Free Outdoor Theatre Presented by Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Now thru 6/28
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF) is London's largest and longest established festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts. From today, 20 - 28 June the Festival will present the very best of UK and international outdoor arts in locations stretching from Royal Greenwich to Mile End Park via Woolwich, Canary Wharf and, for the first time, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Full details are at www.festival.org.
Inspired by the global connections and vision of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which underlie London's newest and most spectacular Park, the Festival will be presenting a midweek, evening programme of exciting outdoor theatre close to the ArcelorMittal Orbit at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London's newest visitor destination.
Featuring thought-provoking and compelling contemporary outdoor productions telling globally resonant stories, the programme includes new work created specifically for the Festival by Libya's National Theatre of Tripoli in collaboration with Periplum; a contemporary fable from Britain's leading African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi; and the UK premiere of a Chilean street theatre production exploring the tragedy of child soldiers, which combines heartfelt performances, live music, ingenious staging and fire effects.
Bradley Hemmings, Artistic Director of Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, who was also co-Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremony to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, said "It's immensely exciting to be see the opening of such major new public spaces for outdoor theatre here at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and we're delighted to be presenting new work here by British and international outdoor theatre artists, reminding us of our strong local history of global connections here in East London".
Mon 23 - Thurs 26 June, 20.30
The Legend of Hamba by Tiata Fahodzi
In 1914 young Hamba sets off to war. He wins and loses empires, becomes a king, a beggar, an oligarch and a thief. But 100 years later he is no closer to home and his spirit lives on in a strange and powerful mask.
The Legend of Hamba is a modern mystery play created by Tiata Fahodzi, Britain's leading African theatre company. This name, meaning 'let's go' in Ndebele, one of the three major languages of Zimbabwe, sets the whirlwind pace for this timeless fable of winning, losing and surviving told in a unique physical style by extraordinary looking characters from another world.
"Architecture, technology and lyricism never trump the truth: a good story, told with invention doesn't need a huge budget to work. Now is our time to be honest and courageous and hope you are transfixed!" Lucian Msamati, Artistic Director Tiata Fahodzi.
Mon 23 - Fri 27 June, 21.30
Kadogo, Child Soldier by La Patriótico Interesante
Chilean company La Patriótico Interesante presents the UK premiere of this gripping, poignant and visually stunning story highlighting the plight of child soldiers. Gritty, urgent and ultimately touching, Kadogo, Child Soldier looks at the themes of loss, childhood and innocence in a world where children are drawn into the realms of narco-trafficking and guerrilla warfare.
Performed in circus style, La Patriótico Interesante's heartfelt performance combines Iive music, fire effects and hugely inventive staging to devastating effect. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Wed 25 - Thurs 26 June, 19.30
Libyan Street Theatre by The National Theatre of Tripoli and Periplum
Last year, thanks to support from the British Council, GDIF Associate Director Nathan Curry, worked with performers from the National Theatre of Tripoli to create the first ever piece of Libyan Street Theatre, which was performed in a public park and was hugely appreciated by enthusiastic crowds. In a first for UK/Libyan street theatre collaboration, GDIF welcomes six Libyan actors and musicians to create a new piece of street theatre following a residency at the Festival and work with UK outdoor theatre company Periplum.
"It was a humbling experience to see the hunger and desire for storytelling and a community experience in Libya. It worked really well and we were all thrilled with the response." Nathan Curry, GDIF Associate Director
Global Streets at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is supported by London Legacy Development Corporation, The Legacy List, British Council, Without Walls and the European Commission.
Full details of GDIF2014 are at www.festival.org