Lift 2016 has concluded and proved to be an exotic and eclectic theatrical experience, in the very best traditions of world theatre festivals. Programmers travelled the world to curate a playlist of performances, politics and pop-culture intended to provoke and please London audiences.

Lift 2016

Compelling, playful and provocative work came from 14 countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Canada, Japan, Australia, the USA, Lebanon and Syria. Over 30 events played across London, from an East End Cemetery to the Barbican and Hoxton Hall and from the Royal Court and Sadler’s Wells to a car park in Stratford.

The promise was huge:

Festival attendees met wild Japanese pop fans, an outré performance star, a body builder, and teenagers with attitude. Waltz, keep secrets, see a brass band, take revenge and sleep with a stranger.  Visit Roma musicians, refugees, ancient Greeks via Sarah Kane, Falklands War veterans, a Victorian music hall and a circus in a cemetery where the undead welcome you in.

Rejoice, dance, mourn, laugh and cry in this most exhilarating of cities.  Walk into the lives of some of the remarkable people who make up London in 4 weeks of stylish, bizarre, moving, flirtatious, sensory performance, as LIFT 2016 celebrates the world in London and London in the world.

It’s good to report that Lift 2016 was a great artistic success, bringing new ideas, both in terms of performance styles and performance content, and giving audiences plenty to think about while being challenged about their expectations of theatre.

Lift 2016Read our reviews of some of the productions here:


En Avant Marche!


Artistic Director Mark Bull included three world premieres and ten UK premieres in the diverse programme. It was a bold and imaginative programme in every sense. Getting the balance right in Festival programming is very difficult: there must be room for extremely risky ventures which may have cult appeal as well as potentially main-stream audience pleasers. Bull’s programme walked that line expertly, and while not everything might have worked for every audience member, everything that was programmed made sense as part of an overall tapestry of theatrical adventure.

The following pictures represent a pictorial overview of Lift 2016 and demonstrate the breadth of the vision at play.


Phedre(s) de Wajdi Mouawad, Sarah Kane et J.M. Coetzee mise en scene de Krzysztof Warlikowski au theatre de l'odeon du 17 mars au 13 mai 2016. Avec: Isabelle Huppert, Agata Buzek, Andrzej Chyra, Alex Descas, Gael Kamilindi, Norah Krief, Rosalba Torres Guerrero. (photo by Pascal Victor/ArtComArt)

Wiener Festwochen 2012, Constanza Macras | DorkyPark "OPEN FOR EVERYTHING" Premiere: 10.5.2012 im Museumsquartier Halle G, Inszenierung/Choreografie: Constanza Macras, Dramaturgie: Carmen Mehnert, Buehne: Tal Shacham, Kostueme: Gilvan Coêlho de Oliveira, mit: Emil Bordás (HU), Hilde Elbers (NL), Anouk Froidevaux (CA), Fatima Hegedüs (HU), Ádám Horváth (HU), László Horváth (HU), Hyoung-Min Kim (ROK), Denis Kuhnert (D), Viktória Lakatos (HU), Zoltán Lakatos (HU), Iveta Millerová (CZ), Elik Niv (ISR), János Norbert Orsós (HU), Monika Peterová (CZ), Rebeka Rédai (HU), Marketa Richterová (CZ), Ivan Rostás (HU), Magdolna Rostás (HU), Viktor Rostás (HU), Copyright (C) Thomas Aurin Gleditschstr. 45, D-10781 Berlin Tel.:+49 (0)30 2175 6205 Mobil.:+49 (0)170 2933679 Abdruck nur gegen Honorar zzgl. 7% MWSt. und Belegexemplar Steuer Nr.: 11/18/213/52812, UID Nr.: DE 170 902 977 Commerzbank, BLZ: 810 80 000, Konto-Nr.: 316 030 000 SWIFT-BIC: DRES DE FF 810, IBAN: DE07 81080000 0316030000

A scene from Depart by Circa @ Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. (Opening-16-06-16) ©Tristram Kenton 06/16 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email:


A scene from Minefield by Lola Arias @ Royal Court, Jerwood Theatre, Downstairs. Developed by The Royal Court and LIFT. (Opening-03-06-16) ©Tristram Kenton 06/16 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email:

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Roll on Lift 2018!