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Greenwich + Docklands International Festival unveils initial line-up

The festival opens on 27 August

Novatech's Borealis
© David Solm

The Greenwich + Docklands International Festival has announced its initial line-up for 2021.

Opening in August, the festival will feature a variety of outdoor attractions across Royal Greenwich, the City of London, Canary Wharf, Thamesmead and the Royal Docks.

Artistic director of Actors Touring Company Matthew Xia will direct a work-in-progress staging of Family Tree by Mojisola Adebayo, a new play inspired by the life of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman who had her cells harvested without her consent after she died. It is presented outdoors by ATC, the Young Vic, and FESTIVAL.ORG.

Swiss artist Dan Acher will return to the festival and create Borealis, a light festival across Greenwich. Other highlights include Jeanefer Jean-Charles' Black Victorians, now presented as a full-scale dance piece, while Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills, an immersive site-specific piece' will explore a hidden Thamesmead space for the first time in over a century. De Roovers will present a piece based on Dennis Potter's TV work, while Antwerp-based theatre company Laika will combine live music and theatre to create immersive piece Balsam.

The Greenwich Fair will return for 29 August in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College and Cutty Sark Gardens, while two day physical festival Dancing City will return to Canary Wharf from 4 to 5 September. Choreography, music, and costume design will also be celebrated at the Peninsula.

Fevered Sleep's promenade production The Sky is Filled with Thunder will take over the Royal Docks from 8 to 10 September, and Requardt and Rosenberg's sci fi dance show Future Cargo will also land in the same space.

Closing the festival on 10 and 11 September is Healing Together, a festival uniting boroughs in the east of London with installations, street arts, theatre, circus and spectacle.

Bradley Hemmings, Artistic Director of GDIF, said today: "Last year GDIF became the first major live festival in the country to take place since lockdown, and this year we've set out to build on this with productions offering audiences an experience, which will be every bit as rich and diverse as anything they might traditionally expect in theatres or cultural buildings. Over the last year outdoor theatre makers have proved themselves to be resourceful and resilient in the face of unprecedented challenges and this year's festival will demonstrate the extraordinary quality and originality of their work."

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