As the nights draw in, and we move closer to fully leaving the EU, it can feel as though our world is getting much smaller. But, here to rescue our downcast hearts and bring a flurry of international performances back into our lives is Voila!
London’s landmark festival of European theatre will return this November to celebrate the work of European companies based in London and across the continent.
This year’s festival will feature a mix of live theatre and online shows. Performances of four shows will take place live on stage at The Cockpit, and another six will be performed live online. Four shows will take the form of watch parties, where audiences will be invited to watch a pre-recorded show via Zoom and join a live post-show discussion with the artists.
All shows, regardless of format, will invite audiences to a shared experience in real time, something that has been missed by so many in recent months.
Enjoy captivating international theatre
Artists from Germany, Denmark, France, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the USA, and Hungary (in an ongoing partnership with the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London) have been programmed, alongside European artists living in the UK.
Shows will be in Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Portuguese, as well as English and wordless offerings, with some shows offering a variety of languages to choose from.
Topics addressed during the festival shows will include questions around European identity, the need for human connection, human rights issues, inflammatory bowel disease and Magda Goebbels’ shoes; with performance styles including puppetry, mime and cabaret. So, there’s no chance to get bored on these dark November nights!
Watch shows live at The Cockpit
Right Left with Heels by STIGMAcollective
Lithuania/Poland/UK | Performed in English
11th & 12th November 2020, at 7.30pm
Our protagonists are a pair of shoes, custom made for Magda Goebbels, the unofficial First Lady of Nazi Germany. Once the epitome of style, and at the forefront of a powerful regime, now they are passed from owner to owner with no control, through the decades of history. On the 75th anniversary of Armistice Day, these unexpected voices tell their own story. And it’s time to pay attention, because it’s our version of history they’re questioning.
We Missed You by Julia Masli and Viggo Norten
Estonia/Norway/Russia/UK | Performed in English
13th, 14th & 15th November 2020, at 7.30pm
Hello you. We Missed You. We dedicate this show to you and to audiences everywhere. Award-winning clowns present a joyous hour of physical comedy. During the pandemic Julia & Viggo went out to public spaces in Lambeth to do playful, magical and socially distanced performances to lift the spirits of local people. Next Stop: The Cockpit, where these filmed moments of connection meet live performance.
N A K E D by NAKEDpresents & Swan Events
UK | Performed in English
17th, 18th & 19th November 2020, at 7.30pm
At a time of increasing disconnection, what does it mean to fully embrace each other? What does it take to be honestly, authentically ourselves, championing female strength and male vulnerability? Queer collective NAKEDpresents brings together cabaret, recorded interviews, dance, and music to celebrate the weird, the wonderful, and the beautifully unique.
Don’t Leave Me This Way by Zoo Indigo
Czech Republic/China/Ireland/Germany/Hungary/Ireland/UK | Performed in English with German & Hungarian
20th & 21st November 2020, at 7.30pm
Zoo Indigo search for their European identity on the shores of a Brexit-ridden Britain. In a series of competitive citizenship catwalks, Rosie sings Irish folk songs, Ildikó raps to Bach, and Rob attempts to prove his Czech and Chinese heritage with the violin and accordion. Grieving the loss of their identity, home, and the Eurovision Song Contest, the performers take you on a humorous and provocative exploration of nationhood.
Watch live online with Voila!
Sh*t Happens by Patrycja Dynowska
Poland/UK | Choose English or Polish when booking
10th, 12th, 18th, & 20th November 2020, with 15 minute slots between 5.30pm & 8.30pm; 15th November 2020, with slots between 1pm & 4pm
A one-to-one performance about the taboos of pooing, public toilets, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. A poetic insight into Patrycja’s personal experience, this show invites you to get online from your very own bathroom!
Diary of an Expat: Reloaded by Paper Smokers
Austria/Italy/UK | Performed in English with some Italian
10th & 11th November 2020, at 7.30pm
For ten years, the UK has been Cecilia’s home, even though no one there can pronounce her surname. Armed with her own experience, the testimonials of fellow expats, and her trusted copy of Life in the UK, Cecilia traces her story from Italy to London, from amusing miscommunications to bewildering legal technicalities, and from embracing a new nationality to staying true to her roots.
