#RADA Tasters Workshop at Millman Street Centre


© ® The Badly-drawn Theatre Mask Group™ 2017…

Ever fancied yourself as the new Garbo, Bogart or, er, Danny Dyer?  Or dreamed of irritating audiences during a far-too-long acceptance speech in which you thank everyone from your third cousin (twice removed) to the Key Grip and Best Boy? Or even mumbling bizarre, nonsensical lines – with hushed gravitas – throughout an ill-advised revival of an obscure nine-hour play about window cleaning in 1920s Czechoslovakia, to a crowd of 17 in a drafty provincial theatre for a weekly pittance?

Well, there are no guarantees but such dreams might one day come true.  You might even get to tread your first board after attending another taster workshop at Millman Street Community Centre.

HCA is pleased to announce that the workshop will once again be hosted by our friends from RADA, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. It is intended as an insightful, exploratory, practical workshop designed to offer an insight into RADA’s weekly Elders Company, for people aged 60 and over.

The session is scheduled to begin at 10am and run for two hours on Thursday, 26th October. There is no charge for participants.

No previous drama experience is required. Participants will explore drama exercises, games, voice work and movement. Joined by graduates of RADA’s Elders Company, attendees will discover more about the Company, its work throughout the year, and the tutors and ethos of RADA.

HCA members are all invited to attend. We can’t promise you a glittering career in film, television or theatre, nor a mantelpiece creaking under the weight of Oscars, Baftas or Olivier Awards. But you just might get a taste for treading the boards.

To apply, please contact Andrew at: andrew.rogers@holborncommunity.co.uk

We look forward to seeing you. Whatever you do, remember two things: don’t mention The Scottish Play. And, if you really want to succeed, under no circumstances allow this reporter act as your agent…

The idea for the workshops at Millman Street came from Carys, the Widening Participation & Outreach Coordinator at RADA.  She can be reached at: caryswilliams@rada.ac.uk

Holborn Community Association would like to thank RADA for providing Millman Street Community Centre members with another wonderful opportunity.

Recycled report and, er, ‘artwork’ by Notes Smudger

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#Beauty and Complimentary Therapies at Millman Street Centre


Beauty therapy at Millman Street Centre

For the last couple of weeks, and for the next five, Millman Street Community Centre members have been/will be enjoying a course of Beauty and Complimentary Therapy workshops.  The workshops run from 12:20pm until 2:30pm, and are run by Nuressa from Westminster Kingsway College.

“It’s lovely,” Margaret said of last Wednesday’s workshop.  “I love somebody to do my nails,” adding that it was “Nice and relaxing.”

Nuressa also works in other community centres, giving their members the benefit of her expertise.  “I love my work,” she says.

Of this week’s workshop, Edna “Enjoyed it very much.  Everything was quite pleasant,” she added.  Anne also enjoyed herself, and “loves having my nails done.”

As does Shonni.  “I loved it,” she said.  “It occupied my mind.”

Nuressa’s Beauty and Complimentary Therapy workshopsrun at Millman Street Community Centre for the next five Wednesdays.

For further information, please contact her: nuressa.begum@fecolleges.london



Holborn Community Association would like to thank Nuressa for providing her workshops at Millman Street Centre.



Photos: decent one by Sarah; report and blurry pics: Notes Smudger

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#Bollywood Dancing#Bloomsbury Festival 2017#Camden Kala 2017


Joyous gyrations…

Our friends at Akademi South Asian Dance, who have been giving workshops at Millman Street Centre and latterly at Bedford House, are participating in the Bloomsbury Festival and Camden Kala.  Some of our members will feature, including Shonni and David.

The first performance takes place tomorrow (Thursday 19th October) at Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU at 5:15pm.

Then they will perform twice on Saturday 21st October at Main Quad, University College London, Gower Street WC1E 6BT at both 1:15pm and 2:45pm.

For further information, contact Claire at Akademi:


Bloomsbury Festival: info@bloomsburyfestival.org.uk

Camden Kala: lovecamden.org/camdenkala

Photos and report by Notes Smudger

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#Happy Birthday Margaret


Happy birthday, Margaret…

A belated Birthday to Margaret, a Millman Street Community Centre member of several years standing.  The event itself was celebrated at the Centre on 9th October, with a card signed by other members and staff, and a lovely-looking cake.  Happy Birthday To You was sung, and everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves at the party.


Margaret with the card signed by staff and members

Here’s to many, many more celebrations, Margaret!  From all your pals at Millman Street Centre.

Photos: Sarah; report: Notes Smudger

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#Heroes: Millman Street Centre Members and #Proper Journalist Choose Theirs



Helena’s hero: David…

Today, our friend Chantal – the proper journalist from The Independent newspaper – was back at Millman Street Community Centre for another good-for-the-brain Creative Writing workshop.  Today’s theme was Heroes, with our members, volunteers and staff singing the praises of those they most revere.  The topic inspired lively debate, some touching comments, and a fair few laughs.

Helena’s choice of hero was David, a fellow Millman Street member: “He’s full of fun and wit and very noisy,” she wrote, and later read aloud.  “He’s jolly; I like him a lot.  He’s a nice guy!”

