LIFT 2010


The LIFT Club
Join artists and LIFT staff, international thinkers and commentators and eat, drink, talk, think and soak up the spirit of LIFT 2010.  You can find us at the ICA, and every Thursday afternoon we hosted debates on the impact and intersection of theatre on climate action (in association with Artsadmin); the Near & Middle East; technology and gaming; and epic and intimate theatre.  Friday and Saturday evenings also saw late night cabaret through to the early hours in the ICA bar.  The cafe and bar were always open Wednesday through Sunday and World Cup matches were screened live so there was no need to miss out on a show or a shandy.
Continuous City
Wherever we are in this networked world, we're also partly somewhere else. See how a travelling businessman used electronic media to keep in touch with his daughter, her nanny and his boss, revealing how the very technologies that are meant to bring us together can, in fact, create greater distances between us.
Food Court
The story of a near death experience in a suburban wonderland.  Witness one woman's humiliation through an unpredictable, brutal and moving performance in a psychological space created through a rollercoaster of images, sound and light.  Back to Back Theatre is driven by an ensemble of artists with intellectual disabilities, who present a unique and startling take on society. In Food Court, Back to Back Theatre incorporated live music by Sydney cult jazz trio, The Necks, to create a part concert, part theatre experience.
Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe
A whimsical and chilling musical fable for adults. Experience a delightfully grotesque musical fable that reinterprets the hauntingly humorous myths of Edgar Allan Poe - an iconic artist who has developed a cult following.  Extravagant costumes set alongside a minimal set transported us to and from Poe’s dream world in a strikingly visual musical typical of the work of Catalyst Theatre.
Life Streaming
The stretch of Riverside Walk at the National Theatre was transformed with a dramatic new work themed around the challenges and complexities of international aid by Dutch artist Dries Verhoeven.  With direct reference to the 2004 tsunami, Dries linked audiences in London live with actors and artists 8000 km away in Sri Lanka through internet chat, video links and emails, raising questions about the real impact of disaster aid.
The Hide&Seek Weekender
A weekend-long celebration of play for grown-ups. The Sandpit was a regular evening of social games and playful experiences. It took place in galleries and railway tunnels, in cinemas and mixed arts venues, in parks and public spaces.  The spaces of The National Theatre were transformed into places of play, primarily for adults. Games were devised with an international twist, with a live link to gamers in Delhi adding a global outlook.The weekend included a plethora of playful experiences from an one-hundred-strong chase across Southbank to an impossibly large game of Pass the Parcel.
We Built This City
Urging children of all ages to let their minds and their creativity run wild, they became architects, city planners and construction workers for the day at the National Theatre's Waterloo Terrace. Using nothing but thousands and thousands of cardboard boxes and the energy and ingenuity of children and their families, this brilliantly playful work celebrated absolute simplicity and the power of imagination.
Revolution Now!
The first steps have been taken. The theatre has been stormed and is now the revolutionaries' HQ. Access to props and therefore weapons, explosives and special effects has been secured. The box office has been occupied. All without far.  The audience were transformed from passive spectators to revolutionaries while Gob Squad revisited revolutions past, thrusting them slap bang in the present. Cameras documented the action by both audience and company and were broadcast onto a screen outside the ICA and reactions of passersby were retransmitted to those inside.
Music for Seven Ice Cream Vans
In the quiet residential streets and housing estates of London, transport yourself to an altogether more magical place. Conjuring up warm, nostalgic memories of summers past, wallow in the gentle sounds of a different kind of symphony. One that is instantly recognisable, one that you might have thought had disappeared. A symphony for Seven Ice Cream Vans.
Not By Bread Alone
Imagine a performance that has been two years in the making, where the actors have first learned to communicate with each other and then with an audience. Explore the world's only Deaf & Blind Theatre Company Sense's thrilling and unique piece of theatre. See stories unfolded through a mixture of storytelling, music and baking. Both highly personal and utterly universal, the theatre fills with heart warming tales and delicious smells.
Best Before
Using 200 game controllers connected to one giant screen in the theatre, audiences created their own unique simulated civilization that only existed for only a brief moment.  It was a reflective piece which provoked audience members to ask themselves honest questions. Each show was different depending on the decisions made by the audience.
Discover first hand what happened to Iraqi civilians as a result of the events that began on that fateful day, March 20, 2003.  In the dramatic and evocative setting of the Old Vic Tunnels audiences were presented with a piece of theatre comprised of first-hand accounts and interviews collected from real Iraqis who had fled chaos and violence for the relative safety of Jordan.  New York Theatre Workshop’s award-winning actor/directors Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, from Tim Robbins Actors’ Gang, visited Jordan to discover for themselves what happened to Iraqi civilians as a result of the events that began on that fateful day which made their production one focused on human detail.
What's it really like being a teenager today?  And how on earth do you become a happy one?  What drives teenagers to profound sadness or extreme violence?  Teen suicide rates have been increasing all over Europe.  What's causing these waves?  Directed by one of Europe's finest directors, Pol Heyvaert of CAMPO Gent, FML casts a spotlight on the lives of 15 Irish teenagers, joined by 2 young performers from London, in this whodunit, or better: who'll do it.  Who is the funniest, most beautiful, most dangerous?  Who will fall by the wayside?  Who won't live to see twenty?  Who needs help?
Hotel Medea
In an all-night performance, the dark revenge myth of Medea comes to life in the evocative location of Trinity Buoy Wharf. Thrust between the cruelty of the night and the sobriety of the day. Choose to stay awake...Insist on life and resist death.  A three part reinterpretation of the Greek story ‘Jason and the Golden Fleece’ took to the waters from North Greenwich pier. It was an all-night performance which kicked off with the story set to Brazilian DJ. Audiences stayed up all through the night for this interactive promenade production.
Gloves On
Staged at the Peacock Gym, world-renowned as the training ground of boxing champions, tonight is your chance to get kitted up and enter the ring for a riveting theatre performance that takes us into the world of boxing and its place in the British psyche.  LIFT also worked with the NEET young people who are part of the Peacock Gym Academy to help with stage management, front of house and also to perform in the show as young boxers.
Home Sweet Home
Become a resident of Canning Town's smallest suburb; a cardboard community of neat streets and magnolia houses just waiting to be turned into homes.  Each audience member selected a plot of land and personalised a home of their choosing to become part of the flat-packed community. Everyone had the potential to become an artist and express themselves through their creations. The final night culminated in a street party for everyone to celebrate their newly formed community.
On a journey of beguiling experiences and treasured moments through Rainham Hall - a lost historical jewel in East London - walk through familiar and unfamiliar locations of the house and grounds and encounter...what? A memory, a feeling, a day-dream, a dance or a wish? Spend a very special hour and let yourself be enchanted with this indulgent exploration of kindness.
Haircuts by Children
Children from Canning Town and Newham are developing their hairdressing skills.  A leap of faith was required for those brave enough to sit in the salon chair. This was not only a performance for the children but for who they will become. Haircuts by Children playfully engaged with the empowerment of children, with trust in the younger generation and with the thrills and chills of vanity. 
LIFT and The Royal Shakespeare Company presented Oxygen, an explosive late night mix of words, music and dance: a raw, visceral take on the Ten Commandments for a dispossessed generation, by one of Russia's leading playwrights and film makers, Ivan Vyrypaev.  In this extraordinary collaboration, featured RSC actors Dharmesh Patel and Sophie Russell, performed with the 2008 World B-Boy champions Top 9, from St Petersburg and DJ Hobot, one of Russia's leading club DJs.  Be prepared for searing and violent text mixed with breathtaking, world class breakdancing and music. 
Hobb Story: Instructions for Arab Love
In the heat of the Arab Spring, this brings together theatre, documentary film, music and sex education for a remarkable frank new work, mixing live performance with the personal video testimonies of young Tunisians, this is a truly authentic reflection on love, relationships, gender and desire within Arab and Muslim communities.  This marked the beginning of LIFT’s four-year interrogation into the Middle East and Near East, which recognizes both the geo-political importance of the region and the groundswell of theatre emerging from its independent producers and companies.
Credits: Story

