Theatre, dance, and all manner of performing arts are coming to the streets of Greenwich and Tower Hamlets for this year's Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, starting on Friday. The fortnight of free performances is back for its 19th year, with worldwide performers flocking to London to take part.
Greenwich Fair, at the Old Royal Naval College, dominates the first weekend, with European style outdoor street theatre and dance. You'd do well to expect the unexpected; clowns try to stay dry while performing in a pool of water, jaw-dropping acrobatics meet poetry, and one man holds himself afloat with only a slack rope to stand on.
From France comes Kori Kori — a walking promenade performance through the streets of Greenwich combining rock, waltz, tango and classical music. And for budding theatre fans, Severndroog Castle puts on performances of The Secret Princess of Severndroog, an interactive fairy tale for the 21st century where you can help free the royal prisoner from the castle.
Heading north of the river, there are plenty of lunchtime performances in Canary Wharf; see the Maori's Kappa Haka traditional dance, a Parkour inspired dance and physical theatre performance on a bespoke scaffolding structure, or a dance acrobatics performance set in a bar — the sort of thing that we all think we can pull off halfway through a night out.
The festival comes to a close at the Olympic Park with Global Streets, a three-day eruption of colour. Tangle is a chaotic elastic weaving activity which children and their families can get involved with creating — and playing in. Grand finale, The Colour of Time, is inspired by the Indian Holi festival; be led through the park in a parade of dancers and performers towards a climax in which brilliant shades of gulal powder are thrown in the air.