The Greenwich and Docklands International Festival announces 2020 Programme
The Greenwich and Docklands International Festival has announced plans to stage a large-scale event celebrating the NHS and as a memorial to the people who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The free, outdoor festival had already confirmed that its 2020 programme – marking the 25th anniversary of the event – would still go ahead this summer, despite lockdown and social distancing requirements. Installations will ensure that audiences can visit at staggered times with plenty of space for social distancing.
Taking place between 28 August - 12 September, the festival will include a showcase of black-led work, a new poem by Bernadine Evaristo, and a series of pop-up touring shows that will bring street performance to neighbourhoods across the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Luke Jerram's new installation In Memoriam, a temporary memorial to those we have lost during the Covid-19, will also be a tribute to NHS staff and key workers. Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Royal Docks Team will create a new show, 846 Live, in response to the death of George Floyd.
Black Victorians, a dance performance directed by Jeanefer Jean-Charles which explores 19th-century photographs of black men, women and children also features as part of the extensive programme that also includes an outdoor dance programme, a site-specific production of Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills by Flemish theatre company De Roovers, and On Your Doorstep, neighbourhood performances from artists including Told By an Idiot and Christopher Green.
This year’s festival takes place in unprecedented times. The recent hard months have shown in sharp relief our need for equality and community, whilst reminding us of the resilience that comes from looking after each other.
Bradley Hemmings, Artistic Director
All events will have controlled entry and socially distanced audiences of between 50 and 250 people. Audiences will be asked to use hand sanitiser upon entry, exit and at all touch points, and the festival said all artists have reviewed their rehearsal and performance arrangements to comply with current guidance.
Additional access arrangements will be put in place for D/deaf and disabled audiences, with many events also being live streamed.
Artistic director Bradley Hemmings said: "This year’s festival takes place in unprecedented times. The recent hard months have shown in sharp relief our need for equality and community, whilst reminding us of the resilience that comes from looking after each other.
“As a free outdoor festival, GDIF has always tried to play an active role in local civic life, and as we start to reimagine the future, this 25th anniversary festival has been designed with artists, local partners and participants to offer an inclusive moment for reflection, whilst hopefully providing something we all desperately need – a time to celebrate and smile together again."
The Royal Docks Team is a partner supporting this years' Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
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