Tickets are now available for LIFT Festival — the international arts extravaganza happening across London in June.
Turning 25 this year, LIFT has a well deserved reputation for bringing in performers from across the world. 14 countries are represented this time, including Germany, Syria, Greece and Lebanon. And 50% of the shows on offer are new commissions from cherry-picked theatre companies.
"We travel around seeing festivals all over the world and often see the same work performed," says artistic director Mark Ball. "What makes LIFT different is that it is representative of the city it's performed in."
Highlights include Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker at the Barbican, a blast of Japanese youth culture orchestrated by pop-idol turned artist Toko Nikaido; in Greenwich there's The Empathy Museum where participants are asked to step into another's shoes to better understand their own relationship to the world; while En Avant Marchè at Sadler's Wells features a full brass band, presided over by a dying trombonist who invites the audience to attend his final rehearsal.
Many pieces try to make sense of an increasingly chaotic world such as Late Night (at Barbican) which laments a crumbling Europe, while You Are Nowhere is a rapid-fire existential meditation blending physics and pop culture to question what it means to be here, now.
LIFT also connects with London in its choice of venues and the community projects that accompany the festival. Pupils from Tottenham primary schools will review each show for their Children's' Choice Awards and a 500-year-old oak tree in Tottenham Park has been transformed into a stage for Calling Tree. Elsewhere, ghost story Depart is set at the suitably spooky Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and Roof-East in Stratford will play host to rising dance stars high above the city skyline in East Wall Warm Up.
Finally, Every Thing By My Side will see rows of double beds popping up in both Canary Wharf and Southbank. Participants can book in for a bedtime story in the middle of the busy city!
Lift Festival runs from 1 June-2 July. Tickets Free-£30