In 2001, LIFT decided to break with its own traditions and move away from the biennial format.

LIFT’01 looked back at a twenty-year history for a one-of-a-kind festival,  presenting 50+ companies from Palestine, the UK, Russia, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Uganda, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, France, India, and the USA.

Following the festival LIFT embarked on a five-year venture: the LIFT enquiry (2001-6), a year-round staging of a playful and practical exploration of theatre that would allow LIFT to grow beyond the biennial format in response to the contemporary social and political context.


Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord

Le Costume (The Suit) at Young Vic


Colin Prescod (programme curator), Mannafest, para active, JazzXchange

Critically Black at Riverside Studios


Bobby Baker

Box Story(an Artsadmin project in association with Warwick Arts Centre) at St. Luke's Church, Holloway


ai-Kasaba Theatre 

Alive from Palestine at Royal Court Theatre


Rustom Bharucha

Between Past and Future, Re-Imagining 'Our Times' in Theatre Today(LIFT Lectures) at Riverside Studios


Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod, Russian ensemble

Boris Godunov at Riverside Studios

Russia, UK

Hannah Hurtzig

Information Retrieval at King's Library, British Museum

Germany, UK, USA

John Fox

Steps in Rehearsing Utopia (LIFT Lectures) at Bargehouse, South Bank


Nigel Jamieson, Paul Grabowsky, I Made Sidia, I Wayan Gde Yudane, Peter Wilson, Julian Crouch

The Theft of Sita (produced by Performing Lines) (LIFT in Conversation) at Riverside Studios

Indonesia, Australia, UK

The Theft of Sita (produced by Performing Lines)(LIFT in Conversation)

The Theft of Sita: Tradition Into Modernity (LIFT in Conversation) at Riverside Studios

Indonesia, Australia, UK

The Wooster Group

To You, The Bridie! (Phèdre) at Riverside Studios


Alan Read

20/20 Vision, Seeing Through Theatre(LIFT Lectures) at Sadler's Wells Theatre


Declan Donnellan, George Ibrahim, Peggy Phelan and Adrian Heathfield, Romeo and Chiara Castellucci, and others

Into the Woods: A conference on the experience of theatre for children

Madalena Victorino, Agnès Desfosses and Shaftesbury Park Primary Schools

Stones in My Boots (Residency) at BAC

Portugal, France

Heiner Goebbels, Sound City Ensemble

No Arrival, No Parking, Navigation Part III (in association with Almeida Opera) at Almeida at King's Cross

Germany, UK

Hittite Empire, Chakra Zulu 

Skeletons of Fish at Riverside Studios


László Hudi – Mozgó Ház Társulás

Tragedy of Man at Riverside Studios


Reich and Szyber

The Night Manager at Sightseeing Boat on the Thames


Royal Court Theatre

New Plays From Uganda Scences from work by Charles Mulekwa, Isaac Muwawu, Phillip Luswata at Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs

Uganda, UK

Zuidelijk Toneel Hollandia

Voices at Riverside Studios


Maurice O’Connell

House of Miracles (Festival Club) at HMS President


Laia Gasch (curator), Duckie, Halloween Society, OMSK, People Show, Shunt, and others

Club programme (The Festival Club) at HMS President

Declan Warner, Phelim McDermot, Rachel Clare, Romeo and Chiara Castellucci, Sita Brahmachari, and others

Into the Woods: A conference on the experience of theatre for children (Conference) at BAC