The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival | Incredible, free outdoor theatre
You should plan a trip down to Greenwich between the 21st of June and the 6th of July.
Because there’s a lot to do in the Mean Time.
Specifically, it’s when the The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival (snappily nicknamed ‘GDIF’) takes place, and it’s basically one of the highest concentrations of theatrical talent in the country. And all of the shows are free.
There are going to be over 130 performances taking place across Greenwich, East London, and The City – and the opening night alone is going to feature a glittering outdoor ballroom overlooked by a vast, elegant, 30 foot chandelier occupied by acrobatic musicians (it’s called Cristal Palace); a team of roaming robotic i-Puppets; a street party with cannons covering everyone in confetti & streamers (Joyous Urban Mess); a show on stilts about female empowerment (Mulïer); and half a dozen other acts.
And that’s – literally – just for starters. Beyond that, you’ll be able to see:
- A huge walk-in rainbow labyrinth made up of 19 interconnected vibrantly colourful domes.
- A “processional science fiction ceremony” in which you and the rest of the audience will receive a humming silver orb that reacts as you bring it closer to its destination, creating a fascinating chorus of sound as everyone moves about.
- A very, very low-tech rollercoaster that never actually moves, but nevertheless takes you on an extraordinary ride.
- Two versions of Moby Dick: one told in theatre, dance, circus and musical form… and the other using martial arts.
- A flashmob-style street party involving a lot of French acrobats.
All that’s a mere taste of what’s on offer. It’s all capped by a glorious closing ceremony involving that gigantic chandelier crawling with acrobats, which will be lit up by a huge fireworks show too.
It’s definitely worth a little time.
NOTE: The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival takes place from 21st June-6th July. All shows are free, but there are a few that require registration. You can find out more, and see a full detailed list of the events at their website right HERE.
Like theatre, but more indoorsey? Then head right this way…