The Silverton

Fairview set to launch homes at The Silverton and One Goodmayes

Developer will unveil schemes in Royal Docks and Seven Kings, benefiting from wider regeneration

Image shows The Silverton by Fairview, a grey brick block of flats with trees in the foreground
An artist’s impression of The Silverton by Fairview New Homes

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Alongside the attractions of an area and the specific amenities at an individual development, uppermost in buyers’ minds is a question – how smart am I being, placing my capital in this place? 

While none of us are capable of foretelling the future – who in the early 1980s, for example could have predicted the rise and success of Canary Wharf – we can consider the likely path an area’s fortunes will take.

This is clearly something Fairview New Homes is keenly attuned to as a developer.

Its Dock28 scheme in Woolwich, for instance, is well located for buyers to take advantage of the plethora of improvements that have arrived locally via neighbouring projects as well as those still in the pipeline.

It’s a theme that certainly flows into the company’s next development launch in June.

Image shows a computer generated scene of a roof terrace with plants in raised beds and views over the Thames in London
An artist’s impression of the roof terrace at The Silverton

Fairview prepares to launch The Silverton

The Silverton is a collection of 78 one, two, three and four bedroom apartments located just south of North Woolwich Road.

This means residents will benefit both from nearby Thames Barrier Park, but also the amenities of Royal Wharf – an extensive swathe of development by Ballymore, which boasts a pub, a pharmacy, shops, restaurants, cafes and a pier for Uber Boat By Thames Clippers River Bus services. 

The Silverton is also close to Ballymore’s UNEX site, which is expected to be developed in the coming years – part of the wider multi-billion pound regeneration of the Royal Docks.

Set to launch on June 1, 2024, Fairview’s scheme offers prices starting at £400,000, with all homes featuring private terraces, balconies or winter gardens. 

The scheme also boasts landscaped podium gardens, with some apartments also able to access a roof terrace on the ninth floor with views over the Thames.

Fairview New Homes sales manager, Sohail Saiyed, said: “The Royal Docks is one of London’s most exciting new neighbourhoods, with a huge amount of money invested in the area and more to come in the short and long-term future. 

“There’s already a thriving community here along with excellent transport links and all the amenities you could need.

“With average flat prices in the Royal Docks sitting at around £460,000, The Silverton represents real value with our homes starting at just £400,000. 

“We also work with a number of schemes such as Deposit Unlock and Own New to help give first-time buyers that little boost they might need to purchase.

“While we’ve always prided ourselves on primarily helping first-time buyers onto the ladder, with a wide range of different specifications, we’ve truly got something for everyone at The Silverton and with further regeneration planned in the coming years, buying in the area makes for a sound investment.”

The Silverton is located within easy walking distance of pontoon Dock and London City Airport DLR stations offering rapid connections to the City, Canary Wharf and Woolwich.

A computer generated image of Fairview New Homes' One Goodmayes scheme showing blocks of brick-clad apartments and landscaped gardens
An artist’s impression of One Goodmayes by Fairview New Homes

developer set to launch One Goodmayes

The Silverton isn’t the only development that Fairview is set to launch next month.

The company’s One Goodmayes scheme will be unveiled at an event on June 22, 2024, and aims to attract buyers east along the Elizabeth Line.

Located between Seven Kings and Goodmayes stations – a seven-minute walk east or west, respectively, the development will see a total of 102 new homes built

Studios, one-beds and two-beds will all be available, with prices starting at £275,000.

Each property comes with a private balcony or terrace and fully fitted kitchens with integrated appliances.

There’s also a communal roof terrace with views over London’s skyline for residents to access.

Sohail said: “Situated at the heart of the Crossrail corridor, Goodmayes is a rapidly up-and-coming neighbourhood with buying prospects rivalling the likes of neighbouring Stratford. 

“Officially launching on June 22, we are already seeing strong interest in the development from buyers and investors alike.

“We’re confident One Goodmayes represents real value in comparison to many other areas of London, without sacrificing on transport links or nearby amenities, making the development a great option for first-time buyers. 

“We’ll be able to welcome our first residents at One Goodmayes as early as September this year.” 

Locally, the area is surrounded by parks including Seven Kings and Goodmayes as well as South Park.

There’s also an extensive selection of amenities including shops, bars, restaurants and supermarkets.

The development’s proximity to the Elizabeth Line means residents can expect journeys of less than 30 minutes to Canary Wharf and Liverpool Street once at Seven Kings station.

That location also means direct access to areas such as Farringdon, Soho, Oxford Street and Paddington.

One Goodmayes is located between Goodmayes and Seven Kings stations on the Elizabeth Line

more on Fairview New Homes’ launches

The Silverton is set to launch on June 1, 2024, with prospective buyers able to book viewings and enjoy a glass of Champagne as they see what’s on offer.

Email silvertown.sales@fairview.co.uk or call 020 8131 4030 for more details.

One Goodmayes’ launch event will take place on June 22, 2024.

Email goodmayes.sales@fairview.co.uk or call 020 3603 2533 for more details.

