GDIF 2024 | London’s free, annual outdoor performing arts festival 23 August-8 September 2024

Programme

Pram People

Polyglot Theatre (Australia)

A celebration of community, Pram People rolls out the red carpet for every pram, big or small. Pram users will assemble en masse, following curious and wonderful prompts through headphones, secret messages and even other participants. Performers will delight and intrigue, adding to the fun as families weave amongst and around each other.

Pram People will tour to Stratford (25-26 August 2024), Barking & Dagenham (28-29 August 2024) and Hull (31 August – 1 September 2024).

Public Trust

Paul Ramírez Jonas (USA)

How serious are the promises we make to one another, the vows we take, or the pledges made by our civic leaders? Public Trust is an interactive artwork that asks participants to examine the value of their word.

Public Trust will tour to Hounslow (21-22 June 2024), Gloucester (4-6 July 2024), Bradford (25-27 July 2024), Hull (31 August – 1 September 2024) and Luton (14-15 September 2024).

Pan~// Catwalk

Zwermers (The Netherlands)

Two performers, one catwalk and a never-ending row of outfits. Our clothes are an expression of who we are, want to be, and sometimes have to be. Through a fusion of fashion, choreography, live music and theatre, this performance, challenges the urge to label or judge others based on how they appear, revealing instead a mind-opening celebration of fluidity and self-expression.

Pan~// Catwalk will tour to Bradford (26-27 July 2024) and Hull (31 August – 1 September 2024)

Morphosis

La Cie MOSO (France)

Morphosis is an installation at the crossroads between participatory performance and construction. Through the work of local participants, ephemeral structures made of bamboo are built and continually evolve over the duration of the installation. Everyone is invited to contribute to the birth and interact with this living architectural installation and has a role they can play: observer, builder and/or climber.

Morphosis will tour to Stratford (25-26 August 2024) and Barking & Dagenham (30-31 August + 1 September 2024).

Island of Foam

Stephanie Lüning (Germany)

Multi coloured and mesmerising, this sublime and entrancing transformation of public space with mountains of rainbow coloured foam explores the limits of painting as the artist selects and blends colours which take mountainous form and dimensions before the artwork finally disappears.

Island of Foam will tour to Birmingham (26 August 2024) and Liverpool (31 August 2024)

Lampadaphores

Picto Facto (France)

Improbable characters and large inflatable structures light and enlighten, the “Lampadophores” celebrate all expressions of tenderness and connectedness with pirouettes and dances down your local street. Their pictographic language features bright colours and abstract geometric shapes that conjure up a joyful and poetic realm of fantasy to which all audiences can relate.

Lampadaphores will tour to Doncaster (27 September 2024) and Barking & Dagenham (1-3 November 2024).

Blanko

JOHNMan (Germany)

Imagine a totally white living statue. And, next to it, a pot with brushes and paints that invite you to express your creativity. Blanko is exactly this: an explosion of colours where you are the main artist. After the first hesitant brushstrokes, the character accumulates layers, ideas and messages and then the act becomes a true modern art ‘happening’.

Blanko will tour to Birmingham (25-26 August 2024).

Rise!

Compagnie L'Homme Debout (France)

This spectacular promenade performance features three giant wicker puppets and a cast of local people who together tell a story celebrating history, place and the passing on of knowledge across the generations.

Rise! has toured to Doncaster, Hull, Luton and Woolwich.

Steli

Stalker Teatro (Italy)

In these performances from Italian company Teatro Stalker, everyone is invited to play their part in creating a huge structure from wooden rainbow coloured sticks. Once the hard work is done, you can explore your creation by walking under, around and through it! A bridge between contemporary art and performance, Steli is a stunning, interactive and colourful event for the whole family.

Steli has toured to Deptford, Thamesmead and Greenwich Fair.

The Colour of Light

Compagnie Off (France)

The Colour of Light sees enormous colour-wheels rolling through the streets gathering and welcoming everyone on the way. The Colour of Light is a promenade performance that celebrates inclusion and open-heartedness and is set in an epic soundtrack by composer Shri Sriram.

The Colour of Light has toured to Doncaster, Woolwich and Luton.

 

The Clash of Drums

Les Commandos Percu (France) & Deabru Beltzak (Basque Country, Spain)

The Clash of Drums (Le Choc des Tambours / Danbor Talka) is a spectacular fusion of percussion and awesome fireworks. Seemingly out of nowhere, drummers march towards each other in a parade winding its way through the audience. The two teams of drummers, twelve in total, play off against each other in a series of percussive ‘battles’ before joining together in a theatrically staged fusion of sound and pyrotechnics.

The Clash of Drums has toured to Doncaster, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Birmingham and Woolwich.

The Invasion

LJUD (Slovenia)

Featuring an interplanetary expedition of immigrants from outer space, the different alien species of The Invasion have one thing in common – they’re bright pink! This interactive performance is all about difference, inclusion and exclusion, as these newcomers attempt to understand and find their place in our world.

The Invasion has toured to Birmingham, Hounslow and Leicester.

Lost Castles

Olivier Grossetête (France)

French artist Olivier Grossetête works with local communities to build beautiful large-scale monuments and buildings using nothing but human power and many cardboard boxes. Designed to be temporary, the structures are then destroyed by those who make them, in a similarly collective celebration.

In Liverpool Olivier worked with six city communities to recreate Lost Castles from across the city region in the exact places they once stood, giving these communities the chance to think about the massive changes that Liverpool has seen throughout its history.

GDIF 2014-Arka_Teatr-Osmego-Dnia. Performers wheel devicees with flaming window flames attached, lighting up the sky and watched by a crowd.

Arka

Teatr Ósmego Dnia (Poland)

This Polish theatre spectacular recalls all the refugees and displaced people who travel across continents and warm their souls with memories of home. With a stunning staging including flame-lit structures that move through the audience, as well as a giant winged ship, this production packs an emotional punch in delivering a universal story.

Arka has toured to Hounslow and Doncaster.

Cardboardia

Cardboardia (Russia)

Cardboardia is an independent community of artist performers, event managers and experts from Russia as well as other countries. Together, they invite everybody to explore a realm of creativity, invention and play where cardboard is king. Led by Russian artist, Tyran of Cardboardia, participatory workshops prepare the ground for a final, participatory performance, including everything from a cardboard orchestra to a cardboard parade.

Cardboardia has toured to Barking & Dagenham and Slough.

Chinese Arch

Olivier Grossetête (France)

French artist Olivier Grossetête works with local communities to build beautiful large-scale monuments and buildings using nothing but human power and many cardboard boxes. Designed to be temporary, the structures are then destroyed by those who make them, in a similarly collective celebration.

In Birmingham Olivier worked with local communities to build a Chinese Arch for the city’s Chinatown.

2 B Seen

Osadia (Catalonia, Spain)

Bringing the salon out onto the high street, Osadia create original and provocative exhibitions of sophisticated make-up and hair art set to fantastic music mixes.

Osadia has toured to Barking & Dagenham, Leicester and Luton.

The Audience Orchestra

Lieux Publics (France)

The Audience Orchestra or Symphony on the Streets (Concert de Publics) created by composer Pierre Sauvageot, lets spectators discover the meaning of the word “concert” by acting together for a common goal. The audience participates in a musical game, becoming part of the orchestra and interacting with the conductor to share the pleasure of becoming immersed in live music.

The Audience Orchestra has toured to Barking and Dagenham, Birmingham, and Hounslow.

Peregrinus

Teatr KTO (Poland)

Peregrinus is an emotionally compelling performance inspired by TS Eliot’s The Hollow Men. It tells a familiar 21st-century story, with a cast of nine performers wearing striking masks as they embark on a comic and moving promenade journey through an ordinary working day.

Peregrinus has toured to Hounslow and Greenwich.

Joyous Urban Mess

Les Vernisseurs (France)

Joyous Urban Mess brings surprise and delight to high streets, as these spaces are reinvented as playgrounds for 5 ‘workers’ who end up showering themselves and audience in confetti, ribbons and streamers.

Joyous Urban Mess  has toured toBarking & Dagenham, Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, HullandSlough. 

Monster Colours

Tombs Creatius (Catalonia, Spain)

Monster Colours (Colors de Monstre) is an array of interactive games to test audiences’ puzzle-solving, cup-stacking and co-ordination abilities, these beautifully designed and handmade wooden games can be played by all ages and skill levels. Audiences can challenge themselves and each other in fascinating games of strategy, accuracy of aim, and problem solving.

Monster Colours has toured to Birmingham, Barking & Dagenham, Hull and Leicester.

The Colour of Time

Compagnie Artonik (France)

The Colour of Time is a beautifully conceived promenade dance performance with choreography which evolved from the observation of everyday urban experience through ritual movement to a climactic joyous celebration inspired by the Indian festival of Holi.

The Colour of Time has toured to Doncaster, Hounslow, Luton, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Barking and Dagenham.

Tangle

Polyglot (Australia)

Tangle is an unfolding interactive installation, in which children and their families are provided with balls of brightly coloured elastic, which they use to create an expanding and anarchic architectural structure, accompanied by music.

Tangle has toured to Woolwich, Hull, Birmingham and Leicester.

Cristal Palace | Transe Express | Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

Cristal Palace

Compagnie Transe Express (France)

Fusing dance, music, acrobatics and spectacle to create a high-flying, immersive production, this new show from Transe Express transforms public space into a glittering outdoor ballroom, the company’s dancers and acrobats joined by a cast of local people to celebrate dance in all its forms beneath a giant overhead chandelier,

Cristal Palace has toured to Woolwich.

L'Atelier and Friends of Crusoe

Toc de Fusta (Catalonia, Spain)

Suitable for children and adults alike, this Catalan company invites participants to explore and play with a set of intriguing, mechanical puzzles, each beautifully handcrafted from wood. The presentation includes L’Atelier, a new installation based on the ‘workshop’ in which the company’s games are conceived and made.

L’Atelier and Friends of Crusoe have toured to Barking & Dagenham.

i-Puppets | Close-Act Part of Greenwich Fair

i-Puppets

Close-Act Theatre (The Netherlands)

A trio of unusual optical creatures look down from above, curious to find out more about the city in which they find themselves. This intriguing interactive walkabout show encourages audiences to reflect on how we see the world from different perspectives.

i-Puppets has toured to Birmingham.

Dance Me

Theater Ultima Thule (Belgium)

The public is the key to the animation of this giant puppet – in fact, he only exists thanks to the public taking the reins. Standing tall above mere humans, the audience becomes the puppeteer, manipulating him into moving and dancing to a joyful soundtrack.

Dance Me has toured to Barking & Dagenham and Luton.

The Senses

A3 Teatr (Poland)

Surreal and absurd, A3 Teatr’s The Senses interact with whatever and whomever they meet, their family-friendly performance including song, dance and cabaret.

The Senses has toured to Leicester.

Bivouac

Générik Vapeur (France)

Joined by a cast of local people, this processional show features a cast of blue men and women bursting onto the streets in a wave of smoke, sound and mayhem, transporting the city into a punk-infused daydream.

Bivouac has toured to Hull.

Old Homestead

Teatr Wagabunda (Poland)

An old Polish homestead lands on the high street, inviting passers-by to participate in games inspired by past times, from shooting with a catapult and fighting with bags to playing music with saws and exercising in a wooden gym.

Old Homestead has toured to Hounslow.

Big Dancers

El Carromato (Spain)

Six giant illuminated marionette puppets take over the streets, interacting with the entire audience at night. With synchronised lighting and a high-energy soundtrack, this is a bold, fun show for an Instagram generation.

Big Dancers has toured to Hounslow and Barking & Dagenham.

Global Rainbow, Yvette Mattern. Global Streets 2021. A laser rainbow shines out over an illuminated nighttime cityscape.

Global Rainbow

Yvette Mattern (USA)

Described by US-based artist Yvette Mattern as ‘a visual translation of hope and peace’, Global Rainbow has been presented around the world since 2009, its seven rainbow laser beams having taken on a new significance since 2020 with symbolic links to the NHS and the UK’s outpouring of gratitude to and support of key workers.

Global Rainbow has toured to Birmingham, Barking & Dagenham, Doncaster and Leicester.

Freedom Festival, The Vigil Joanne Leighton, WLDN, Global Streets 2021. A man peers out over the city of Hull from The Vigil, a structure with a large window that sits atop a tall city building.

The Hull Vigil

Joanne Leighton, WLDN (Australia/Belgium)

The Vigil is a thought-provoking, large-scale monumental work by Australian-Belgian choreographer Joanne Leighton from Paris-based WLDN.  Every day for a year, at sunrise and sunset, a vigil keeps watch over a city from a bespoke structure located on the top of the tall building. Over the course of the year, 730 people contribute to a collective act, a 365-day silent and peaceful performance that watches over a city and tells its story. 

The Vigil has toured to Hull. 

Light Art Collective, Light a Wish, OGE Group. Global Streets 2020-2021, Liverpool, Festival.org. Two illuminated dandelion heads suspended over a river at night.

Light A Wish

OGE Group (Israel)

Inspired by the moment in which we make a wish and watch the seeds disperse, the artists behind Light A Wish have created a visual representation of collective dreams, desires, and good intentions. 

Light A Wish has toured to Liverpool.

Neighborhood, Sergey Kim, Light Art Collective. Global Streets 2020, Liverpool. An illuminated laundry line hangs in front of a building, lighting up the river below.

Neighborhood

Sergey Kim (USA)

Neighborhood shows glowing white garments such as Turkish pants, a traditional Jewish dress, and a Moroccan djellaba: together these pieces represent the cultural and ethnic mix of residents in the city. Artist Sergey Kim hopes to send a positive message into the world by using something as  universal as drying laundry to represent people coexisting harmoniously.

Neighborhood has toured to Liverpool.

DanAcher_WeAreWatching_Greenwich_GDIF_2021. A flag with a giant eye prinetd on flying against a blue sky.

We Are Watching

Dan Acher (Switzerland)

Offering a timely commentary on the climate crisis, We Are Watching is a striking image of a giant eye flown on a monumental flag, created from digital portraits contributed by people living in 190 countries across the globe. This 10-storey high flag is designed to send a clear message to world leaders with the power to affect decisions about climate change: that the eyes of the world are upon them.

We Are Watching has toured to GreenwichHounslow and Doncaster.

Borealis, Dan Acher, GDIF 2021, Greenwich. COlourful lights fill the sky.

Borealis

Dan Acher (Switzerland)

Borealis is a spectacular installation that recreates in light and sound the experience of the Northern Lights, a mesmerising ‘must see’ moment of awe and wonder.

Borealis has toured to Greenwich and Woolwich.

Globoscope Collectif Coin, Global Streets 2021. Small balls of light lie in a pattern on the ground outside.

Globoscope

Collectif Coin (France)

Globoscope is an immersive installation made up of 200 luminous spheres that transform each venue into a multi-sensory, changing terrain, inviting audiences to take a surrealist stroll through its illuminated fields. 

Globoscope has toured to Gloucester, Hounslow and Woolwich.

Light Piano_Kleurbleur

Light Piano 2.0 XL

Kleurbleur (The Netherlands)

Created by Dutch artist collective Kleurbleur, Light Piano 2.0 XL is both a work of art and an instrument. The cubes in this spatial installation are connecting to the keys of a piano, allowing participants to not only play the piano but also to play the light. The resulting experience resonates with the ears, the eyes and the heart. 

Light Piano 2.0 XL has toured to Liverpool.

Dundu, Global Streets, 2021

Sharing The Light

Dundu (Germany)

Sharing The Light  is a promenade-based project from German puppetry specialists DUNDU. Alongside community visits, workshops and collaborations with local music and dance groups, DUNDU invite residents and passers-by to join in their  Sharing The Light  parade performance, celebrating the communities and the places they visit. An Autumn 2022 tour featured collaborations with local South Asian singers and dancers in celebration of Diwali. 

Sharing The Light has toured to Barking and Dagenham, Luton, Birmingham, Nuneaton, Doncaster and Lewisham. 

Deblozay

Rara Woulib (France)

Deblozay (meaning ‘chaos’ in Haitian Creole) is a night-time trip through the memory of a town and its inhabitants where theatre, image and soundscapes come together in stunning fashion. Working with community groups, residents and local artists, Rara Woulib create bespoke and spectacular, mass participation events that unearth and celebrate the ‘lost memories’ of a place and its communities, exploring its nooks and crannies, and changing the perceptions of even those who know it well.  

Deblozay has toured to Hull and Hounslow. 

RedBall Project

Kurt Perschke (USA)

This travelling public art piece by American artist Kurt Perschke appears in different areas around the city, everywhere from tourist hotspots to more local, undiscovered neighbourhoods. In each location RedBall Project offers audiences moments of joy, encouraging them to think differently about their surroundings, viewing with fresh eyes the places they may walk past or through every day. In Liverpool, a number of engagement projects in and around Everton Park and Toxteth linked to presentations of RedBall Project in these neighbourhoods.

RedBall Project has toured to Liverpool.

Discover Ukraine: Bits Destroyed

Tais Poda, Rock ‘n’ Light Studio, Ptakh Jung & Ukrainian Institute (Ukraine)

Responding to the devastating attack on Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage, Kyiv-based photographer Yevgen Nikiforov and a Ukrainian creative team have designed this dazzling digital artwork. Originally created as a celebration of the deeply-rooted Ukrainian tradition of publicly-sited mosaics, artists have reimagined this earlier work, with support from the Ukrainian Institute, to create a spectacular audio-visual event. Many mosaics in Ukraine have been destroyed since the Russian invasion and this poignant event is an important way of ensuring that Ukraine’s cultural legacy is remembered, supported and celebrated.

Discover Ukraine: Bits Destroyed has toured to Greenwich.

Relaxerette

Arjan Kruidhof (The Netherlands)

Relaxerette invites audiences to escape the rush of everyday life with the most relaxing fairground ride in the world. Laying back in a hammock, participants put on headphones and listen to soothing words and stories as they gently revolve on a journey into the sky. This reflective and relaxing ride with a difference invites audiences to enjoy new and surprising perspectives inspired by local stories, poetry and sounds from the city around them. And once back on solid ground, everybody is encouraged to share their experiences with others.

Relaxerette has toured to Birmingham and Hull.

Follow Me

Be Flat (Belgium)

This Flemish circus duo lead local residents on surprising and interactive journeys through the places in which they live, using the natural architecture of housing estates to create bespoke performances that draw on circus skills and parkour, and feature gentle participation opportunities en route.

Follow Me has toured to Thamesmead and Slough.

Mirage (A Day of Celebration)

Compagnie Dyptik (France)

Enriched by the experience of performing in refugee camps all over the world, Compagnie Dyptik have created Mirage with the aim of questioning the limits of a crisis situation, the breaking point that opens the field to a powerful and offbeat creative impulse. Building bridges and tunnels that link the colours, rhythms and emotions in the popular, traditional, oral, and contemporary musical cultures they have encountered around the world, Compagnie Dyptik has created a stunning and urgent dance performance.

Mirage has toured to Hull.

C’est pas là, c’est par là

Compagnie Galmae (South Korea/France)

This participatory installation from South Korean artist Juhyung Lee explores how people move differently when alone to when they are in a crowd. Inspired by the artist’s experiences of a street protest in Seoul in 2015, Lee works with local people to build a tangled web of string over the course of a day. As night falls, an audience is invited to work together to unravel it, culminating in a moment of shared ritual at its close.

C’est pas là, c’est par là has toured to Hounslow

Light Games

Groupe LAPS (France)

Developed during Covid-19 by the French company Groupe LAPS, these playful, interactive sound and light installations bring to life popular and universal games for children of all ages, with a particular appeal to family groups. Each game can be operated by foot pedals, ensuring they are Covid-safe, and the large-scale formats draw in audiences from far and wide.

Light Games has toured to Gloucester, Hull and Barking & Dagenham.

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