• Greenwich + Docklands Festival

    Strange Fruit + Graeae, Against the Tide | Photo: Doug Southall

    Currently midway through an elements-themed four-year cycle, Greenwich + Docklands specialises in excellently located large-scale spectacles. A lot of these are keyed into the sort of aesthetic you maybe get at a big opening ceremony – wire work, projections, panoramas, historic buildings (the festival regularly accesses the interior square of Greenwich's Old Royal Naval College). It's perhaps not on the mark to call this strand of G+D shallow, but it's robust, broad work made for immense, and sometimes distant, audiences.

    Preceding these larger performances, which are usually scheduled for dusk or just after, the festival days are taken up by smaller work. Over in Greenwich Park and Cutty Sark Gardens, and up at the beautiful Royal Observatory, the programming favours the curious and the site-responsive, low-key pieces that sort of slot in, while in Canary Wharf the one-day mini-festival Dancing City has more volume and bombast.

  • Magazine

    By John Ellingsworth on 28 June 2011 in Features

    'A squally clouded-over day, then, to accompany the revival of Greenwich Fair, a hoary old tradition in Greenwich Park which, until it was banned a century and a half ago, annually saw the erection of open-air markets, lurid theatres, bandstands, fairground rides, penny shies, and insalubrious premises (licensed and unlicensed), to accommodate a sudden competitive influx of entertainers, musicians, hawkers, and exotic beast-tamers—plus of course the roiling crowds of audience/punters/buyers/marks who came to be amused by the dreadful melodramas, fleeced by the mountebanks, and psychically obliterated by liquor.'

    A round-up of the action at Greenwich + Docklands Festival 2011, with work by Acrojou Circus Theatre, Elastic Theatre, Company FZ, and others.

    By John Ellingsworth on 27 June 2010 in Reviews

    Four grey-robed Keepers tend the grounds of St Alfege churchyard and the gateway to the next life. From a list of names of the interred, three are chosen: Levinia Fenton, Gibson Grimly and Jose Manuel Fricachee—unquiet spirits who need to tell their stories in order to move on.

    By John Ellingsworth on 26 June 2009 in Reviews

    In a festival overloaded with interesting collaborations Greenwich+Docklands this year brought together Australian street arts and circus company Strange Fruit, who work atop custom four-metre sway poles, with disabled-led theatre company Graeae.

    By John Ellingsworth on 26 June 2009 in Reviews

    In synopsis Sputnik has a tremendous draw: it’s a collaboration between Sharmanka (he of the theatre of kinetic automata) and Fittings Multimedia Arts (who make ‘new performance and theatre art works addressing serious issues in the language of variety theatre’).