Line-up for London’s LIFT 2018 festival announced

The full line-up for this year’s LIFT festival has been announced, and it features five world premieres and a 1,000-plus strong flock of LED-lit pigeons flying over the River Thames.

David Binder, artistic director of Brooklyn Academy of Music, is the guest artistic director of this year’s festival, and his programme includes work from Punchdrunk, Taylor Mac, Anna Deavere Smith and the National Theatre of Korea.

One of the highlights of the programme is Duke Riley’s Fly by Night, which will see 1,500 trained pigeons with LED lights attached soar over the River Thames. The piece first ran in Brooklyn, New York in 2016, and has been adapted for the London location of Thamesmead, paying homage to the unsung heroes of the First World War. It will run from 21st to 23rd June.

Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field will get its UK premiere at the Royal Court from 13th to 24th June, as she makes her first London appearance in over 25 years. The piece is based on interviews from over 250 people about America’s ‘school-to-prison pipeline’, looking at the US justice system and how it treats the youth.

Small Wonders, Punchdrunk’s new show for families and children aged 5 to 11, will get its world premiere from 2nd June to 13th July. Written by Nessah Muthy, it is set in the flat of Nanny Lacey where her collections of miniatures serve as tiny reminders of past adventures. It runs at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre.

Taylor Mac will give the European premiere performance of A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: The First Act at the Barbican from 28th to 30th June. With a 24-piece orchestra, Mac looks at the social history of American through 24 decades of music. The piece is split into four 6-hour chapters (the 24-hour piece has been performed in full once in New York in 2016), and Mac will chart the years 1776 to 1806 in London this summer.

In Search of Dinozord is a piece by Congolese dancer/choreographer Faustin Linyekula. It is scored with fragments of Mozart and Jimi Hendrix with live performance by Hlengiwe Lushaba, and tells of the tough history of the Congo. It runs at The Place on 15th and 16th June.

The Tower of London will be taken over in July for East Wall, which will see a cast of 150 dancers fill the tower’s grounds for a performance inspired by the communities they have groqn up in. It will take place from 18th to 22nd July.

Ahil Ratnamohan’s Mercenary looks at the realities of what it takes to build the stadia for the FIFA World Cup at the Battersea Arts Centre from 21st June. Scott Graham, Karl Hyde and Simon Stephens’ Fatherland runs at the Lyric Hammersmith from 25th May to 23rd June as part of LIFT.

The programme also includes an immersive ghost train-style experience in King’s Cross by Dries Verhoeven, Aussie company Back to Back which is driven by an ensemble of actors with perceived intellectual disabilities, the UK premiere of Trojan Women by the National Theater of Korea.


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