Welcome to DAZZLE 2017

During the week 1-10 September we will be hosting a ‘pop-up festival’ in East Reading, which will attempt to bring together and explore various issues pertinent to community life. The festival is entitled ‘Dazzle’ – illuminated by the darkness.

For many people, current issues the world is facing seem overwhelming; the fast-paced nature of capitalism and hungry consumerism raises many challenges politically, socially and philosophically. For those at the wrong end, or outside, the social scale the prospects seem bleak and dark.

Outrider Anthems is currently running a year-long ‘Festival of the Dark’ in Reading, with the support of Arts Council England. The Festival of the Dark has sought to explore the concept of Darkness through art, installation, drama and discussion. The hope is to discover the positive aspects of embracing darkness and shadow; to consider ways that society and communities may be enriched.

Dazzle has emerged in ‘conversation’ with these themes in order to explore what darkness means for science, art, theology, philosophy and culture. It aims to be a festival of ideas and practice. Some of our conversations will include ‘hidden’ ideas of guerrilla gardening, community enrichment and permaculture.

Our keynote speaker earlier in the week is Kate Raworth, author of the influential Doughnut Economy; and other contributors will probe the philosophical, scientific, artistic, poetic and social aspects of Darkness.

On Saturday 9th we will hold a day-long Symposium Dazzle-Thinking asking what does the word ‘darkness’ mean to artists, philosophers, scientists, activists, and theologians; and allowing a conversation to emerge.
This site will hopefully bring enough illumination to whet the appetite, please spread the word, the revolution is coming!

The Dazzle team

All Week. The Dazzle Labyrinth

People describe a labyrinth in many ways: a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a crucible of change, a watering hole for the spirit and a mirror of the soul.

What are the benefits of walking the labyrinth?
Walking the Labyrinth quiets the mind, opens the heart and grounds the body … Some find answers to questions long asked, some find healing, creativity, a sense of wholeness … What will you find on your labyrinth journey?

Guidelines for Walking the Labyrinth
The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds its way into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return from the center and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally.

Generally there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning when you follow the return path back out of the labyrinth. Symbolically, and sometimes actually, you are taking back out into the world that which you have received.

There is no right way or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Use the labyrinth in any way that meets what you need while being respectful of others walking. You may go directly to the center to sit quietly — whatever meets your needs.

To prepare, you may want to sit quietly to reflect before walking the labyrinth. Some people come with questions, others just to slow down and take time out from a busy life. Some come to find strength to take the next step. Many come during times of grief and loss.

Children can enjoy the labyrinth too and we ask that parents supervise their young children so all may enjoy the meditative aspects of the walk.


DATE – 4th-8th Sept 2017
TIME – 10-4pm
VENUE – St John & St Stephen’s

1st & 2nd Sept. Song of Crow

Following last year’s sell-out performances, Song of Crow is returning to stage this September in Reading.

‘Song of Crow’ fearlessly explores our impact and attitude towards our environment, our communities & our connection with planet earth. It raises questions about climate change in a way that challenges our perceptions through poetry, movement and sound. The big question being- “where do we go from here?”. This performance debuted in Reading last year and sold out. Tickets are available here

Performances are at 7:30pm on 1st and 2nd of September at South Street Arts Centre, Reading.

Song of Crow

“It does not have to be this way; it was not always this way. Were we not once one with the Earth, one with Creation?”

Creator Crow, crotchety, passionate, magical, unambiguously unimpressed with his human species, returns to Planet Earth for two nights only, pep talk fizzing. A mythical journey through spoken word, dance, music, movement, film, music, light.

Audience response: ‘Thank you..so utterly beautiful amazing mesmerising engaging, none of these words is enough.’

About the Writer & Director:

Jennifer is a professional artist, playwright & filmmaker and has worked as lead artist at the RA, Courtauld Institute and other major London galleries. In 2011 she established her own company, Outrider Anthems, in order to realize the exploratory multimedia dramatic works that are the company’s hallmark. Shifting consciousness and changing hearts and minds is, for her, the rich purpose of art; with her stories she hopes to re-illuminate our natural interconnection with Earth, and to dance that relationship with love and joy. She revels in wielding with zany imagination that marvellous ancient wizardy wand of storytelling.

