Full programme announced for LIFT 2024

Marlene Monteiro Freitas' 'Bacchae: Prelude to a Purge'. Photo by Laurent Philippe.
Marlene Monteiro Freitas' 'Bacchae: Prelude to a Purge'. Photo by Laurent Philippe.

LIFT, the leading London biennial festival of international performance, has announced the full programme for LIFT 2024. The second festival presented by Artistic Director and CEO Kris Nelson.

Featuring 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.

The 2024 programme: 

-Cliff Cardinal’s The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It is a devastating yet laugh-out-loud examination of land acknowledgements as cultural and political practice. (5 – 9 June at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room)

-An evening at the Bat Night Market becomes an exploration of global food shortages and cultural approaches to cuisine from Taiwanese artist Kuang-Yi Ku and UK designer Robert Charles Johnson at the Science Gallery.

-Nadia Beugré’s sensuous exploration of masculinity is presented through dance in L’Homme rare, a UK premiere. (12 – 13 June at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall)

-The halls of justice are brought to Brixton House for The Trials and Passions of Unfamous Women, created by Brazilian artists Janaina Leite and Lara Duarte, and Clean Break. (14 – 22 June)

-Brazilian funk, clown antics, pop and Ravel’s Boléro intermingle in Bacchae: Prelude to a Purge, choreographed by Marlene Monteiro Freitas. (18 – 19 June at Sadler’s Wells Theatre)

-Chiara Bersani’s boundary pushing performance art L’Animale revisits Fokine’s ballet, The Dying Swan, in site-specific performances at the Old Bailey. (22 – 23 June)

-Nassim Soleimanpour and Omar Elerian’s ECHO (Every Cold Hearted Oxygen) is a series of cold reads, where a new unrehearsed actor takes to the Royal Court stage every evening exploring what it feels like to be an immigrant in time. (13 – 27 July)

Democracy From Where I Stand is a night of provocations, poems and performances on and about democracy from leading women across London and the world, co-presented with Financial Times at The Dutch Church. (8 June)

Kris Nelson, Artistic Director and CEO of LIFT, commented, “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.”

He added, “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.”

Nelson concluded, “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.”

LIFT 2024 will take place from 6 June – 27 July. Tickets are now on sale. For bookings and more information, visit www.liftfestival.com.

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