Theatre News

LIFT festival reveals 2024 programme, including three world premiere productions

Works from Canada, Taiwan, Ivory Coast, France, Italy, Cape Verde, Portugal, Brazil, Iran and Palestine are represented at this year’s event

Kris Nelson
Kris Nelson, © Tyler Kelly

Artistic director and CEO of LIFT, London’s biennial festival of international performance, Kris Nelson has announced details for the forthcoming 2024 programme.

The festival is set to include three world premieres, three UK premieres and one London premiere during its run from 5 June until 27 July at various locations across the capital.

The London premiere of The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It by Cliff Cardinal will be staged at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room from 5 to 9 June. Reimagining Shakespeare’s classic comedy, the piece explores land acknowledgements as cultural and political practice.

On 8 June at The Dutch Church, Democracy From Where I Stand promises an evening of provocations, poetry, film and performance, presented by LIFT and the Financial Times.

From 11 to 15 June, the world premiere of Bat Night Market will run at the Science Gallery London. A collaboration between Taiwanese artist Kuang-Yi Ku and UK designer Robert Charles Johnson, this fictitious market depicts a world where bats have become extinct and is filled with performances, discussions, games, tastings and sensory experiences.

The UK premiere of L’Homme Rare will be staged on 12 and 13 June at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Choreographer Nadia Beugré’s piece subverts the history of Europeans’ gaze on Black bodies and features Nadim Bahsoun (Lebanon), Daouda Keita (Mali), Marius Moguiba (Ivory Coast), Lucas Nicot (France) and Eric Nebié (Burkina Faso).

A world premiere collaboration between Janaina Leite and Clean Break, The Trials and Passions of Unfamous Women is billed as a theatrical experience that asks “what is justice, and who has the power to decide”, exploring the injustices suffered by women throughout history. It will run at Brixton House from 14 to 22 June, with a press night on 17 June.

On 18 and 19 June, the UK premiere of Bacchae: Prelude to a Purge will be staged at Sadler’s Wells. Choreographer and performance artist  Marlene Monteiro Freitas’ production examines the careful order and wild chaos of Euripides and the depths of the human psyche.

The UK premiere of L’Animale follows on 22 and 23 June at the Old Bailey. Created and performed by Chiara Bersani, the piece is an interpretation of the 1905 ballet, The Dying Swan.

Finally, LIFT presents the world premiere of ECHO (Every Cold-Hearted Oxygen) as a part of the Royal Court Theatre’s new season. Running from 13 to 27 July with a press night on 17 July, Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour (White Rabbit Red Rabbit, NASSIM) and Italian Palestinian director Omar Elerian’s (NASSIM, Misty, two Palestinians go dogging) production will see a new, unrehearsed and unprepared performer take to the stage at each show. They will simply be led by a script that asks us to confront what it feels like to be an immigrant in time. 

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