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.
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.
Read our reviews of some of the productions here:
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.
Roll on Lift 2018!