Find out more about the developer’s projects here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Property: How homes at The Perfume Factory offer access across the capital

NHG Homes’ shared ownership properties in Acton are close to both the Elizabeth Line and Central line

The Perfume Factory in Acton, seen here as an artist’s impression, is named for the former Elizabeth Arden factory site on which it sits

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Location is often put forward as the single most important thing to consider when purchasing a property.

But what does this really mean in London?

In a capital as vast and diverse as ours, crucial to a buyer’s decision will be a home’s proximity to different modes of public transport, enabling rapid access to all the city has to offer.

Take The Perfume Factory in North Acton, for example.

Here, NHG Homes is currently offering a collection of 60 homes for sale on a shared ownership basis – nothing especially remarkable in that.

However, these properties are located in a transport sweet spot.

Not only are they two minutes from North Acton Tube station, offering Central line services across the city, they’re also a little over 10 minutes’ walk from Acton Main Line Station.

A show home interior at the development

That means access to the Elizabeth Line and with it fast connectivity across the capital. 

From there, it’s 12 minutes to Tottenham Court Road for Soho and Oxford Street, 21 minutes to Heathrow Airport or 25 minutes all the way over to Canary Wharf in east London.

This promises a commute for Wharfers of less than 40 minutes door-to-door – enviable compared to many other areas.

Prices for the one and two-bedroom homes start at £108,750 and £121,250 respectively for 25% based on full market values of £435,000 and £485,000.

The entry level property could be purchased with a deposit of less than £5,500.

So what can buyers expect from The Perfume Factory apartments?

NHG Homes’ properties feature open-plan layouts with wood-effect floors and mirrored fitted wardrobes. 

Buyers will also get private balconies and fitted kitchens with energy fitted Bosch appliances.

These energy-efficient machines fit neatly into a wider focus on sustainability with the scheme also boasting cycle storage and communal spaces powered by the integrated solar panels.

Apartments start at £108,750 for a 25% share in a one-bedroom home

Purchasers will also enjoy access to landscaped, communal gardens on-site. 

 NHG Homes’ head of marketing and digital, Amie Triphook Cole, said: “North Acton is an up-and-coming part of London, which is already attracting many first-time buyers from all over the capital – including places like Canary Wharf – who are looking for a work life balance.  

“The area is set to experience continued growth in the coming years, making this a great time to purchase.  

“Homes at The Perfume Factory offer both comfort and practicality with high quality interiors, superb transport connections via the Elizabeth Line and Central line, and plenty of local amenities – ideal for first-time buyers looking to make the city their home.”

Local transport links might offer residents the option of rapidly travelling to multiple locations around London, but Acton has many attractions of its own too.

These include an array of local cafes, bars and restaurants such as the award-winning Stones Fish And Chips.

A little further afield, Westfield London and Ealing Broadway offer a wealth of places to eat, drink and shop.

There are also many green spaces to explore locally including North Acton playing fields, The Grand Union Canal and Pitschinger Park – home to rose gardens.

Why not look west when hunting for a way to get on the ladder? 

NHG Homes is currently offering £2,000 contribution towards moving in on the first 10 homes reserved by May 31, 2024

key details

NHG Homes is currently selling one and two-bedroom properties at The Perfume Factory in North Acton on a shared ownership basis.

Prices start at £108,750 and £121,250, respectively for 25%, both available with a 5% deposit.

Service charge rates are estimated at around £3.80 per sq ft. Rent is paid on the un-owned portion of the property.

NHG Homes is currently offering £2,000 contribution towards moving in on the first 10 homes reserved by May 31, 2024

Find out more about homes at The Perfume Factory here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Elizabeth Line: How Candace Bushnell is set to bring her show to The London Palladium

Author will perform True Tales Of Sex, Success And Sex And The City in February 2024 for one night

Sex And The City author Candace Bushnell is coming to London

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BY JESS MADDISON

Are you a true Sex And The City fan?

Ever wondered how it all started?

Now’s your chance to find out. Carrie Bradshaw is coming to the UK. Not Sarah Jessica Parker, but author Candace Bushnell. 

Candace published Sex And The City – a book of of her newspaper columns from The New York Observer – in 1996, which went on to inspire the TV series of the same name.

More recently, spin-off series And Just Like That has been hitting the headlines, with Parker’s Carrie once more at the heart of the action. 

Candace, however, is set to bring one-woman-show, True Tales Of Sex, Success And Sex And The City to London on February 7 and I, for one, cannot wait. 

Candace is based in New York (of course) so we meet via Zoom when, even at 9am, she looks fabulous – all perfect hair and freshly applied makeup.

I’m so excited that I’m wearing high heel shoes in my living room for a video call.  

“In a lot of ways, the show is the origin story of Sex And The City,” she said.

“It’s about how I wrote the columns, how hard I worked to get there, why I invented Carrie Bradshaw and what happened to me after. 

“I also answer some people’s burning questions like: ‘Was there a real Mr Big?’ and: ‘Do I really have a shoe fetish like Carrie Bradshaw?’

“I also talk about my Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha – we play a little game, Real Or Not Real, because there’s so much that happened in the TV show that’s better or worse than my actual life.

Candace is set to perform her one woman show at The London Palladium

“It’s true stories of sex, success and Sex And The City. So it’s mixed in with my life story – how I came to New York – plus a couple of little naughty sex stories.”

