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Lift Festival 2024 shows announced


Lift Festival 2024 shows announced

LIFT, the leading London biennial festival of international performance, this week announced the full programme for LIFT 2024.

The second festival presented by Artistic Director and CEO Kris Nelson features three World Premieres, two UK Premieres and one London premiere, the international festival imports work from Canada, Taiwan, Ivory Coast, France, Italy, Cape Verde, Portugal, Brazil, Iran and Palestine, to connect Londoners with global experiences, uniting audiences and artists alike across borders.

LIFT will be accessible to audiences across the city, from Southbank Centre, to the Old Bailey to Brixton House. All LIFT 2024 shows have an allocation of £5 tickets available for people on low incomes.

Kris Nelson, Artistic Director and CEO of LIFT: 

“LIFT 2024 will take you on journeys that are deep and personal. It’s a festival that will catch your breath, spark your mind and rev your imagination. There’s adrenaline too. It’s international theatre for your gut. In this year’s festival, The Personal is Epic. Personal accounts of justice, exile and protest take on mythic proportions through barrier-breaking storytelling. LIFT artists will show us Play Is Not a Distraction. They’ll reveal hidden depths beneath surface-level fun and humour, whilst offering feasts for the mind and plunging you into sensation.”

The 2024 Line up

The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It – London premiere, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, 5 June – 9 June

The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It by cultural provocateur Cliff Cardinal, is a devastating yet laugh-out-loud examination of land acknowledgements as cultural and political practice. Cultural provocateur Cliff Cardinal revisits Shakespeare’s timeless tale of mistaken identities, gentle ruses and banishment in this show that exults in difficult subject matter.

Democracy From Where I Stand, Presented by LIFT and The Financial Times, The Dutch Church, City of London, 8 June

A night of provocations, poetry, film and performance, asking the question: what does democracy look like from where you stand?  Democracy From Where I Stand promises an evening crackling with discussion and connection. Leading women from around our city and around the world sound out on the state of government, representation, rights and freedom. In a year where 62 countries vote in national elections – 49% of the world’s population – we’re reflecting on what democracy means. No better place to do it than in The City of London – the world’s longest-running municipal democracy.

Bat Night Market – World Premiere, Science Gallery London, 11 June – 15 June

A marketplace for the mind, an experience for the senses. Step outside your comfort zone and into a night market of the future.  Today, in the face of global food shortages, humans need to re-examine our food sources. One option presenting itself as a sustainable and nutritious option is the unassuming bat. These flying mammals  have been a delicacy in some cultures for centuries, but this ancient dish is often viewed with distaste in the Western world.

L’Homme rare UK Premiere, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, 12 June – 13 June

The issue of gender has always featured in the Ivory Coast dancer Nadia Beugré’s work, but in L’Homme rare she tackles it head-on, mischievously questioning the attention paid to bodies and the qualities attributed to their movements. L’Homme rare playfully subverts the history of Europeans’ gaze on Black bodies and its persistence today.

The Trials and Passions of Unfamous Women – World Premiere, Brixton House, 14 June – 22 June

The world premiere of The Trials and Passions of Unfamous Women asks what is justice, and who has the power to decide. This bold and theatrical experience immerses us in the haze between the shared rituals of theatre and the halls of justice.

Bacchae: Prelude to a Purge – UK Premiere, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, 18 June – 19 June

A raucous and absurd carnival processes onstage to the sounds of Brazilian funk, clown antics, pop, and Ravel’s Boléro.

L’Animale – UK Premiere, Old Bailey, City of London, 22 June – 23 June

Set inside the majestic hall of The Old Bailey, Chiara Bersani revisits The Dying Swan (a ballet originally choreographed by Michel Fokine for Anna Pavlova in 1905), with her work, L’Animale.   Motionless, she invites audiences in, to observe and study the animal and enter into its world. To contemplate what it means to be a human and to find peace in a restless world.

ECHO (Every Cold Hearted Oxygen) – World Premiere, The Royal Court Theatre, 13 July – 27 July

Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour and Italian Palestinian director Omar Elerian push the boundaries of his signature unrehearsed cold reads to the next level. The production asks us to confront what it feels like to be an immigrant in time. Fusing technology with the oldest tricks in the book, ECHO is an experiment in concept touring for the age of climate crisis: an ambitious, magical and uncompromising production where no one travels yet everybody can be present.

Kris Nelson, Artistic Director and CEO of LIFT: 

“For this edition, we’ve been focusing on creating opportunities for Londoners to work with international artists in dynamic collaborations – from building shows from the ground up to exploring Concept Touring models between here and abroad. These commissions are surrounded by some truly iconic presentations.

“It’s all in a climate of funding scarcity and aversion to risk. We’ve got faith though, and we couldn’t do it without the fearlessness of these artists, the shared vision of our presenting and commissioning partners and the support of our core funders Arts Council England, City of London Corporation among many others. LIFT 2024 is the result of the care, determination and expertise of a lot of incredible people, and I write this on behalf of our amazing team, crew, trustees and volunteers past and present who’ve made this edition what it is.

“It’s a festival full of divergent perspectives, difference and complex cultural conversations. That’s what LIFT is here to do. We invite you to come together in spaces where theatre will connect you to daring ideas and voices of our times and with each other in a place where you can share, disagree, experience together a festival rich in experiences and ideas.

“We’re making this festival during a complex global moment; amidst a climate crisis, a cost of living crisis and war and turmoil in a number of global regions. LIFT’s aim is and always has been to champion international perspectives, to amplify lesser heard voices, and to be a place that can hold diverse experiences and points of view. That includes internally as a team and organisation, and amongst our audiences, whilst respecting and caring for each other as a priority. In that spirit and taking all those things to heart – we wish you a powerful festival experience full of discovery and dialogue.”

Tickets are on sale now – full details can be found on the LIFT website:

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