When: 23rd June – 8th July 2017
Where: In locations across Greenwich, Docklands and Tower Hamlets, London
What is it?
This summer’s Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (GDIF), London’s festival of outdoor theatre and performing arts, will take place from 23rd June to 8th July across Royal Greenwich, Docklands and Tower Hamlets.
This year’s opening night production, on Friday 23rd June, will be FierS à Cheval from French street theatre ensemble Compagnie des Quidams. Under the gaze of the Cutty Sark’s famous figurehead, with outstretched hand clasping a horse’s tail, an equine spectacular will unfold, featuring nine luminous 3.5m high inflatable horses.
Marking 160 years since it was banned for its uproarious disruption of Victorian Greenwich, GDIF’s annual reinvention of the historic Greenwich Fair returns with more than 30 productions taking over the outdoor spaces of Maritime Greenwich.
This year, the fair also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the inscription of Maritime Greenwich on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Performances and installations will be located for the first time at the top of Greenwich Park Hill, with its panoramic views of the capital.
The programme features new outdoor productions from South Korea, including a hypnotic performance in a column of water from Creative Group SUM BI; as well as Skagt (The Shaft), a new immersive theatre experience from Antwerp based arts group Captain Boomer.
On Saturday 1st July, the outdoor spaces of Canary Wharf will be taken over by Dancing City, a day of international dance performances, including artists from South Korea, the Netherlands, Spain and France. On the same evening, a new street arts spectacular entitled Sense of Unity will see illuminated drummers and giant puppets processing along Roman Road.
From Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th July, All Roads Lead to Woolwich will feature theatre, dance and music in unusual locations across Woolwich. There will be performances from the Avant Garde Dance Company, Rosie Kay Dance Company and the Arensky Chamber Orchestra amongst others.
In its commitment to reaching new audiences and locations, the festival will also present promenade performances of BELONGING(s) by Tilted Productions, in Thamesmead from 6th to 8th July. BELONGING(s) will be a site-responsive performance exploring memory and place, which will take place against the background of a community undergoing rapid regeneration and transformation.
This year the festival will feature eight specially commissioned productions including a new outdoor version of Arthur Miller’s tragic masterpiece, A View from The Bridge, from the Flanders based theatre collective De Roovers. There will also be a giant illuminated moon sculpture, Museum of the Moon by acclaimed artist Luke Jerram, located at the Old Royal Observatory Garden in Greenwich Park; and a journey with performance poetry presented on a specially adapted double-decker bus, in Rear View.
The Colour of Light, will be this year’s festival finale, from legendary French street theatre group Compagnie Off and leading UK South Asian composer Shri Sriram, taking place in Woolwich.
GDIF forms part of the Royal Greenwich Festivals, an annual series of events organised by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to celebrate cultural vibrancy.