Photo credit: Benedict O’Looney Architects

This autumn the mysterious Old Waiting Room above Peckham Rye station has opened its doors to the local community for a series of wide-ranging arts events. Making Connections brings together local artists, musicians and actors, to collaborate on a contemporary season of events taking place in this historic yet untapped space. The season, now extended to early December, has been hugely embraced by local communities.

The musical offerings range from live jazz performances to a Peckham-themed music hall sing-along. Yoga enthusiasts, both seasoned and newcomers, can get immersed in sound baths. Film lovers can catch a Korean zombie film, and a site-based reimagining of Brief Encounter is set to make its theatrical debut. Local writers and international storytellers also have a platform to share their unique and diverse tales.


The free exhibition, Waiting Around, opened on Friday 10th November, showcasing the culmination of a week-long artist residency programme exploring the concept of waiting. While waiting is often perceived negatively — as an inconvenience or something to avoid — the exhibition aims to challenge this perspective. In these turbulent times, where taking a moment to pause is a rarity, perhaps there’s a way to reframe waiting as a gift in time — a pause for reflection, a forced moment to stop. The exhibition is co-curated by Em Briselden-Waters (Syrup Projects), and featuring work from Anna Schlimm, Xiyao Chen, Shupin Liu, Josh Woolford and Helga Schmid. Open from 5pm until late, entry is free and there is no need to register. Visitors will experience the creative outcomes of the residency alongside a bar and live performances.

Anna Schlimm will present a new project Called Love Underground, which first emerged from an unofficial residency with TfL and responds to a lack of non-institutional creative opportunities. During this time, they created the Cruise Code a covert communication system which uses tube station names and LGBTQ+ colour schemes as signifiers for romantic and sexual desires. They have since expanded the project through a photo series collaboration with El Hardwick.

Shupin Liu will showcase A Collective Narrative of Waiting, an interactive audience experience that explores the theme of waiting through a collective lens. Visitors will be invited into a bubble where they can reflect on their own experiences of waiting, alongside a series of projections that showcase waiting objects found throughout the Peckham neighbourhood. Together, these narratives will form a collective exploration of the many meanings and emotions that waiting can evoke.


On 17th-18th November, a new, site-based performance of Still Lives, a story of love and longing reimagined by award-winning playwright Dan Rebellato and based on British playwright Noel Coward’s atmospheric and romantic play, will take centre stage. Developed for the Old Waiting Room by local company Lost Text Found Space, the performances will be a chance to see the entirely new production, created specifically for the location. The cast includes a wealth of musical talent, with music arrangements from composer Lucy Harrison, design contributions from Anna Burns and direction by Rebecca McCutcheon.


The season will end with an exceptional line up of musical and creative talent coming together for the CLF Art Lounge’s 20th celebration of the CLF in Peckham. CLF’s events space, and its founder Mickey Smith, have been at the heart of Peckham’s creative and musical scene for 20 years and the weekender (1st – 3rd December) is a brilliant opportunity to come and join the celebrations with an array of talented musicians, poets and more.

The Making Connections Season takes place from now until 3rd December in the Old Waiting Room, Peckham Rye Station, London.

Full programme: