Presented By Legs On The Wall


24 - 25 August | University of East London's Docklands Campus, Newham, E16 2RD

Duration: 8 hours (durational)

1 woman fighting for survival. 1 enormous block of ice suspended over London. 8 jaw-dropping hours.

Created by world-renowned Australian physical theatre company Legs On The Wall in response to the devastating bushfires of 2019/20, THAW brings Londoners face to face with the urgent need for global climate action.

This colossal aerial production performed on a 2.5 tonne block ice gathers intensifying power and urgency as the ice, suspended on a crane high above an iconic docklands landscape, gradually melts away.


Legs On The Wall’s Environmental Intent

Caring for the environment has emerged as a major theme in Legs’ current repertoire. Joshua Thomson created THAW in response to the devastation of the 2019-20 bushfires which wiped out over 24 million hectares of bush habitat and affected so many communities around Australia.

We see it as natural to call attention to our treatment of the earth at this critical juncture. As a company that has never shied away from stories that matter, we can also trace our history of creativity alongside the era of increasing environmental consciousness. It’s a matter of ethics, empathy and survival that we get the balance right in our time.

Legs On The Wall’s Sustainability Practices

Legs on the Wall’s headquarters and venues operate on carbon neutral power, with the Red Box drawing from solar power generated on site.

Their productions substantially source materials for costume and set components through upcycling and ethically sourced materials, and we employ emissions reduction strategies as part of our tour planning.

We seek partnerships with festivals, presenters and organisations who are also looking to make a difference.

Legs continue to review and refresh our practices towards the aligned goals of carbon neutrality and other sustainable arts practices.

Inspiring Change

Through THAW, both Legs On The Wall and Greenwich+Docklands International Festival seek to add our voice to ever more urgent calls for global action to combat climate change.

In classic Legs style, we seek to share our message with artistry and positivity. Through our storytelling, and by taking steps to embed sustainability in our practices, we hope to inspire action in others. Sharing information we’ve encountered while researching for our performances and making changes in how we work is another part of realising this goal, and a selection of resources is available below.

GDIF’s Environmental intent

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival employs sustainable practices festival-wide. As a free arts event and non-profit charity, we acknowledge the complex connections between the changes in the world’s climate and the subsequent environmental and social challenges that many people across the world are facing. We recognise our responsibility in reducing our carbon and environmental footprints, in line with scientific evidence and sector guidance, in order to play a full role in tackling these challenges.

We aim to use policies and procedures that will ensure the conservation of natural resources while minimising any adverse environmental impact from our operations and ultimately reduce our C02 emissions.

You can read GDIF’s full statement of environmental intent here.

Sustainable Presentations of THAW in Europe

To make European premiers of THAW more sustainable Greenwich+Docklands International Festival have partnered with Zomer van Antwerpen in Antwerp to create a model of touring which reduces emissions and the carbon footprint of presentations of THAW, consolidating travel, shipping and the freeze process.

GDIF are working closely with UEL’s Sustainability Centre to reach out to local environmental organisations, some of which will have presence on site during the performances.

A power management plan is in place at GDIF to ensure the power requirements for the site have been carefully considered and an appropriately sized power source is utilised throughout the site. When not in use, generators are turned off and back-up power supplies only utilised when the primary power source is un-useable.

Rehearsals for THAW are done with decking, to allow one 20ft shipping container, rather than larger freighting to transport the ice forms. The ice forms will be travelling by sea and by road.

All food & drink offerings at GDIF adhere to sustainability and accessibility guidelines, and we only contract traders with vegetarian / vegan offerings, working together with them to forecast audience numbers and reduce food waste.

As with all GDIF shows, we encourage audiences to walk, cycle or take public transport to our events, ensuing that there is a blue badge offering or drop off point close to site.

Environmental data, including waste, energy and water usage are reported on for each GDIF event using Julie’s Bicycle CC Tools. This helps us build a picture of our CO2 emissions year on year and helps us to set targets and find new ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

About Legs on the Wall 

In 1984 a small collective of Sydney street performers took on the name of a warm up exercise and created a new physical theatre company. From these origins on Gadigal Country (the traditional name of Central/Eastern Sydney), Legs On The Wall has grown to become the internationally-renowned powerhouse it is today, with a reputation built on sharing vital contemporary stories through spectacularly daring public art. Legs’ performances incorporate the lyricism of dance and the enchantment of circus with the expressive heft of the theatre. Routinely reimagining what’s possible in the conventional auditorium, Legs’ works break through the walls of cultural institutions and language barriers, bringing excitement, wonder, humour and gravitas to public spaces. A values-led approach to creative storytelling can be traced across Legs’ four-decade history, and THAW – an urgent call to act on climate change together – is the company’s current flagship work in this tradition. As leaders in aerial performance and physical theatre practice, Legs On The Wall continue to kick against gravity, connecting with audiences from all walks of life with thought-provoking and adrenaline-inducing works built with ingenuity, bravado, and integrity.
Legs On The Wall’s presentation of THAW has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.

Legs On The Wall are supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW


Access provision for this event will be announced later this year.


THAW is supported by Arts Council England, The London Borough of Newham and  University of East London. Legs On The Wall’s presentation of THAW has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body. Legs On The Wall are supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW

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