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Banjo on the Banjo

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Banjo: a round ended pedestrian cul-de-sac native to the Becontree Estate.

BANJO ON THE BANJO was a musical performance located on various banjos across Dagenham’s Becontree Estate culminating in Parsloes Park in August 2019 as part of Living Together.

It coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the Addison Act (Housing, Town Planning, &c. Act, 31st July 1919 - named after the then minister for Housing MP Christopher Addison, who cut the ribbon at the official opening of Becontree in 1935.); a Parliamentary Act which, among other things, gave the London County Council powers to build housing beyond the county of London, signalling the birth of Becontree and the start of a long tradition of state-owned housing, which would later evolve into council estates.

This new film work, shares the process and performance, two years on over the centenary year of Becontree. Residents and experienced banjo players performed a new composition for Becontree. Following an open call for both unwanted banjos, banjo players and residents wanting to learn how to play the banjo, 21 people who live and work across Becontree learnt the banjo with musician and teacher Ed Hicks. They were joined by a group of more experienced players to perform a new piece of music, written by Ed in response to the banjos of Becontree and the estate itself.

Credits /
A film work by visual artist Verity-Jane Keefe

Additional cinematography by Leo Leigh and the following banjo volunteers: Charlotte Klein, Jessica Agwa, Lois Acton, Rupert Acton-Thompson, Danny Baxter, Susan Shirley & the families of the banjo players.

Additional sound recording by Louisa Steyaert

Featuring the Becontree Banjo players, taught by Ed Hicks: Charlie Gregory, Christine Tyson, Christine W, Clive Simpson, Dave Gore, Dean Crawford, Ed Walsh, Gary Rice, Jean Marshall, Jim Reilly, Manisha Pandey, Margaret Barnsdall-Stone, Pat Burman, Peter Hawes, Phillippa Bannister, Stephen West, Stephen Trowers, Suzan, Terry Bickell & Verity-Jane Keefe

Additional banjo players:
Merrill Rauch, Dave Bates , Robert Robinson, Clarke Camilleri, Emma Dunmore, Ewan Rodgers, Tony Bryan, Graham Wallace, Adam Griffith, Faye Bowker

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