This week we had a chat with the brilliant Celine Hispiche, a London-based writer and performer with a monthly show on Soho Radio that celebrates diverse writing and performance. Celine spent three years in New York, performing stand-up comedy, returning to the UK to develop a variety of musicals and productions, performing at events and festivals around the country and across the world. Celine created Celine’s Salon to establish a platform that nurtures new and established artists and offers the audience an entertaining and enlightening experience.
Here’s what she told The Squiggles Team:
- Salon looks great. Please tell us more about it, where did you find the inspiration?
I was born in Paris and after hearing family stories of my grandmother’s antics, getting up on bars, and singing in Parisian Cafes, I became fascinated by cabaret and literature in Paris in the Belle Epoch period of France 1871-1914. Later, the triumphant Gertrude Stein came to my attention with the legendary and notorious salons she hosted in her Parisian apartment. It was a bohemian magnet/parlor for artists, writers, and poets to share their works with an appreciative audience, have heated creative conversations, and quaff elegant cocktails and fine wines. The first Celine’s Salon was held at the Society Club in Soho in 2015 and very much in the steps of Gertrude Stein. Our first show consisted of five performers and an audience of twelve. Within six months we had ten writers and an audience of sixty to seventy. Each show has three segments and a theme. We have nine writers who create a five-minute piece and the show is hosted by yours truly, La Celine. I refer to the event as a ‘Literary Cabaret’ and our salons now have a huge global audience which is growing fast.
- What’s one thing you learnt during the pandemic?
The pandemic taught me that anything is possible even with the most minimal resources! We carried the salon torch through the whole of the pandemic – my motto being ‘you can turn rats and pumpkins into diamonds’. From workshops, Zoom shows, a monthly show on Soho Radio and a global YouTube Channel, we learned how to use digital platforms in many ways. It taught me how to reach out globally – all from one small front room in Soho. It also showed me how I can continue to support other artists by giving them that much-needed lockdown platform too.
- What do you think we should do to support creative businesses post-pandemic?
I think there should be more awareness of just how difficult it was and still is for creative fields/businesses. The aftermath of the pandemic has seen closures for many creatives businesses both old and new. It is even more imperative that we help and support businesses that are still suffering and trying to get back to sustainable security. I think there should be more support from bigger businesses/governments to help creative enterprises get back up and give them a chance to recover from what has been a severe dagger in every aspect. Everyone can help by supporting local events and artists. This is not the time to ask for a free ticket to a show. Check out your nearby venues and take some friends with you. Many creatives rely on audiences financially and emotionally. It’s important to show your support. Without creativity we are doomed!
- Tell us about the anthology and where can our readers buy it?
The anthology/book was something I wanted to pursue for several years. It was a light at the end of a faraway tunnel and, although I could see it clearly, it was a wish that might take some time to come true. Wordville Press catapulted both myself and 29 other writers into the light and now that very wish has come true… a published book. The book is like being transported to a live Celine’s Salon Show. A magical assortment of printed poems, songs and short stories from all corners of the globe. Over the past six years of salons we have collected over two hundred writers and here in this anthology are the first selection of writers for volume one. We anticipate many more volumes so this is just the very beginning. Books can be ordered from Wordville.net, online or at your local bookshop.
Celine’s Salon – The Anthology Volume 1 – price £10