LIFT 2012

Shining a light on the stories of the world...

Following a hugely successful 2010 festival, LIFT's independence continued to shine brightly for LIFT 2012, with a host of new commissions and partnerships presenting work from some of the worlds most edgy, provocative and political theatre makers.


Potos from top: Motor Show, STREB: One Extraordinary DayGatz, Minsk: 2011STREB: One Extraordinary Day, Unfinished Dream, 100% London, Ganesh Versus the Third Reich



With London as its stage LIFT 2012 was the largest and most ambitious festival in our history. Over five weeks LIFT presented a festival of daring, witty and dazzling theatre that took place across the city, from the heart of the West End, to a car park in Croydon, to the spokes of the London Eye. With 21 productions from over 15 different countries LIFT 2012 was bigger, bolder, braver and with more surprises than ever before.

With a host of new commissions and partnerships this is a year of firsts: LIFT 2012 took us into the West End for the first time in our history with Elevator Repair Service's extraordinary Gatz, billed the theatrical event of the decade; we established a major partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company's World Shakespeare Festival, co-commissioning three new international productions from dreamthinkspeak, Iraqi Theatre Company and Artistes, Producteurs, Associés that testify to Shakespeare's power as a global property. We were thrilled to be part of the London 2012 Festival with half of our programme included in the festival, a once in a lifetime opportunity for London to present its best to the world as our city welcomed Olympians to the capital. And LIFT's spirit of independence continued to shine brightly, with new commissions and presentations from some of the worlds most edgy, provocative and political theatre makers.

Following on from the work we presented in 2010, LIFT 2012 delved even deeper into the hearts and minds of some of the most pioneering artists from the Middle East and the Arab world, who are responding to the seismic shifts sweeping across their societies. We also ventured into new territories including Iran, Belarus and Brazil.

At the heart of LIFT 2012 was a commitment to participation and involvement, creating new theatrical experiences that place you - the audience - at the centre of things. So whether you were immersed in the strange and seductive theatre world created by dreamthinkspeak, on stage at the Hackney Empire representing 1% of the capital in 100% London, running around a car-park in Croydon in Hamid Pourazari's Unfinished Dream or absorbed by every single, ravishing word of The Great Gatsby, LIFT 2012 was a thrilling theatrical ride.


Presenting theatre in a myriad of forms LIFT demonstrates the immense possibility of theatre and a new truth behind “all the world’s a stage”. It’s a festival one can only see growing and taking over the city of London.
A Younger Theatre

The most extraordinary stage show in London at the moment - or, maybe ever
The Guardian on Gatz

There's a lot to thank LIFT for...