If you haven’t been to Greenwich, it’s about time.
But they do other things too. And one of them is the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival (or ‘GDIF’ to anyone who wants to save precious syllables). It’s basically a big showcase of outdoor theatre and performing arts, and it’s almost all completely free. Plus, it’s a good excuse to visit Greenwich, and check out the Cutty Sark, the Naval College, the Maritime Museum, grab a bite at one of Greenwich’s best restaurants, and sink a pint at one of Greenwich’s best pubs while you’re there.
This year we’re getting a full 17 days of arty action, taking place between 26th August and 11th of September, and the lineup’s looking preeeetty impressive. Among the highlights, you’ll find:
Island of Foam: Version XVIII – German artist Stephanie Lüning will fill Greenwich Peninsula with “mountains of rainbow coloured foam”, which you can then dive into and gleefully mess around with.
CROWD_CTRL – this 4-person, award-winning dance troupe will light up the stage with futuristic Afrobeat moves paired up with LED wall art and some hi-tech “motion graphics”. Which sound cool, whatever they are.
Charon – this 32ft high installation will be covered in posed skeletons, and each night a team of volunteer operations (so, quite possibly you) will bring it to life by turning the giant wheel, moving the skeletons, and creating a slick zoetrope effect, all while “bathed in dramatic light and sound”.
The Relaxerette – aka “the most relaxing fairground ride in the world”, this contraption is made up of hammocks revolving in the sky.
Spark – thousands of what we can only describe as ‘artificial biodegradable fireflies’ will sparkle in the sky over the Queen’s House lawns as a kind of organic firework spectacular.
Unfurl – it’s a giant, inflatable, moving illuminated robot garden. You know.
There’s a bunch of theatre, circus, street performances and dance shows in the works too, including one that aims to “reframe the history of Greenwich’s colonial past” thanks to some “costume, activism and voguing”, and a Royal Ballet performance with wheelchair-bound dancer Joe Powell-Main.
All you need now is enough time to see it all…
NOTE: The GDIF takes place from 26th August – 11th September across the borough of Greenwich. You can find out more, and book tickets at the website right HERE.
While you’re down there… here are a few more of the best things to do in Greenwich
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