The show will be on tour in the UK in February 2024, with one night at The London Palladium – a short hop from Canary Wharf on the Elizabeth Line via Tottenham Court Road. 

“In some ways performing is easier than writing novels, which is probably one of the hardest things that anybody can do,” said Candace, who has published nine books. 

“Writing is something you have to do on your own – you’ve got to come up with something new every day to keep the story moving.

“You have different characters, the story and the dialogue – you have to know what’s going to happen at the end and what’s happened at the beginning.

“Performing is very physical. You’re doing the same thing, pretty much every time. It’s choreographed in some ways and you’re interacting with the audience and bouncing off them.  

“I’m always trying to improve a little – deliver that line a bit better.

“This means sometimes you get the laugh and sometimes you don’t – sometimes you mess up a little bit.

“But it’s a pretty exciting thing to do – it really is – and people are really complimentary afterwards, which is nice.

“I love doing it and I’m so excited to bring the show to the UK.”

At this point Candace’s poodle wakes up from where she has been sleeping on the bed and starts barking, momentarily interrupting the interview.  

“She’s such a sweet little girl,” said Candace, returning to her thought with barely a breath.   

“I love England. I’ve come to the UK so many times, on every book tour, and I have friends who live there.

“I had a boyfriend there, so I used to go back and forth a lot really and I love it.”

If you are unfamiliar with Candace’s work outside of Sex And The City, it includes Lipstick Jungle and The Carrie Diaries, both of which had their own TV adaptations.

“I really felt like Lipstick Jungle was the next phase of women that I observed” she said.

Sex And The City was all about being in your 30s, Lipstick Jungle is about being in your 40s, starting a family and really working on your business.

The show features tales of her past and reveals some secrets

“New York City is a place where there are a lot of successful women and it’s a place where women really can have a big career.

“One of the things that I noticed was how women bond together and have each other’s backs in business.

“I absolutely loved the TV version, which ran for two seasons.”

So what advice would she have for women looking to make their way in the world today?

“The advice I would give is that it’s really important for women to have careers – to work hard, it’s like: ‘Make the money’.” said Candace. 

“That’s something that’s really important because money matters –  a lot.

“The older you get the more important it is.

“When you’re in your 20s you’re like: ‘Oh money it’s not so important’. When you get older, it’s really important. 

“That’s something I would really encourage in women – to think about their finances and to put money into a retirement fund.

“You know, maybe don’t buy that really expensive handbag.” 

Candace pauses, but only momentarily. “Shoes,” she said.

“It’s okay to buy them. They’re not as expensive as handbags.” 

Candace’s books always feature New York and often address the theme of feminism, whether this is women and their relationships with men, women in marriage or women in business. 

“I get asked about feminism quite a bit,” she said.

“I talk about it a little bit in my show and I am a feminist. That seems to be in some ways sort of a dirty word. 

“I don’t think people really understand what it’s about.

“But I think it’s really about being a self-actualised person, not being dependent on a man and being able to think outside of the box, where the patriarchy is concerned. 

“So I think it’s incredibly important for women to have their own money and make their own living and not just have to access to an income stream through a man, which is traditionally how we have gotten money for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. 

“It’s about education, the ability to earn your own money, to make your own life and to be able to say no.” 

On the front page of my own battered copy of Sex And The City, there is a quote from Bridget Jones’ Diary author, Helen Fielding, branding it “Intriguing and highly entertaining”. 

Does Candace think Carrie Bradshaw would have gotten along well with Fielding’s central character? 

“I don’t know why not,” she said. “It’s interesting because I think Bridget Jones is pretty much from the same time I was writing Sex And The City.

“I remember when I came to England – I guess it was 1996 or maybe 1997 – I was flying back to the States and my publisher gave me Helen’s book to read on the plane from London to New York.

Candace says making money is really important for young women

“I thought it was just terrific. It really captured what life was like at that moment for women – the stresses and the pressures – how we’re all trying to be perfect, to be better and to control our weight, our drinking and our love lives.

“But really, we have no control.” 

Candace began performing her one-woman-show in 2021, in her 60s, and has played dates at dozens of venues with a run of 13 in the UK for this tour. But where does she see herself in the next five or 10 years? 

“I might do another show,” she said.

“But you know, at my age, who knows? Who knows if I’ll still be here?

“I’m 65 and, when you get to be my age, you see that people age in very different ways, so I don’t know. 

“I have friends who are 70, who work and they have really vibrant lives.

“But there are other people who are 70 and it’s like they’re 80 – so you just don’t know.

“Unfortunately, my mother got cancer and died by the time she was 70.

“So you can make the 10-year-plan but the reality is that you really don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s why it’s so important for young women to take action now. 

“It’s like: ‘Make the money, get that money’. That’s the most important thing, I’m telling you.”

  • Candace’s Bushnell’s True Tales Of Sex, Success And Sex And The City is set to be performed at The London Palladium at 7.30pm on February 7.

Tickets range from £38 to £113, which includes a meet-and-greet with the woman herself. 