With thanks to all our supporters - we couldn't have done it without you!

LIFT Partners:

London Thames Gateway Development Cooperation
Arts Council England
Time Out London
Grange Hotels
Lottery Funded
Jewish Care
British Council
EU Culture Programme
Sense for deafblind people

The LIFT Jerwood Lab supported by:

Jerwood Charitable Foundation

Venue Partners:

artsdepot, The Barbican, ICA, National Theatre, The Old Vic, Rainham Hall, Riverside Studios, Southbank Centre, Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Nalaga'at in London. Produced by Anna Silman and Nick Sweeting in collaboration with Improbable.

And with thanks for their generous support:

Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation,
Sobell Foundation, Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, Ministry of Culture Tunisia, Amelia Fawcett CBE, EL AL, London Borough of Havering, London Borough of Newham, Israeli Embassy, Geoffrey Jayson and Judith Katzler, Sir Harry and Lady Solomon, Isaac and Myrna Kaye, Mick Davis, Scotshill Trust, Marina Kleinwort Trust, Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust, Daniel Levy, Pears Foundation, Artsadmin, Coutts Charitable Trust, Julius Silman Charitable Trust, Canada House, Waitrose, Ottolenghi, Sir Trevor and Lady Chinn, Air Tunis and all of the LIFT Board and our other generous supporters.

LIFT supporters:

British Israeli Arts Training Scheme
Australian Council for the Arts
Everyman Palace Theatre
Wellcome Trust
Visit Sri Lanka
Queensland Government Arts
Brisbane City
Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust
University of East London
Arts Victoria

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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