The Push and the Pull – Whitstable Biennale

Wednesday 15 June 2022
10:00—18:00Performances at Queenborough, 10.00 a.m. and Whitstable Harbour at 17.00On and beside the Edith May Sailing BargeChoir performances are free but ticketed; sailings and performances on the Edith May are limited and ticketed.My poem ‘Children Used to Play Here’ will be read as part of Oast House Community Choir’s performances at Ben Judd’s The Push and the Pull. The poem is incorporated into a song with lyrics by Jo Eden and music by Bob Carling. There will also be original songs developed by the choir, as well as songs about the sea and rivers Medway and Swale originally developed by the Sea Folk Sing choir, many of whom are also Oast House Community Choir members.

Oast House Community Choir meets at The Oast Community Centre, Rainham, Kent every Tuesday, term-time only, 10.00-11.30. No auditions, all welcome, £5 per session. Contact [email protected]

Details below, booking available via Whitstable Biennale



Whitstable Harbour & Queenborough All Tide Landing

The Push and the Pull is a new site-specific work by Ben Judd, created in partnership with local community groups, developing themes of belonging and not belonging, engagement and estrangement.

Over five days, an historic Thames sailing barge will travel between Whitstable and the Isle of Sheppey, acting as a creative space and site for experimentation and in the process exploring ideas around community and islands, both real and imaginary.

This new work will consider the river as a channel of communication that connects communities; within this context the boat embodies conflicting ideas of separateness and togetherness. The boat-as-island suggests an isolated utopian project where narratives can be invented, reused and recycled within a relatively closed society.

Ben’s performance, The Push and the Pull, will take place on the boat as it travels between Whitstable and Sheppey, evoking a fictional lost community of the island.  He’s also worked with several local community groups to develop responses to Sheppey and the locality, including: songs by Oast House Community Choir; costumes for performances by the University for the Creative Arts; prose and poems by a group of local writers; a dramatic performance by Big Fish Arts; and an instrumental composition with local musicians.

There will be daily bookable performances of Ben’s The Push and the Pull on the boat; there are four spaces for passengers to join its journey. These will be bookended by further performances on the boat by the community groups both before departure and after it arrives at its destination.

Co-commissioned with Ideas Test. Supported by Arts Council England and Nottingham Trent University.

Schedule for Wednesday 15 June

10:00-11:00 – Performance at Queenborough All Tide Landing by Oast House Community Choir

11:30-16:00 – Boat travels from Queenborough to Whitstable, with a performance of Ben Judd’s The Push and the Pull

17:00-18:00 – Performance at Whitstable Harbour by Oast House Community Choir


Oast Beer and Music Festival

The Oast Community Centre, Rainham, Kent

next to Rainham rail station – so leave the car at home and enjoy the real ale and cider

Oast House Community Choir Performance 

Saturday 25 June 2022

3.00 p.m.

There will also be bands on the evenings of Friday 24th and Saturday 25th, organised by the wonderful local gig promoter Careful Now Promotions.

The choir will be singing some original songs and some singalong favourites at the Beer Festival. Entrance to the festival is £5. More details


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