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

In July 2018, musician, broadcaster and lecturer MARCUS O’DAIR took up a unique residence in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The residence formed 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

The purpose of the project was to capture, through spoken word and music, Marcus’s own reflections on the landscape and those of local people he met during his time in the area. He walked sections of the North Downs Way, visited many pubs across the area and spent a day in two host pubs The Plough Inn, Stalisfield and The White Lion, Selling. 

He is now working to 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 November.

The partnership with Kent Downs to support this unique residency has allowed 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 really looking forward to seeing what he creates in response to this beautiful landscape.

Local Voices – Get Involved!

There is still time to get your voice heard. 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!

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.

Kent Downs Writer in Residence is supported by