Following the coronavirus-induced cancellation of our 2020 festival, we were thrilled to be back sharing exciting and important work by incredible artists from around the world in the city we love to call our home. In the four years since our last festival a lot had changed, and, under the leadership of Artistic Director Kris Nelson, we created a festival that grappled with some of the hot topics concerning people right now, and gave people creative experiences they’d enjoy and remember.
We took for our theme Unexpected Perspectives, endeavouring to bring audiences unusual views, unheard voices and unique experiences. The festival explored sustainability, climate change, identity and belonging, featuring an interactive game in a shopping centre, a miniature festival created by seven young London-based producers, a hybrid performance that moved from a film screening in an auditorium to a nearby garden for stories around a fire, an indoor beach indistinguishable from the real thing apart from the singing… and much much more besides.
We’re so thankful to the incredible artists, the 145 volunteers and all the wonderful presenting partners and venues we collaborated with who made LIFT 2022 possible, and helped us to to bring surprising, memorable performances to 8,200 people across London.
"The festival is pushing traditional boundaries at exactly the time when they need to be challenged."— What’s On Stage
“Utterly magical. Maybe the best theatre I've seen all year.”— Audience member
For the first time, we collaborated with artists to create intimate and safe spaces for, and by, BIPOC people. They supported radical dreaming and deep conversations about activism, identity and the future, connecting people across communities and the diaspora. Collectively Dreamers, Kitchen Conversations and We Should All Be Dreaming were attended by 127 BIPOC people, and were curated by artists Sonya Lindfors and Maryan Abdulkarim from Helsinki, and The Nest Collective from Nairobi.
Diversity, inclusion and access are central to the work we do at LIFT. This year we developed a £5 ticket offer, working with our partners to distribute the tickets to people who experience barriers accessing theatre. Our aim is to grow this programme each year so we can reach more and more people underserved by culture in the capital.
Across the programme we provided safe spaces, relaxed performances, audio description, captioning and BSL so no one needed to feel excluded.
And we created an 18-week programme for a group of young producers to learn the skills and gain hands-on experience producing live events. They transformed the Ditch at Shoreditch Town Hall with Uplifted, an all-day mini-festival that addressed the issues they care about most – identity, culture and young talent – through creative workshops, immersive installation and music.
"One of the oldest, most well-respected, and boundary pushing theatre festivals in the country/western world."— The Nudge
“I loved every moment of it! Thank you for bringing these kind of performances in London. Please keep inspiring us!”— Audience member
Artists and performances
Sun & Sea (UK Premiere), Lina Lapelytė, Vaiva Grainytė and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Curated by Lucia Pietroiusti, 23 June – 10 July 2022
The Feminine and the Foreign (World Premiere), The Nest Collective, 2 July 2022
Գիշեր | gisher (UK Premiere), Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin, 6-8 July 2022
Radio Ghost (World Premiere ), ZU-UK , 2-3 July 2022
The Making of Pinocchio (UK Stage Premiere), Rosana Cade and Ivor MacAskill, 29 June – 2 July 2022
We Should All Be Dreaming (UK Premiere), Sonya Lindfors and Maryan Abdulkarim, 24 – 25 June, 2022
Dreamers, the Conference and Dreamers, 21-24 June 2022
Uplifted, LIFT’s young producers – the UpLIFTers, 24-25 June 2022
Venues and Partners
We Are Lewisham
Battersea Arts Centre
The Mall Wood Green
Black Cultural Archives
Shoreditch Town Hall
Arts council England
National Lottery Heritage Fund
Lithuanian Cultural Institute
Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation
Royal Victoria Hall Foundation
Canada High Commission