For more about Candace Bushnell’s show or to book tickets, click here

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- Jess Maddison is co-founder of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jess.maddison@wharf-life.com
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Moorgate: How London Oktoberfest offers a German party on the Elizabeth Line

Formerly on the Isle Of Dogs, the event is in Finsbury Square a short ride from Canary Wharf

London Oktoberfest will take place in Ealing and Moorgate in 2023

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I have some sympathy with TfL.

Trying to cover all the places that Liverpool Street station now connects to is no easy task, with the Elizabeth Line now meeting the Circle, Hammersmith And City, Metropolitan and Central lines as well as the Overground and National Rail at the interchange.

That there’s a direct exit from the Liz Line and connection to Moorgate, often gets lost in the mix – but it makes for a whole range of extra possibilities for those using the link, including onward journeys via the Northern line and northbound rail services.

It’s more than that too, of course. It also puts everything that part of the city has to offer within easy reach of Canary Wharf – a seven-minute ride from the estate’s station.

For Carsten Raun, this alteration in the physical infrastructure of the capital means pitching the London Oktoberfest tent at Finsbury Square makes all kinds of sense.

“We actually started in the UK at Cambridge this year and now we’re coming again to London – first in Ealing and then at Finsbury Square near Moorgate,” said the event director and organiser.

“We’ve been on the Isle Of Dogs in previous years and, in 2023, we’re a little closer to Canary Wharf again.

“The transport is really great in this location, so I think it’s easy for people to get there.

“It’s great to be back – we have been running in the capital for more than 10 years. 

“Of course, we will be offering the bratwurst, pretzels and schnitzel that people love and the beer imported directly from our brewery in Bavaria.

“They make two different wonderful draught beers for us, one is the FestBeer, which is a sweet lager and then a craft beer.”

The beer served is from Ebermannstadt in Bavaria

Specifically, the beer hails from the small town of Ebermannstadt, located to the north of Nuremberg.

Located beside the river Wiesent, the Bavarian FestBeer Brewery dates back to 1776 and originally operated as a communal facility for the local population.

Its flagship brew uses malt from Vienna and Hallertauer hops for a pleasant level of bitterness combined with floral and herbal aromas.

“We’ll be having a band from Germany again, playing throughout our run inside the tent,” said Carsten. 

“I call it Oktoberfest music – traditional music as well as songs that people can sing along with.

“The capacity of the venue is 1,800 people and that makes for a really great party. We’re very much back to pre-pandemic times, people just want to have a great night out.

“We’ll also be bringing our outstanding Halloween Party back on October 28, where people are welcome to dress up to have some spooky fun.

“The last weekend in November will be focused on a luxury experience for companies and corporate clients who would like to celebrate. 

“There will be a special lunch for businesses from noon-5pm on November 2 and 3, where they can bring clients to entertain them.

“Personally, I’m looking forward to Halloween.

“Each year we do it I’m really surprised by how much effort people put into their costumes, although you don’t need to be dressed up to get in, of course.

“Some are very terrifying. It’s also worth mentioning that any size of group can be seated together if they book at the same time and for the same package.”

Standard entry starts at £5 although there are a number of packages available as well as the option to buy or rent traditional leather lederhosen and dirndl dresses.

Bavarian Tickets cost between £25 and £32, with seating in the middle part of the tent, a 1.5 pint measure of FestBeer, bratwurst in a roll and a German snack.

Costumes are available to hire for the event

The Oktoberfest package includes the food, two beers, seating in the front part of the tent and a shot of Underberg – an alcoholic digestive distillation from Germany. These tickets cost £45-£50.

A further £15 per head buys a VIP package with seating in front of the band, a glass of German sparkling wine, two beers, Underberg and schnitzel with Bavarian potato salad.

Corporate packages are flexible with various food and drink options on offer and dedicated table service for parties of eight or more. Prices per person start at £100.

l London Oktoberfest typically runs on Thursdays and Fridays from 5pm-11pm and on Saturdays from 11am-4.30pm and 5.30pm to 11pm. Tickets for general admission start at £5.

The event runs at Walpole Park in Ealing from October 19-21, 2023, and at Finsbury Square near Moorgate from October 26-28, 2023, and November 2-4, 2023.

Find out more about London Oktoberfest

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Woolwich: How Punchdrunk creates immersive shows to delight audiences

As The Burnt City enters its final months, we catch up with founder and artistic director Felix Barrett

The Burnt City has been seen by more than 200,000 people in Woolwich

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Scroll down for Part One, if you prefer.

>> PART TWO <<

If you’ve started reading here, welcome. There is no right or wrong way to experience this article.

Just your eyes, these images and words and, perhaps, a sense of bewilderment when you reach the end at a place of your choosing.

Feel free to leave at any time. Or not.

Time, it turns out, is short. Punchdrunk has announced that it will welcome its final audience for The Burnt City on September 24, 2023.

Tickets for the final performance (at the time of writing) were selling fast and cost £145 per person.

Other shows in the remaining three months had availability from £45. VIP and premium option are also available.

There are a limited number of tickets for Royal Borough Of Greenwich residents priced at £25. These are released on the last Friday of each month, for performances in the month ahead.

