SPILL Festival of Performance is back with a dynamic programme of events. Continuing the momentum of 2009’s extensive line-up, this biennial festival of experimental theatre and live art is recognised as one of the most highly anticipated artist-led events on the international performance calendar.

Initiated in 2007 by UK based artist/performer Robert Pacitti, SPILL features world premieres and commissions, showcasing a combination of established and emerging artists during the festival’s week-long run. This year’s festival has been curated by Pacitti around notions of ‘infection’. Here are his Five reasons to see the festival:


1. See a unique Tarot exhibition and learn how to make your own reading

Pacitti Company has commissioned an extensive collaboration between photographer Manuel Vason, designer Justin Weyers and 22 maverick artists, re-staging images from the tarot. A free exhibit, it features international artists and performers such as Ron Athey, Oreet Ashery, Rajni Shah and Harminder Judge, amongst many more.

2. Find out who Uma is and wish her happy birthday!

Uma Bunnag Blacker, a seasoned dance and theatre commentator turns 16 this April. Her daily talks are at the centre of SPILL's Think Tank - a lively programme of discussion and debate. Come and hear her in conversation with SPILL thinker in residence Oreet Ashery and wish her happy birthday!

3. Enjoy a free party in the Barbican’s public spaces

We've got cool sounds and subversive cabaret until 1am on Good Friday, what a way to start a bank holiday weekend!

4. Discover 12 of the most exciting emerging artists for free

The SPILL National Platform at the National Theatre Studio showcases artists who have been sharing their performance work for a maximum of three years. From well over 200 applications we have chosen 12 to showcase their work.

5. Meeting performance giants of today and those of tomorrow

Italy’s Romeo Castellucci presents the UK premiere of On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God with his company Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio at the Barbican whilst award-winning artist Harminder Judge conjours up dark forces in brand new SPILL commission Do What Thou Wilt in the Pit.


SPILL Festival takes place at the Barbican and the National Theatre Studio from 18 to 24 April. Full listings and booking information are available at www.spillfestival.com