Axel Blake
Axel Blake won last year’s Britain’s Got Talent series

A Britain’s Got Talent winner and rap pioneers the Sugarhill Gang are among the acts performing at Woolwich Works’ second summer festival, which will take place this September.

Comedian Axel Blake, who won the TV talent contest last year, is on the line-up for Woolwich Words and Sounds, which runs from September 8 to 24 at the arts centre in the Royal Arsenal.

He will be joined by Angelos Epithemiou, Helen Bauer, Lily Philips and Ted Lasso star Lloyd Griffth on September 13.

Other comics appearing during the festival include Tim Key and Suzi Ruffell with Ivo Graham and Dane Baptiste (September 9) and Desiree Birch, Ed Night, Felicity Ward, Jessica Fostekew and Sikisa (September 16).

Sugarhill Gang with Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio
Sugarhill Gang with Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio will also be at Woolwich Works this September

The first music acts confirmed are the Sugarhill Gang with Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio. The Sugarhill Gang’s 1979 track Rapper’s Delight was the world’s first big hip-hop hit.

More acts will be confirmed later, and tickets shows go on general sale at from noon on Monday. Tickets are currently available to members of the venue’s mailing list.

Greenwich Council spent £45 million on creating Woolwich Works, which will mark its second birthday during the festival. While well-recieved by critics, the venue, which opened as the country was still wrestling with the pandemic, struggled with low attendances in its early months and lost £1.4 million in its first year of operation.

It later emerged that the business plan for the venue had assumed that the Elizabeth Line would be open, but the cross-London rail link did not arrive until the following May. Ticket sales went up by 70 per cent after the line opened.

Last year the council offered Woolwich Works £2 million in loans to help it though its financial problems, including a condition that it ran more commercial programming to help pay the bills. Changes made to the venue since then include hosting performances in the cafe-bar at the front of the building to make them more visible to passers-by.

Updated at 12.25pm on Friday to change sale details after new information from Woolwich Works.

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