Writer in Residence


This commission –  a chance to combine a range of contemporary Kent voices with related literature and a bespoke soundscape – is so exciting.’ Marcus O’Dair, Writer in Residence

Musician, broadcaster and lecturerMARCUS O’DAIR is taking up a unique residence in theKent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The residence forms part of a year of heritage focused events, activities and celebrations ‘Head for the Hills’ marking 50 years since the designation of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the 40th anniversary of the opening of the North Downs Way National Trail.

Reflections on the Landscape

This exciting new project will capture, through spoken word and music, Marcus’s own reflections on the landscape and those of local people he meets during his time in the area. He will be walking sections of the North Downs Way and visiting pubs across the area.

He will incorporate these reflections, local voices, and passages from relevant literary works into a final live performance piece, specially created to perform in pubs in the area in September.

The partnership with Kent Downs to support this unique residency will allow us to build on the success of Inn Crowd – reaching into the heart of communities and using local voices and responses as a key part of the final performance piece. We are thrilled that Marcus is on board and look forward to seeing what he creates in response to this beautiful landscape.

Local Voices – Get Involved!

Marcus is keen to hear from anyone who would like to contribute their own thoughts, feelings or reflections on the Kent Downs AONB, and the importance of their own rural local pub – your voice or words could end up in the final performance piece he creates!

Chat to Marcus in person, he will be out and about walking in the Kent Downs on the following days, stopping off for lunch and dinner in various pubs on route:

10th July: Darent Valley (Eynsford, Shoreham, Otford)

Pubs: Ye Olde George (Shoreham) The Two Brewers (Shoreham) The Plough (Eynsford), The Fighting Cocks (Horton Kirby)

11th July: Greensand Way, South of Sevenoaks (Westerham, Ide Hill, Shipbourne)

Pubs: The Cock Inn (Ide Hill), Fox and Hound (Toy Hill) The White Hart (Sevenoaks), The Chaser inn (Shipbourne)

12th July: North Downs Way – Mid Kent Downs (Thurnham, Hollingbourne, Medway Valley)

Pubs: Dirty Habit (Hollingbourne), Black Horse (Thurnham) Robin Hood (Chatham)

18th July: Charing to Etchinghill

Pubs: Tickled Trout (Wye), The Gatekeeper (Etchinghill)

19th July: Etchinghill to Dover

Pubs: Lighthouse Inn (Capel Le Ferne)

He will also be spending time at two host pubs in the area:

The Plough Inn, Stalisfield on Thursday 19th July evening

The White Lion, Selling on Sunday 22nd July

Join the Conversation

If you don’t see Marcus in person, you can tweet @marcusodair or fill in this ONLINE FORM

We would love to hear from you!

Final Performances

The dates and locations of performances of the finished piece that he creates will be listed here once confirmed.


Writer in Residence is supported by