As part of the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, organisers promised that alongside the sport would be a ‘once in a lifetime’ celebration of culture. Stretching far beyond the capital, the London 2012 Festival, running until September 9th, showcases events up and down the country. Here Glen Pearce looks at five festival offerings this week from the wealth on offer.
Not one play, but three as Druid present a trilogy of plays by Tom Murphy telling the epic story of Irish emigration, a story of those who went and those left behind. Conversations on a Homecoming, A Whistle in the Dark and Famine can be watched as stand-alone plays or, to get the full impact, as the complete trilogy, even watching all three in one day.
Runs until 30th June
Australian circus company Circa join forces with music group I Fagiolini to celebrate the beauty and grandeur of four English cathedrals. Beautiful music and astonishing acrobatics set against a backdrop of stunning architecture promises to thrill audiences. Circa have received rave reviews across the world for their reinvention of circus, combining traditional circus skills with sound, light and projection.
Runs until 20th July at various cathedrals
First performed as part of the Manchester International Festival in 2011, Punchdrunk’s interactive Doctor Who adventure is now revived in Ipswich. To give much away would spoil the surprise but suffice to say the Doctor needs your help to save the world from an alien threat. Be prepared to run, jump and be scared in a totally immersive world. Just don’t blink
Runs until 8th July
A nine day celebration of young people’s theatre, the International Student Drama festival features the very best of British work alongside productions from across the world. Alongside performances, the festival programme includes workshop from leading professionals from around the world. On offer are 10 international shows, 10 UK shows and over 200 workshops across Sheffield.
Runs until 30th June
Performed in repertory with The Bacchae, Blood Wedding (together with Hedda Gabler) forms part of the Royal And Derngate’s Festival of Chaos. Poetry and music combine in this brand new version of Federico García Lorca’s haunting masterpiece. Penned by the award-winning Tommy Murphy, it sees its World Premiere in Northampton.
Runs until 30 June
Tags: A Whistle in the Dark, Blood Wedding, Circa, Conversations on a Homecoming, Crown Car Park, Druid Murphy, Famine, Federico Garcia Lorca, Hampstead Theatre, How Like An Angel, I Fagiolini, International Student Drama Festival, Ipswich, London 2012 Festival, Northampton, Norwich, Norwich Cathedral, Royal and Derngate Theatre, Sheffield, The Crash Of The Elysium, Tom Murphy