Now all of that tiresome admin is out of the way, why don’t we have Felix (see Part One) tell us what impact he hopes the show will have on those who see it?

He said: “I would like people to feel that childlike awe and wonder that you get as kid when you go and explore your grandfather’s attic.

“You’re told you’re not allowed, but you know that serious wonders lie up there and you brave it anyway.

“You’re by yourself, you open the door, it’s very dark and full of clutter. There’s something in the far corner and you venture over there.

“It’s thrilling, terrifying, exhilarating and it’s full of magic. That’s our aim.

“As adults, much of the magic has been removed from life because of our responsibilities. We’re trying to give that back to our audiences.”

Read Part Three for a bit of history and a smattering of inspiration

Punchdrunk founder and artistic director Felix Barrett

START READING HERE

>> PART ONE <<

This isn’t exactly a typical article structure.

But then its subject matter isn’t a typical show.

Since it opened in March 2022, more than 200,000 people have seen theatre company Punchdrunk’s latest offering – its first at Woolwich Works, the organisation’s permanent global home.

The Burnt City is a sprawling creation.

Masked audience members are free to explore around 100,000sq ft of warehouse space, transformed for the production into an enormous, intricately detailed set in which the show’s multitude of performers appear and disappear.

Founder and artistic director of Punchdrunk, Felix Barrett said: “The show is based on the fable of the fall of Troy and the collapse of that mythical metropolis.

“It’s a future noir sci-fi thriller, told across 120 rooms, which audience members are free to explore in their own time.

“It’s part haunted museum, part real world living movie and part adult adventure playground.”

Audience members wear masks immediately marking them out from the performers who go about their business without acknowledging the watchers.

Audiences are free to explore the show in whatever order they choose

“Most of our performers are contemporary dancers and there’s a big soundtrack, so it’s like you’re inside a movie,” said Felix.

“It’s a gestural, physical language, rather than the intellectual side of your brain having to process it, so it transcends language.

“It takes at least 200 people to run a performance.

“There’s a big cast, a big group of front-of-house stewards, the stage management team, all the backstage departments – design, costume, lighting and sound.

“It takes a village, that’s for sure, but that’s what’s necessary to create single moments for the audience members.

“Different people in the same building will have different experiences.

“I want people to treat the show like a gallery or a museum but one where everything has come alive at night.

“It can have a clear story if you follow a single character but there are myriad narratives to uncover.

“We don’t want to prescribe a certain way to do it, and there’s no right or wrong way to watch the show.

“The reason why you enter through the bar is important, because that’s your safe space, so, if it all gets too much, you can go back, have a nice drink and watch the band.”

Read Part Two to find out why booking sooner rather than later would be wise

The Burnt City features an enormous cast of contemporary dancers

>> PART THREE <<

“At The Globe theatre in Elizabethan times, if you didn’t like the show, you could throw a cabbage at the performers and leave – I thought that was empowering,” said Felix. 

“I created Punchdrunk in 2000 because although I’m a theatre buff and I love it, I was a bit disillusioned with the stuff I was seeing.

“So I asked how we might give the audience control and tried to set out to create something where they were the epicentre of the work.

“Ideally I wanted to create something which could bring the hairs up on the back of the neck.

“What I’m interested in is trying to flip audience expectations and to give audiences a night out which they wouldn’t easily get elsewhere.

“I always want to break the rules of conventional theatre – to try to make sure that there are secrets to unlock.”

For Felix, that process is rooted in the bricks and mortar of the places Punchdrunk performs.

“The company’s shows have called disused warehouses, private houses, an old school and tunnels underneath Waterloo Station home.

“It has made work in locations as far flung as Shanghai and New York.

“A theatre is a blank canvas, but a building is already quite detailed, so we look at all the architectural detail and how we can harness that power, accentuate it and make it stronger for the audience,” said Felix.

“First of all I walk the building, let myself be guided by it and then chalk out the safest place and the most threatening part.

“You’re left with a beautiful, existential tour of a space, and then we start to put a story across it, with the source material.

“Then you start to dream about the environments and the worlds.

“We definitely do world building before we do narrative arc – we’re closer to a video game than a play.

“The word ‘immersive’ came from that genre of entertainment originally.”

Read Part Five for a look into the future

The Burnt City is based on the fable of the fall of Troy

>> PART FIVE <<

“We’ve been nomadic for 23 years, and although we’ve got buildings we can settle into in New York and Shanghai, we’ve never had that in London, where we’re from,” said Felix. 

“To have a home base is extraordinary, so I’m excited about us starting to break new ground, asking questions about the future of the theatre – how we surprise our audience so that we can create something nobody has seen before – that’s our main objective.

“We’re going to start playing with and experimenting with new projects. In a computer game, you can often take your character and go anywhere you want in a world.

“I think the future is taking that empowerment and applying it to real live shows.

“It took us six or seven years to get into our home in Woolwich and open our first show.

“Now it’s almost hard to imagine us not being in Woolwich – we absolutely love it. 

