The Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (GDIF from here on in, I think, let's keep the writer's RSI down to a low roar) is one of the premier showcases for outdoor and physical theatre in the world. It regularly premieres big works by some of the most innovative theatre companies around, and all for free.
This year, the Festival features over 150 performances by 30 national and international companies with more than 80,000 people attending the outdoor shows in East and South London. Many of the prime movers behind the festival were the brains behind last year's Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, the intention for the 2013 event is clear: to build upon and expand the amazing feeling of commumity and celebration that the Olympics brought to London.
There's a mindboggling array of things to see and do. The piazzas at Canary Wharf will be transformed into outdoor dance arenas, and Woolwich High Street will be reimagined. With the Paralympic connection, of course there's a strong focus on accessibility, and showing that disability is no barrier to creativity, courage and inspiration.
Shows to watch out for this year include The Limbless Knight, a cautionary tale of the erosion of our human rights staged by Graeae, and One Million, Tangled Feet's daring new production that tackles the problem of youth unemployment in a dazzling spectacle that weaves in, around and above the audience. But there's something for everyone, and no excuse to make the effort to get down to the eastern end of the River Thames and check out the action.
The GDIF runs from this Friday, the 21st, through to the 28th of June. All events are free, although you may need to book ahead for certain events due to limited space. Full details are on the website. Follow the GDIF link below for a video giving a little more background on what you can expect at this year's festival.
(In case you're wondering at the Pier32 connection to all this: we've supplied staff t-shirts and hi-vis vests for the festival -- no small undertaking!)
See you there!
GDIF 2013 VIDEO
GDIF 2013 WEBSITE