The jolly, nice guy himself had plenty of heroes: Johnny McEvoy, the Irish folk singer; the Nolan Sisters, singer Joe Dolan, and singer and impressionist Joe Longthorne.  David said: “Johnny McEvoy is my hero because of his big voice,” adding: “His singing made me feel cosy.”  He also cited “betting on horses” as another hero.  “I like the feeling of winning,” he said.

It should perhaps be noted that it is currently Gamble Aware week in the UK.



Volunteer Theresa’s heroes are Frank Sinatra and Margaret Thatcher.  Of Frank, she said: “He was very charming and romantic,” and also wrote that he was “a brilliant film actor!” Among the films he starred in was Von Ryan’s Express (1965), playing the titular Colonel Joseph L Ryan, alongside Trevor Howard.  The movie was once a staple of rainy Bank Holiday film fare, and none the worse for that.

As for Mrs T, she was “A strong woman” who led the country in what Theresa considers to be “the right direction.”

In the interest of political balance, HCA feels obliged to point out that other party leaders were available to be nominated, should anyone have chosen to do so.  Similarly, other singers-turned-actors could have been someone’s hero or heroine.


Ivy named a few of her heroes, including some she knew from her days working at the Labour Exchange in London’s musical hub, Tin Pan Alley (Denmark Street).  These included Frankie Vaughn and Danny La Rue, who, she said, was “very generous.”

Fred’s heroes are: “Anyone in the armed forces, who try to keep peace in the world,” adding: “Policemen [and women] and firefighters.  They don’t know what they’re going to get into; they might get shot.”

Quite.  Fred also added: “People who work in clubs.”

Initially, this reporter had images of bouncers and cloakroom staff at noisy dance clubs until realising that by ‘clubs’, Fred meant community centres like Millman Street Centre.  And staff like Pat, Steve and Sarah.

When quizzed on her heroes, Sarah said: “My whole family.  They are supportive of me, even though I didn’t grow up with them,” adding that they did their best “to give me a bright future.”

Our Manager Andrew reveres: “Bobby Stokes,” who scored Southampton’s goal in their victory in the 1976 FA Cup Final.  Staying with a football theme, Steve opted for “Stuart Pearson” who played for Man United in the very same game, and who went on to score in the following year’s final, when Man U beat Liverpool 2-1.  Steve also added his Dad to his list of heroes (Steve’s, not Stuart Pearson’s).

bobby-stokes jpeg

And what of Chantal herself?  She also cited family: “My mum.  And dad.  And my sister,” adding, “Winston Churchill – or at least some aspects of him.” She also added Etta James: “Her life is inspiring.”

Holborn Community Association would like to thank Chantal for once again providing our members with an interesting creative workshop.

Her work can be seen in The Independent (online), and she can be contacted via: chantal.dasilva@independent.co.uk

Von Ryan

Whoops! There goes another rubber tree plant…

Report by nobody’s hero, the cowardly custard Notes Smudger


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#Save the Snail!#at Millman Street Centre


Saved: the Millman Street snail

Today at Millman Street Centre, Sarah saved a snail that had stowed away in some vegetables which volunteer Gloria had donated to the food stock here at the centre.  She returned the slimy beast to nature in Millman Street’s garden, thereby (possibly) averting any potential Planet of the Snails vengeance-based uprising, which may have entailed had the unfortunate little critter been  crushed under a human foot.

For those who enjoy snaps of snails:

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You might also like: https://www.buzzfeed.com/katherinefiorillo/snailed-it-take-two

Photos by Sarah and Notes Smudger, who also reports on this heart-warming story

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#FareShare Photoshoot at Millman Street Community Centre


Ruma: one of the faces of the campaign

Today, our friends from FareShare visited Millman Street Community Centre for a photoshoot, in association with Tesco, from whom much of the foodstuffs donated to HCA comes.

FareShare’s Press Officer, Lisa, along with PR Manager Jen and Jade, representing Tesco, selected some of our members to be the faces of FareShare’s annual Food Collection Campaign.  The aim, Lisa said, is to “Provide the annual in-store food collection that asks customers to donate dry food [ambient long-life food], such as beans, rice and pasta.”

“Tesco want to sign up volunteers from the general public to come along to Tesco stores and encourage shoppers to donate,” Jade added.

There will be collections in Tesco Express stores between 20th November and 2nd December, and in larger stores between 30th November and 2nd December.

A freelance photographer, Ben Stevens, came along to take many, many photographs of our members and staff, including Older People’s Services Manager Andrew and volunteer Gloria, and also Ruma from our catering staff, and Ivy, a longstanding Millman Street member, who are to be among the faces of the campaign.  He also took several photos of Lisa for the project.  Ben is primarily a press photographer, often working via the Press Association.

Your HCA reporter took a few snaps of Ben taking  snaps, in a sort of “Making of”/ behind-the-scenes of the photoshoot.  Judging by the following slideshow, Ben needn’t worry about any competition from this quarter:

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Based in Deptford, South London, FareShare has 21 regional centres, including a new one in Ipswich, and donates food to schools, homeless hostels, Mental Health organisations and community centres like Millman Street.  They use good quality, surplus food that would otherwise go to waste.  Other supermarkets that contribute food include Aldi, Asda and the Co-op.

Holborn Community Association would like to thank FareShare, not only  for the lovely grub it gives us on a weekly basis, but also for today’s photoshoot.  It was a very interesting experience for HCA members and staff alike.

To find out more about the campaign have a look at:


Photos and report: Notes Smudger

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