“We’re hungry to make more work. This really is a new dawn for Punchdrunk” 

No. There was no Part Four

  • Find out more about Punchdrunk’s The Burnt City via this link
Punchdrunk’s permanent home is at Woolwich Works in Woolwich

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How firms can compete in The Battle Of The Wharf at Barry’s

Barnd is challenging businesses to a two-week contest in February at its Crossrail Place studio

Barry’s is challenging local businesses in Canary Wharf

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what’s all this?

Barry’s in Crossrail Place is hosting a competition for businesses based in and around Canary Wharf.

tell me more

It’s called The Battle Of The Wharf and takes place over two weeks in February.

how does it work?

Teams of three or more people from a business or organisation take part in as many classes as possible at Barry’s Canary Wharf between February 14-28, 2023.

what’s involved?

For those who don’t know, Barry’s is home to 50 or 60-minute exercise classes billed as “The Best Workout In The World”.

These take place in a crimson-lit studio called The Red Room and are based around high intensity interval training using treadmills, dumbbells and bodyweight.

what will happen?

Participants can expect to burn up to 1,000 calories per session under the guidance of instructors, who curate potent playlists of uplifting beats to spur people on.

is the Battle Of The Wharf for anyone?

First timers or Barry’s regulars are all welcome to sign up for the contest.

Teams of three or more can compete, but the bigger the team, the more chance of winning

who wins?

The team with the most classes taken wins both glory and two weeks of complimentary walk-in classes. That means the bigger your team, the more chance of winning. 

are there terms and conditions?

Participants must be signed up for classes to count. All classes must be taken at Barry’s Canary Wharf in Crossrail Place, using the registered email address for the contest.

Businesses can sign up for The Battle Of The Wharf here

Read more: How Dishoom Canary Wharf is all about a story

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Royal Docks: How the arrival of the Elizabeth Line is transformational

Excel’s CEO on the myriad benefits Crossrail brings both to the events venue and London as a whole

Jeremy Rees says the Elizabeth Line will have a huge impact on Excel
Jeremy Rees says the Elizabeth Line will have a huge impact on Excel

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On my way to interview Excel CEO Jeremy Rees, I caught the DLR to Custom House. Despite it being mid-morning, it was packed.

Not quite rush hour, but filled with smartly dressed people, lanyards and passes hung round their necks.

The Royal Docks’ vast events venue had 11 shows on last week and the infrastructure was showing signs of strain. 

With the arrival of Crossrail, that may have been the last time I use the DLR to make that trip.

The Elizabeth Line’s slick new service offers alternatives that make some routes on public transport completely redundant.

No longer will those in Canary Wharf trundle on little red robot trains through Blackwall, East India, Canning Town and Royal Victoria to get to Excel. 

Something lost, but so much gained. Crossrail will have an enormous impact on London as a whole, but its launch – even in its current, limited form where it operates as three distinct railways – will especially be felt in east and south-east London.

Here prosperity has followed connection – the Jubilee line extension delivered the fillip necessary for Canary Wharf to flourish and Stratford to take off after the 2012 Olympics.

Now the purple thread of rapid rail will pull Abbey Wood, Thamesmead, Woolwich and the northern strip of the Royal Docks right into central London.

All will be connected to the Wharf as never before, knitting these areas together to bring change and opportunity, as space is distorted and journey times to west central London are cut dramatically.

This is the dawn of a new chapter and, perhaps, few are as well placed to ask what might be written in it as Jeremy Rees, given its myriad benefits to Excel’s operation.

“Crossrail answers one of the very large questions in the capital, which is: ‘How do you get from west London to east London with as little friction as possible in a comfortable environment, at a sensible price?” he said.

Custom house is about three minutes from Canary Wharf via Crossrail
Custom house is about three minutes from Canary Wharf via Crossrail

“From our customers’ perspective, they’re really excited about it, because while they’ve run successful events, exhibitions, conferences and corporate events, there was that element of friction.

“Much of our audience is international, largely flying in through Heathrow and the Elizabeth Line very dramatically reduces the time it takes to get to Excel.

“In the past, delegates will have paid for taxis that might have taken anything from two to three hours to get to the venue. When direct services begin, that will be cut to a little over 40 minutes. 

“So, theoretically, that means people can spend that time trading, engaging and talking with their prospective customers at the venue.

“That’s quite an interesting prospect – if you extrapolate the figures based on the million visitors who came to Excel in 2019, with 90% coming through Heathrow, that’s 900,000 people spending an extra two hours here, which is 1.8million meeting hours.

“That’s an awful lot of engagement with committed people who have come from abroad to attend an event.”

It’s tempting, when writing about Crossrail, to simply descend into stats. The line brings 68% more people within 45 minutes of Excel and a massive 9.2million to within two hours of the venue, for example.

Similar stories about other organisations will be written across London, of course. But equally important will be the psychological impact.

“A very large amount of decision making in the industry is based on an emotional response,” said Jeremy. “Where there was travel friction that people may have worried about, that has been eliminated.

“This is why Crossrail is a truly exciting, amazing project. London was already an incredibly strong proposition relative to other top tier cities around the world and this opening really gives us an opportunity to shine a light on what we have to offer.

“People will be able to move very quickly and easily – suddenly Excel is Canary Wharf’s exhibition and convention centre – it’s a few minutes away, less than the time it takes to walk the length of the venue.