Telephone by Coney
UK | Performed in English
12th, 13th & 17th November 2020, at 7.30pm
Telephone weaves together stories and games about connection in all its forms, inviting you to explore a short and (mostly) true history of telecommunications. Bringing together a playing audience of strangers, this gently interactive performance is different every time.
State vs. Natasha Banina by Cherry Orchard Festival
Russia/USA | Performed in English & Russian
12th & 13th November 2020, at 7.30pm (English); 15th November 2020, at 5pm (Russian)
A Russian teenager tells the story of her life in a small-town orphanage, and how her desire to be free led to a crime of passion. From the inside of a ‘Zoom courtroom’, she makes unique appeals to you, the jury, letting you into her world where she dreams of love, family, and her future. Is Natasha guilty? You decide.
Bingo! by Karavan Ensemble and Silvia Mercuriali
Italy/Portugal/UK | Performed in English, with Italian, French and Portuguese
19th, 20th & 21st November 2020, at 7.30pm
How fair and square is our Human Rights Treaty? Join the ridiculously serious callers Yael and Silvia, in a surreal night of Bingo with visual treats and dancing beats. Print your bingo cards, grab a pen, and get comfy on your sofa… but not too comfy. Watch out when the numbers take on hidden meanings and expose the flaws in the rules of the ‘game’.
Theatre in the Pound
Performed in English with various other languages
16th November 2020, at 7pm
The Cockpit’s monthly online scratch night, Theatre in the Pound, presents a Voila! Europe special. Expect five works in progress, by 65% Theatre (France/UK), Labirion Officine Trasversali (Italy), Smart & Texte Hors Contexte (France), Alejo Wao (UK), and Aisling Smith (Ireland). Be the first to see these brand new performances, new translations, new ideas; and give your feedback in an informal Q&A with the artists. Tickets are only £1 to join this Zoom event.
Join watch parties and discussions
The Escape of Iris Dupont Watch Party by Simsalabim Productions
France | Performed with some French, subtitled in English
14th November 2020, at 1.30pm with discussion at 2.30pm
On May 1st 2020, in a small village in France, Madame Iris Dupont risks everything when she decides to escape confinement and go outside. Created during lockdown with hand-made masks and life-size puppets, this hybrid theatre-film ponders the effects isolation has on the elderly, whilst celebrating the small joys of life.
Farewell Concert (Búcsúkoncert) Watch Party by k2 Theater (k2 Színház)
Hungary | Performed with no spoken language, with English subtitles for Mozart’s Requiem, and discussion in English
14th November 2020, at 5pm with discussion at 6pm
Venice is flooded, forests are on fire in the Amazon, and a new pandemic is unfolding. Meanwhile, a cramped company sings Mozart’s Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) at an aristocratic dinner party at the end of the world. Everything is in place for a great evening, only the air needed for singing is running out dangerously. But the concert can’t stop.
Alice in Wonderland Watch Party by Asterion Hus
Denmark/UK | Performed with no spoken language; discussion in English
15th November 2020, at 3pm with discussion at 4pm
Follow Alice down the rabbit hole to a wondrous land, where anything can happen. Danish dancer and performer Tilde Knudsen gives her version of Lewis Carroll’s beloved story inspired by and interacting with ‘insubordinate’ costumes by British designer Susan Marshall.
Trojana: Webcamming Chronicles by Defiant Reality, Theatre for Change
Colombia/France | Choose English, Spanish, or French when booking
Discussions on 21st November 2020, at 2.30pm in French, 4pm in English & 5.30pm in Spanish
Desire. Fantasy. Virtuality. Nine daily emails of exclusive content to guide you through our investigation on both sides of the webcam lens. A peephole provocation to get close up: choose your role, complete the simple tasks and bring your findings to the cybertable when they meet live on the tenth day!
When: 9th – 21st November 2020
Where: Online and at The Cockpit, Gateforth St, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH
£: Tickets cost £1 – £30 (some discounts available for theatre shows if you book as a group with your bubble)
More info: www.voilafestival.co.uk