We are back to bring you our fantastic annual season of over 100 events celebrating the River Thames for the month of September. Totally Thames gives Londoners and visitors the opportunity to take part in a programme of arts, culture, heritage and active events for everyone to enjoy, including storytelling, an exploration of the world's oldest boat race, concerts beneath Tower Bridge, a poetry boat party and much more...
Rivers of the World
Delve into exhibitions of river-inspired artwork has been created by young people from around the world working in collaboration with professional artists to explore and express what rivers mean to communities today, popping up at gallery@oxo and Boathouse Creative Studios, Barking. This year’s exhibition will feature work from Barking & Dagenham, Exeter, Worcester in the UK as well as Kenya, Malawi and Palestine.
Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival Trust project in partnership with the British Council which has worked with 30,000 12-14 year olds in 30 countries around the world to inspire young people to learn about rivers through art and creativity.
Stories and literature on the river
Throughout September, literary events inspired by the river will explore its social, cultural and historic role as a source of inspiration for writers. Mother Danube with storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton and musician Emma Clare, will take a magical journey across Europe evoking the River Danube at various unique and riverside locations for a week of free performances. Inua Ellams will take over the Dixie Queen with a night of live literature and music in the R.A.P Party held on a boat for the first time! You can also hear from acclaimed writer of Sunday Times best-selling urban fantasy crime fiction series Rivers of London Ben Aaronovitch in a special evening at the London Metropolitan Archives.
“Totally Thames is a fantastic celebration of London’s historic 42-mile River Thames. It brings together Londoners young and old, with a range of over 100 artistic, participatory and community activities and events across the city - whether you’re in Richmond, Southwark, Greenwich or Barking and Dagenham. From the World’s Oldest Boat Race to the Rivers of the World programme, there is something for everyone and I encourage everyone – whether you’re a Londoner or one of our many visitors - to come along and enjoy one of London’s most spectacular cultural celebrations. ”
“I am pleased we are able to support Totally Thames again this year. This is a festival that brings together local communities, boroughs, businesses and tourists, and in doing so it gives a multitude of audiences the chance to not only see, but experience, the river through the eyes and imagination of leading artists. The 2018 programme looks stronger than ever, and I am thrilled it will be connecting young people from across the London boroughs, with those across the world. ”
“We're really excited to see such a diverse programme of activities in the first year of our increased support for Totally Thames. Our goal, as part of the Thames Vision, is to see as many people connect with the river as possible. This year's programme is set to inspire interest in the Thames for the first time - or re-spark a glowing ember of historic interest - whether celebrating the rivers of the world, enjoying the spectacle of the Doggetts race or taking in the pop up literary events inspired by the river. ”
The World's Oldest Boat Race
The Race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge is the world’s oldest continually competed sporting event started in 1715. This incredible rowing race is competed in every year by apprentice river workers on the Thames. This year, we will delve into this tradition passed down through generations of Thames watermen, hosting the race itself on the Tuesday 4 September, and exploring its rich heritage in a series of outdoor exhibitions. Using recorded oral histories, photographic portraits by Hydar Dewachi, and 100 years of archive material made publicly accessible for the first time,The World’s Oldest Boat Race brings to life this hidden history at the heart of London.
Bascule Chamber Concerts
Composer and curator Iain Chambers returns to fill the atmospheric subterranean Victorian space in Tower Bridge with a brand-new programme of works for this year's Bascule Chamber Concerts, including commissioned spoken word performances and an immersive sound walk exploring London’s greatest hidden space. The concerts will feature music, vocal and poetry works from the Marian Consort, Tabla player Kuljit Bhamra and storyteller Rae Levine.