“If you think what that means, are we also now able to fulfil that role for Whitechapel, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Paddington?

“I think it will drive a different type of audience for us too – people who are time-poor for whom popping across London used to be too much, but who can now make a one-hour trip to deliver a keynote presentation because it’s only 10 or 15 minutes on the Elizabeth Line.

“We’re expecting a boost in the seniority of visitors, and for people to stay at events longer.

“All of this adds yet another layer of value, demonstrably proving internationally that London is a great proposition, and that investment in infrastructure is really important.

“It’s something the Mayor Of London has advocated for and pushed, and it’s a huge credit to TfL for pushing this forward, as well as the Government for being supportive.

Connected like never before - Excel in Royal Docks
Connected like never before – Excel in Royal Docks

“The great challenge that London has is that it’s in a very competitive marketplace internationally, and, in order to continue to thrive and not just survive, we need to continue to invest in our infrastructure, to enhance our product, to underline why we’re a great place to live, engage, work, invest and base your business.

“It’s a great place for events because we’re surrounded by leading businesses in IT, insurance, finance, pharma and life sciences.

“Making Excel really easy to get to for these people means the shows we host will be even more successful, creating a virtuous circle as greater numbers of people will want to come to London. Crossrail is a big shot in the arm for business – we expect our audiences to increase between 10%- 20%.”

Locally, it’s relatively simple to join the dots. The Elizabeth Line will have the obvious impact of improving connectivity for those living in Royal Docks and along the rest of the line.

But the expected transformational benefit on businesses based close to Custom House should also deliver jobs, activity and focus.

Those extra visitors will need services – firms that depend on footfall can expect a significant boost and that means jobs, fresh openings and development.

Excel itself is embarking on a huge expansion to its east to provide an extra 25,000sq m of event space, increasing the venue’s overall floorspace by 25%.

“From the perspective of our owner – Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company – Crossrail forms a really important pillar in our investment in that extension,” said Jeremy.

“To the question: ‘Is London, the Government and business investing in transportation infrastructure?’, the answer is a resounding: ‘Yes’.

“So we’re playing our part by investing and enhancing our facilities to make us more attractive as a cultural asset and maximise everyone’s experience when they come to visit our capital. It really adds to what is already a compelling proposition and it’s going to be great for the Royal Docks.

“The Elizabeth Line will help create social mobility and opportunity as businesses here open, grow and expand. It also transforms where people can live in terms of their commute to places like Excel, Canary Wharf and Paddington.

“It’s also going to create competitiveness around the hotel proposition here, given the easy access to other parts of London.”

There’s also a story to be told about sustainability. Jeremy said Crossrail’s ability to join up areas of London could mean those travelling internationally for business would be more likely to spend longer in the capital rather than taking trips to multiple destinations.

“Aside from the boost to public sector travel, which is great for the environment, for international delegates, the reduction in travel friction the Elizabeth Line brings means you can connect to the wider ecosystem more easily,” he said.

“You can be at an amazing seminar at Excel and a couple of workshops in the morning, then whizz to Tottenham Court Road for a spectacular lunch and be back in an hour and 10 minutes for your afternoon.

“That’s got to be more compelling than being in one place at one time. London is getting to grips with the question of how you square off trying to drive a large amount of international business and tourism with the carbon impact that has.

“One of the solutions to that will be creating carbon avoidance, which means doing a lot on a single trip to London and then leaving.

“That’s interesting for the capital because, if you’re travelling to second, third or fourth tier cities, you’re likely to only be able to do one thing before you have to fly somewhere else.

“In London, you can easily combine meetings with cultural experiences, perhaps with the whole family but only travelling once, probably saving six or seven trips elsewhere and so creating a carbon deficit.”

Read more: Discover the arts boom Woolwich Works is delivering

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Thamesmead: How Peabody’s Southmere scheme is transforming Abbey Wood

Housing Association has 30-year plan to refresh a massive slice of London connected to Crossrail

An artist’s impression of Peabody’s Southmere Village

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A t present, the journey from Canary Wharf to Abbey Wood takes a little over 40 minutes.

The various Frankenstein options available involve much chopping and changing – the Jubilee line, the DLR, the 486 bus and Thameslink can all come into the equation. It’s anything but direct.

But, if the seers are to be believed, all that’s about to change. When Elizabeth line services start running (perhaps as early as March, if the optimists have it right), Abbey Wood is set to be the end of the line for Crossrail’s central and eastern section.

That will put it squarely in touch with a whole swathe of central London, which is currently much trickier to travel to. The Wharf itself is expected to be around 11 minutes’ ride on a single train.

Why does this matter? Effective transportation is the lifeblood of regeneration. In east London, this is best demonstrated by Canary Wharf itself, which struggled as a project until the Jubilee line extension arrived.

What such connections mean for residential areas is possibility – the ability to rapidly access different parts of the city and the things they offer makes living in an area a richer experience.

It’s also a two-way street. Visitors come back the other way, further enlivening a place and befitting its residents.

Peabody’s Matt Foulis at the Southmere marketing suite – image Matt Grayson

No wonder Matt Foulis of Peabody is smiling. London’s oldest housing association took over ownership of Thamesmead, served by Abbey Wood to the south, in 2014 and has a 30-year plan to regenerate the area.

