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ACTS OF HOPE Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

We visited the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival which was buzzing with an impressive mix of street theatre, circus, dance and installations speaking to the theme 'Acts of Hope' against the current backdrop of tough times.

September 2023

The train strikes didn’t stop us travelling to Greenwich for the first day of the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival on Bank Holiday Saturday. Family-friendly street theatre, circus, dance and installations took over the spectacular and historic grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, Cutty Sark Gardens and Greenwich Park.

After a commute along the Thames, first stop was a catch up with Sara and Ralph from Without Walls to hear about artists they had supported and their recommendations. Fashion, dance and lip synching from Ghetto Fabulous was certainly one of the most fun catwalk extravaganza I’ve ever experienced. A quick break for Trigger telling the story of tea and the rituals of tea-making from their hand painted Tuk Tuk. Then on to disabled artist Oliver Macdonald’s exquisite woven willow sculptural installation – part theatre, part sanctuary – where Julie McNamara and friends performed A Woodland Wake for Midsummer. The words, music and scents of herbs under the canopy of trees were so moving.

Caroline Cardus’s celebrated disability protest artwork – together with new signs created especially for the Festival – called to courage, power and hope for disabled people in the UK was also on display in the park. Sadly, as we went for our second helpings of Fussy Foodies with Just More Productions, the storm rolled in and the entertainment was paused. But it made for an atmospheric trip back up the river….

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”

Desmond Tutu

Claire Sawford, Programme Manager