The Pavement celebrates its tenth anniversary

The Pavement Magazine celebrated its tenth anniversary on 11 September with a star-studded comedy night at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington. 

The event was a real blast and featured renowned comedians Stewart Lee and Robin Ince, whose performances highlighted the support the small-format magazine has gathered during its first decade in print.
The Pavement Magazine is a homeless publication founded in 2004 and designed to fill a vacuum by producing content featuring essential practical information alongside hard-hitting and entertaining reportage primarily aimed at and tailored to a homeless readership. In the past ten years the Pavement has gradually established itself as not just a useful magazine but an entertaining publication with the magazine’s Word on the Street programme encouraging contributions from homeless writers.

Karin Goodwin, the magazine’s editor says  “The founder, Richard Burdett, saw a real need for a publication that put information straight into the hands of those who needed it most; homeless people themselves….We believe that our readers themselves are the experts on homelessness”.

The night was not just about celebrating The Pavement’s anniversary. It also aimed to raise awareness of the charity, boost the magazine’s profile and generate desperately needed funds.

Ince's strong support for the cause is the only reason for his performance, coming as it did six months into a five year sabbatical from the stand-up circuit. Indeed, all the performers talked about the need to support the Pavement with a genuine passion that fuelled the joyful and positive atmosphere of the celebration in the theatre on the night. Sandwiched between the two featured comedians were strong performances from the comedy duo Read-Wilson and Hughes Hughes and the singer Barb Jung whose distinctive voice has lost none of its soulful power.

Robin Ince rocked the house with the stand-out performance on the night. His wickedly clever style of of jumping from one story to another was delivered at brisk pace, developing themes that eventually found their way back home, all the while stabbing logic in the face with a dagger of razor sharp reason.

In contrast Stewart Lee’s act, delivered at slow pace, was all about deconstructing the art form of stand up comedy. Throughout his career he has chosen to tread his own path, pushing the boundaries set by the mainstream in order to continually develop his own routine.

The same could be said of The Pavement’s journey over the past ten years. In Karin’s words "The night itself was a great mix; there was caustic wit, warmth and laughter, political agitation and generally an outpouring of support and goodwill for The Pavement and all it stands for”. She adds "Not only does the money raised help us to keep printing copies of The Pavement, which are in constantly high demand; it also encourages us to keep working harder to make sure The Pavement goes from strength-to-strength."

All in all the night was a worthy celebration of the ten years in which the Pavement has struggled on a shoestring to establish itself as a publication that genuinely helps those on the street. Laughter maybe the best medicine for life but for some of the disenfranchised on the street there is no better tonic than The Pavement Magazine. To find out more, visit the Pavement Magazine website.

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