But as project director, Matt’s enthusiasm isn’t drawn solely from the opportunities Crossrail will bring.

It’s because he already knows what the area has to offer and can see how it will continue to develop over the course of the next three decades.

“We are under way on a the delivery of around 20,000 homes at Thamesmead,” he said.

“We completed our first development – The Reach – a couple of years ago, we’ve just started on a site at Plumstead in partnership with Berkeley and we are currently delivering what we’re calling Southmere Village – phase one of our regeneration of south Thamesmead near Abbey Wood station.”

When completed, Southmere will see 1,600 homes built across four sites close to Crossrail, new public space in the form of Cygnet Square and The Nest – a library and community centre – as well as commercial space for shops, restaurants and bars.

The scheme offers a mixture of properties available for social rent or to buy either on a shared ownership basis or via private sale. Residential blocks Starling Court and Kestrel Court are due to complete in the coming months, with strong sales reported. 

A collection of one, two and three-bedroom shared ownership properties is set to launch at Crane Court on February 12.

An artist’s impression of Peabody’s Southmere Village

Matt said: “Our properties have sold really well – I think people are really buying into the wider vision for Thamesmead.

“Over the last two years in particular, everybody has woken up to the importance of green space and proximity to water and the impact they can have on your life, your health and your wellbeing.

“That’s what we have here – Thamesmead has five artificial lakes with Southmere the biggest and they’re connected by a network of canals.

“They were designed as a surface drainage system but it means we have these fantastic assets that people can enjoy, surrounded by really impressive green spaces.

“Peabody owns, operates and manages all of these areas so we’ve got overall control of everything that’s going on in the area and that has a real impact for not only the people we’re trying to bring to the area, but also existing residents.”

Beyond the infrastructure, Peabody is also working to boost the cultural capital of Thamesmead, perhaps best known for its Brutalist architecture.

This served as a backdrop to Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian cinematic nightmare A Clockwork Orange and, more recently, in the music video for The Libertines’ What Became Of The Likely Lads.

A show apartment at the development

Matt said: “We’ve got a huge programme that we’ve been operating for the last four or five years.

“That includes things like a regular one-day festival curated by local residents in Southmere Park, which attracted 6,500 visitors last year.

“People who may never have heard about the area or visited it are starting to hear about it and it’s starting to draw people in, which has been fantastic.

“We’ve also set up a culture forum so people living here can help shape what goes on locally.

“That’s grown and grown – we’ve supported theatre productions and a live performance of the film Beautiful Thing, which was made in Thamesmead a few years back.

“It’s these sort of things we want to do – grass-roots, community-led projects that are really accessible. 

“We’ve had dance troupes, drummers and gymnasts perform in housing estates – things that are visual and tangible that people from all backgrounds, young and old, can really enjoy.

“This year we have a project called Fields Of Everywhen, which will see two artists inflate and fly an enormous hot air balloon made from tapestries that capture the personal stories of local residents.

“They spent two years working on it and finding out what makes Thamesmead tick. These activities are being driven by Peabody and we’re here for the long term.

“We expect there to be around £10billion of investment in Thamesmead over the course of the 30-year plan.

“For example, with funding from the Greater London Authority, we’ve refurbished a building called the Lakeside Centre on Southemere Lake to provide artists’ studios, a cafe, a training kitchen and a nursery – that’s being operated by Bow Arts. 

“Next to that we’ll shortly be letting a contract to build a boating and sailing centre to be run by the YMCA, which has operated on the lake for 30 years.

“It’s about making sure we’re providing amenities for everybody to enjoy with activities like kayaking, sailing and paddleboarding. 

“Eventually we’d really like to open up the canal systems so people can use them to move around Thamesmead in addition to the cycle routes and pavements.”

The shared ownership properties set to be released at Crane Court offer prospective buyers open-plan living areas, balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows in distinctive brick-clad blocks within easy walking distance of Abbey Wood station.

“They will be fantastic places to live,” said Matt. “We’ve tried to maximise views over the lake and newly built Cygnet Square where people will have all the amenities they need on hand.

“There’s car parking in secure courtyards under the blocks with podium gardens that are communal but for residents only.

“There will also be an on-site concierge service with a residents’ lounge that people can use to work from if they choose.

“Combine that with the restaurants and cafes, which will be opening around the square later this year, and that will give people  a lot of flexibility if they’re not going into the office.

“I’ve already seen people logging into the Wi-fi on seats around the lake with their coffee and doing the first two hours while sitting by the water.”

When investing in property, there’s also the future to think of and Peabody has big plans for the wider area including an extensive development to the north west of Southmere along the banks of the Thames.

There it hopes to attract an extension to the DLR across the river from Gallions Reach, further boosting local connectivity – not a bad time to get in on the ground.

Prices for shared ownership properties at Crane Court start at £91,500 for 30% of a one-bed, based on a full market value of £305,000.

Two and three-beds start at £118,500 and £153,000 respectively for the same proportion, based on full market values of £395,000 and £510,000.

Read more: Estate agency Alex Neil hails booming market

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