and brought to you by Jemima Hoadley, Dance Artist, Maker, performer, facilitator - you may have seen her work at ALSO20 or as part of Can Do Theatre Co.
We'll be bringing together extraordinary authors, speakers and experts from around the world this Twixtmas.
They'll be beaming in LIVE from Tokyo, Taiwan, Israel, Brazil, Denmark, Berlin, London, LA and Ancient Greece…
We'll be exploring the art of hospitality and generosity this Twixtmas with a Virtual Supper Club with author and political activist Priya Basil, a cocktail making masterclass, and chocolate tasting with Cocoa Runners and why not get a friend to join by gifting a masterclass…
Let's get this party started. Our big band sound will come from Tarsus (Eloise Macdonald - Violin, Yusuf Narçin - Tuba, Joe Hardy - Accordion and Cabbar Boziye - Percussion) who will get us moving to a collection of songs curated especially for ALSO - featuring Klezmer, French Waltzes, Bulgarian dances, folk music from Macedonia, Brazillian Bossa, Russian drinking songs, Irish jigs and Turkish pop odysseys. Tarsus can get a party started if it's a party of (government to advise...)
Think you can't dance, but want to give it a go? Looking for any excuse to dance from home? Whatever your reason, come and untangle your body in our LIVE digital dance workshop with the award-winning professional dance artist Jemima Hoadley who by the way has 23 years of practice working with getting people just like you to dance. No-one's gonna see - unless YOU put your moves on zoom.
Many of us struggle with overthinking but rarely does this treat the stresses of our lives, instead we risk becoming overwhelmed. Metacognitive specialist Dr Pia Callesen author of Live More Think Less beams in from Denmark to explain her research into how we can take back control of our thinking processes.
In the ALSO-spirit, we wanted to create something for everyone to get to do together this Christmas, wherever you are in the world.
We’ll have the very finest in big ideas, music, food-based festivities, comedy, workshops, wellness and at-home experiences to find new ways to be happy, inspired, healthy and balanced.
You can dip in and dip out, watch back and curate around your Xmas plans.
Author, Refinery29, Stylist and Grazia journalist, thrift-lover and reformed fast fashion addict, Lauren Bravo will be talking us through some of the ethical, sustainable and fashion-friendly brands we need to know about. Whether your idea of fashion is a new cycling jacket or haute couture, we'll help you think smarter when it comes to your threads.
Something for the little ones. Join Frogprince Baby Music for the most lively under 5s music session you’ll have experienced. Stefano Antoci D’agostino leads a multi-instrumental set of nursery rhymes, movie soundtracks and folk, pop and rock classics. From Wheels on the Bus right the way through to Bowie and the Rolling Stones. A particular favourite of Ronnie the Toddler who likes to request The Bear Necessities and You’re Welcome from Moana.
2020 has been tough but Everything Isn’t Terrible, and to prove it we have therapist and respected mental health writer, Dr Kathleen Smith beaming in from Washington, DC to explain how her work can help us live a less anxious life. Kathleen will be in conversation with author and award-winning journalist, Nichi Hodgson.
As an increasingly polarized America fights over the legacy of racism, Susan Neiman, author of the contemporary philosophical classic 'Evil in Modern Thought', asks what we can learn from post-war Germany about confronting the spectres of the past, the subject of her new book 'Learning from the Germans: Race and The Memory of Evil'.
A whisky tasting with a difference. Join author of Chasing The Dram Rachel McCormack and sensory expert Professor Barry Smith to guide you through whisky. Find the right whisky for you, how to drink it like a pro, what to pair it with -including cheese and music! - and take a sensory tour around the experience of drinking Scotch and what it does to you. To make the most of this online tasting bring your own favourites. For the best experience have two/three glasses of different whiskies(preferably Scotch although we will tolerate some Irish interlopers) and together we’ll explore the range of flavours. Raid your fridge for the Xmas cheese and have a whisky and cheese tasting with us as well. We’ll also invite you to experience the effect of sounds on tasting and it works best if you have a pair of headphones at hand. Join us on the 28 December to ring out the old ahead of the new.
To help us find our own way to effectively process the stress of this most unusual year, we’ve invited academic psychiatrist of the year, Prof. Carmine Pariante (Kings College London). He’ll explain what we need to know in this constantly developing area of brain research so we can all process and prepare for 2021.
How do we process the unique stresses of 2020?
We realise this year has been difficult so we want to take advice from three international leading academics - Kings College London's Prof. Carmine Pariante; therapist and respected mental health writer Dr. Kathleen Smith beaming in from Washington DC, and therapist and metacognitive specialist Dr Pia Callesen speaking to us LIVE from Denmark - who will be helping us find the tools and techniques to process this year and what’s to come.
Drop-in when it suits you.
Feeling lucky? But what is luck? And how do you change it? We’ll be going LIVE with two leading academics, LSE/NYU Prof Dr Christian Busch and award-winning Professor of Strategy and behavioural economist, Chengwei Liu as they discuss how your work luck can be improved in your personal, business and even beyond worlds.
Be Our Guest. Cook author and founder of Authors for Peace, Priya Basil's family recipe before this session - and bring your food to the screen as we discuss the meaning and roots of generosity and hospitality. Priya will be drawing on her Indian, London and Kenyan roots and from Berlin, where she now lives, explaining the role unconditional hospitality could play in saving the world?
ALSO Director Helen Bagnall and guests will be running through the big ideas and what’s on offer, to help guide you through ALSOs Twixtmas Festival. From Our Virtual Supper Club to looking at our anxiety and stress with the experts via The Psychology of Magic and Forest Bathing - this is a whistle stop tour of the digital ideas of the festival to help you plan your festival. And yes we’ll be taking requests, and answering questions on how to get the most out of your time with us.
Mythic Yoga Flow is an integrated yoga practice with storytelling of myth, mantra, mudra, movement and magic. In a transformational fusion of form and flow, Claire seamlessly weaves in stories of the deities, mudras, mantras to create a dynamic and relevant yoga practice. This Twixtmas, Claire will introduce you to the elephant headed God, Ganesha. He is known as the Lord of the Threshold and holds this transitional space for us. To find out more, and how he came by the head of an elephant, join us for this grounding yoga workshop.
French showman Marcel Lucont - socially distant before it was cool, stars in ALSO Twixtmas with a suitably riotous variety show. With special guests chosen to reflect our theme of International Twixtmas and for what they can do on the very small screen - mix yourself a suitable cocktail and brave the front row for Cabaret Fantastique.
Trees LIVE- don't miss our we-love-trees ALSO experience with the founder of The Street Tree and author of the acclaimed London is a Forest, Paul Wood.
Forest Medicine expert, Dr Qing Li's research has proven that spending time around trees, filling your home with house plants and vaporising essential tree oils can reduce blood pressure, lower stress, boost energy levels, strengthen your immune system and even help you to lose weight. Along with his years of ground-breaking research and anecdotes on the transformative power of trees, Dr Li has created the ultimate practical guide on how to experience the mental, physical and emotional benefits of Shrinrin-Yoku for yourself.