Croydon has announced its first line up of performances as it prepares for a year of cultural events, including the return of the Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra for the first time in 20 years.
Dance, music and theatre productions will run from this April until March 2024 as part of the borough’s festivities as this year’s London Borough of Culture.
The programme will begin with Oratorio of Hope at Fairfield Halls, a music, dance and arts performance led by London Mozart Players and Grammy-nominated and Croydon-educated Tarik O’Regan, and featuring performances from local musicians and young people.
The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine will also perform a Fairfield Halls in October.
The National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Croydon will also collaborate alongside Croydon’s Poet Laureate Shaniqua Benjamin, to explore the stories and influences of Croydon’s Caribbean community in a project called Citizen UK.
Other events include a Music Heritage Trail, which will highlight the legacy of Croydon’s famous music venues and highlight the rich musical of the borough which has been home to artists such Stormzy, Nadia Rose, Desmond Dekker and Samuel Coleridge Taylor.
The first ever play about Croydon’s black composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor will also premiere in June.
The borough will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with a range of events.
The programme was officially launched on the morning of March 14 at Croydon Boxpark with speeches being made by Mayor Jason Perry and Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons.
The £1.35m of funding for the London Borough of Culture programme was awarded to Croydon in February 2022.