Thursday, June 21, 2012

Greenwich + Docklands International Festival

Although G+DIF comes around every year at around this time it has taken us by surprise this year since we've heard nothing about it. Just in case you haven't either, we've perused the website to find out what's going on.

This Friday night and over the weekend, it's happening in Greenwich (rather than Woolwich or Docklands), starting with an outdoor visual spectacular:

Friday 22 June
Prometheus Awakes
National Maritime Museum
FREE, 10pm (runs for 40 mins)

The blurb on the website says "You will feel the earth move and the sky explode in this epic re-interpretation of the famous Greek myth. Created by Graeae, the boldly inventive disabled-led theatre company and Catalan masters of visual magnificence La Fura dels Baus, Prometheus Awakes is proudly presented in the year of the London 2012 Paralympic Games."

Both companies, especially La Fura dels Baus, put on terrific outdoor shows, so although that description sounds naff, and the weather looks decidedly unpromising, and there may be crowds despite the rain, this could be an unusual treat (the visual above must be seen to be believed).

Doubtless the festival must compete with the enormous excitement generated by EURO 2012, but it may prove an antidote for some, and certainly complements the football, since the 'international' flavour of the festival is distinctly European!

Over the weekend it's the Greenwich Fair, with around 17 walkabout and street theatre acts from the UK and Europe.

"A two day outpouring of street arts taking over Greenwich Town Centre. The original 19th century Greenwich Fair was an uproarious feast of sideshows, dancing booths, travelling menageries and gruesome melodramas. Much loved by Dickens, it was eventually banned because it was too unruly, but last year GDIF boldly revived it as a showcase for the best of British and international outdoor arts. So roll up and view a show in a giant pig, glimpse a flying grand piano, get lost in a Catalan labyrinth or have your tea leaves read!"

Check this page for details of all the acts taking part:

As well as Greenwich Fair, there will also be other free events in Greenwich, some going on till 30 June, under the title Word on the Street. "This year GDIF is hosting some of most original, exciting and cutting edge artists working in UK theatre. Word on the Street will inject outdoor theatre with new writing on trains, explorations of Greenwich’s past, biting political song theatre, a poetic tale of urban living, a tea party and even a bouncy castle."

There are eleven different events in Word on the Street to discover.

For other events in other parts check the festival website. On Saturday the spectacle is in Roman Road E3. The festival finale, another outdoor spectacular, is on 30 June in Woolwich – as per usual. (Only a bus ride away but we never seem to make it).


  1. Renaldo:

    Prometheus (Greek: Προμηθεύς) is a Titan, culture hero, and trickster figure who in Greek mythology is credited with the creation of man from clay and the theft of fire for human use, an act that enabled progress and civilization. He is known for his intelligence, and as a champion of mankind.[1]

    The punishment of Prometheus as a consequence of the theft is a major theme of his mythology, and is a popular subject of both ancient and modern art. Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, sentenced the Titan to eternal torment for his transgression. The immortal Prometheus was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. In some stories, Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles (Hercules).

    In another of his myths, Prometheus establishes the form of animal sacrifice practiced in ancient Greek religion, but evidence of a cult to Prometheus himself is not widespread. He was a focus of religious activity mainly at Athens, where he was linked to Athena and Hephaestus, other Greek deities of creative skills and technology.[2]

    In the Western classical tradition, Prometheus became a figure who represented human striving, particularly the quest for scientific knowledge, and the risk of overreaching or unintended consequences. In particular, he was regarded in the Romantic era as embodying the lone genius whose efforts to improve human existence could also result in tragedy.

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