INTERVIEW: Sunday Papers Live’s Ben DeVere @paperslive

#Tweetingit: Want to know a bit more about the upcoming exciting Bank Holiday Weekend event, Sunday Papers Live? Ben DeVere spoke to Playhouse Pickings to tell us all about it.


Can you tell me a bit about where Sunday Papers Live began?

I organise the talks tents at a few big festivals. I was looking to recreate that atmosphere in London. It requires a whole day. There would have to be food, performance, outdoor stuff. The Sunday papers just seemed to offer up the perfect template to base an event around. 

What should people expect from the next Bank Holiday’s Sunday Papers live?

Guided walks, amazing food, the best Bloody Marys in London. And expect to have some of your ideas challenged. It can be quite emotional.

Is it all, improvised on the day according to that morning’s papers?

I have to book the event a couple of months in advance which makes that tricky. We do have some comedians and spoken word artists on hand to produce work based on the news that day too. The sections of the papers really just guide the format. The travel section will be an explorer, the news section a satirist or a journalist, sometimes it’s topical, sometimes it isn’t. 

Is it suitable for all weathers?(sorry I don’t want to worry you but we all know the propensity for Bank holiday in England being wet…)

It is an indoor event, with some outdoor elements. We have dozens of umbrellas though in case the walks get rained on. And flasks of tea.


Who is this for? Theatre lovers, music fans, festival goers??

Everyone really. It’s intentionally hard to classify. I try to cover every kind of art form and cater to everyone. It’s supposed to be a family event. We have a creche, classes, games, quizzes, life-drawing, crafts. I suppose festival is the best way to consider its breadth. We’ve had three generations of the same family down a few times.

This is your 7th Edition and there are more special editions and Bank Holiday ones later this year. Which has been your favourite so far?

The first one was amazing. Just because it worked and people liked it. I think the best lineup we’ve had is the next one though, I can’t believe we’re going to have Satish Kumar, Lindsey Hilsum, and Tariq Ali in the same room. 

What are the main challenges when creating such an event?

The logistics are a nightmare. You have 4 hours to transform an empty box into a fully dressed stage set. And balancing the budget isn’t easy with finite numbers and this kind of scale. It’s a risk. 

Have you ever had an audience member change the way the performance is going?

My 2-year-old heckled Jon Snow and he ran with it. The political debates can get pretty feisty but participation is the name of the game. If you have an opinion you should voice it, otherwise it runs the risk of turning into a rally.

I know this isn’t done yet, but what’s next? Will you do more than just bank holidays in the future?

August bank holiday is our first two-day event, which is going to be pretty challenging. I’d like to see it happen in other towns and cities too. 

Finally, what would you say to people might say this isn’t for them? Is there something for everyone?

It’s like the essence of Sunday distilled. And who doesn’t love Sundays? 

When: The Seventh Edition is on May 29 th 2016. 1pm-11pm

Where: 2 Regents Park Road, London

For more information:

Advance booking highly recommended:!tickets/ctzx

Published by Playhouse Pickings

Theatre blog run by Rhiannon; a civil servant, D&D player, sci fi fan, immersive theatre lover and gin enthusiast

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