DATE – 1st & 2nd Sept 2017
TIME – 7.30pm
VENUE – South Street Arts Centre


Sun 3rd. 10.30am. Dazzle Communion

“What – Church, as in Church?!”

It’s a long conversation; but the story of Christianity is deeply acquainted with darkness, uncertainty and solidarity in moments of loss. The ‘light’ of hope that Christian tradition celebrates is a light that transforms darkness rather than denies it, it is a different kind of light, even a Dazzling light.

While DAZZLE continues, the Community of St John & St Stephen’s will celebrate Eucharist, also known as Communion and will reflect some of the themes of the week.
All DAZZLERS are very welcome to join this traditional(ish) Anglican service.

DATE – 3rd Sept 2017
TIME – 10.30am
VENUE – St John & St Stephen’s


Sun 3rd. 7.30pm. Meditation 1 – ‘Into Darkness…’

Things get contemplative at Dazzle. The first of two sunday evening meditations which will employ silence, poetry, ambience, spoken word and images to explore and participate in themes within DAZZLE.

The first is a journey into darkness; what do we mean by darkness, what are we scared of, what do we hide? Or is darkness about un-knowing, letting go of certainty.

Come ready to be stretched, inspired, enriched and maybe challenged… and also for some good space to simply be.

Willem deKooning, Dark Pond 1948

DATE – 3rd Sept 2017
TIME – 7.30pm
VENUE – St John & St Stephen’s

Mon 4th. 7.30pm. Kate Raworth – Doughnut Economics

Kate Raworth is a revolutionary thinker, and we are thrilled to have her speaking at DAZZLE . Kate has appeared all over the world and in the media with a simple yet radical challenge to the dominance of growth economics.
A dry economics lecture this is not! – Instead it will be a challenging and inspiring vision of a new way to imagine the world, our local communities and even ourselves..
Please spread the word. This is not to be missed.

Booking is essential for this event.


Tues 5th. 7.30. DazzleReel – Moonlight

DAZZLE will be showing a number of films at various venues, but Tuesday is our main feature night, and we are excited about the movie Moonlight.

‘A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to manhood is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him.’

A genre-defying film. Its visual splendour belies its tough, surface-level subject matter, while the performances pull us deep below that surface with their soulful naturalism.

Please join us as we enter the dark world of cinema with illuminating content. By now the DAZZLE crew (you) will be getting to share stories. This is a good opportunity to relax together.

(For those who have attended previous Film Seasons at St John’s, there is a rumour that Tom Jones might make an appearance in one guise or another.)

A pop-up showing of Jonathan Glazer’s fascinating and disturbing science-fiction movie Under The Skin will occur during the week, others will be announced.

DATE – 5th Sept 2017
TIME – 7.30pm
VENUE – St John & St Stephen’s
COST – No Charge


Fri 8th. All Day. Activity Day.

Enough talk, let’s act Working alongside members of the community who are working to make Newtown a place of creativity and growth.
Further details tba.


DATE – 8th Sept 2017
TIME – Meeting 10.00am
VENUE – St John & St Stephen’s

Sun 10th. 7.30pm. Meditation 2 – ‘In light of this…’

Things get contemplative again at Dazzle. The second of two sunday evening meditations-the last DAZZLE event-will employ silence, poetry, ambience, spoken word and images to explore and participate in themes within DAZZLE.

The second is a journey from darkness and into a new way of thinking about light. What has emerged in the dark, and what do we see with a new perspective?

Come ready to be stretched, inspired, enriched and maybe challenged… and also for some good space to simply be.

Dan Flavin (Dan Urbanke, 2013)

DATE – 10 Sept 2017
TIME – 7.30pm
VENUE – St John & St Stephen’s