wednesday 12 april

The North Wall Arts Centre

TICKETS: £15 | Under 16s £7.50  
DOORS: 7pm | START: 7.30pm


In 2016, Elise Downing ran a lap of the British coast:
5000 miles | 10,000,000 steps | 200 marathons | 10 months | 1 backpack

Doctor, writer, speaker & adventure cyclist Stephen Fabes cycled 86,209km through 75 countries and 6 continents over 6 years.

As well as hearing from Elise & Stephen, we'll also be showing a selection of the best adventure films from around the world: be amazed by watching Johanna, the Finnish freediver who dives under the ice, and Tom Seipp, the fearless young cyclist with an incredible enthusiasm for long journeys on his bike, plus more of our favourite films from Kendal Mountain Festival 2016!


Stephen Fabes

Elise Downing

On November 1st 2015, Elise set off to run 5000 miles self-supported around the coast of the UK, carrying her belongings on her back, in a bid to scratch the surface of both the country she calls home and her own capabilities.

Over the 301 days that followed she saw Britain at its wild and wonderful best, learnt all about tired legs and developed an unquenchable penchant for cake.

Elise crossed the finish line in August 2016 and is now speaking and writing about her experiences whilst attempting to find a little bit of adventure in every day (and doing just enough exercise to keep up with her cake addiction).

Too often, we live for what comes next. We say, “I’d like to come back here some day,” about a place where we already are. We seek adventure elsewhere before we have truly explored what is on our own doorstep.
— Elise Downing
Ash Dykes

Like most decisions of great consequence, Stephen settled on a plan to cycle the length of six of the earth’s continents in a pub, beer in one hand, mini-atlas in the other.

For six years, from 2010 to 2016, Stephen pedalled across 75 different countries, clocking up a distance of 86,209 km (53,568 miles) by bicycle. From the baked deserts of Syria and Afghanistan to an outstandingly untoasty Mongolia mid-winter, Stephen dodged landslides and leaping camel spiders, was detained on suspicion of espionage in China, towed a rollerblader across Uzbekistan, contracted dengue fever (and the urge to tell everyone about it), survived blizzards, tropical storms and volcanic eruptions, marvelled at his own spiralling dishevelment, began a relationship with Ol’ Patchy – a personable inner tube, and survived both a run-in with a gunman and the marauding hoards of school children armed to the milk-teeth with snowballs in Kent.

Along the way Stephen slept in the homes of people in more than fifty countries as well as countless churches, mosques, hospitals, schools, police and fire stations, temples and army barracks. He shared the fusty air and mosquitoes of a barn with a cheesed-off buffalo. Having been welcomed warmly in every country, he’s convinced that goodwill is global.

Stephen raised more than twenty thousand pounds for medical humanitarian Merlin, and also spent time among marginalised people with health problems – nomads, refugees, drug addicts, street children, patients with infectious and deforming disease, the disabled, sex workers, ex-prisoners, slum dwellers, the mentally ill and victims of violence. His interest lies in how marginalisation and health collide, subject of an upcoming book, part travelogue, part investigation.

Dr Fabes’ colossal and emotive journey reminds us to be bold in our dreams”
— Sir Ranulph Fiennes


The North Wall Arts Centre

South Parade, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7JN