A look at LIFT 2022 with Kris Nelson

Discover the LIFT 2022 programme with LIFT's Artisitc Director and CEO Kris Nelson. 

“We’re so thrilled to be bringing LIFT 2022 to life. London, it’s been too long.

Taking ‘Unexpected Perspectives’ as our theme, LIFT 2022 asks you to physically shift how you take in the world and experience performance – whether that’s from a birds’ eye view, around a campfire, or a game played in a shopping centre. In this year’s line-up you’ll meet artists from Nairobi to Vilnius, Milano to Helsinki and from right here in London. They are playing with scale – from a maximalist slice of life featuring hundreds of performers (and several tons of sand), to very intimate and personal experiences. They’re proposing theatrical and performative ways for us to interact and engage with the world’s pressing issues and urgent stories.

We’re installing a beach in the Albany as we welcome the world-renowned and absolutely sensational Lithuanian beach opera Sun & Sea. At this landmark presentation you’ll watch from above as performers sing from beach towels or play badminton matches. Sun & Sea places the threat of climate change amidst a lazy beach idyll, a contrast that makes for an unforgettably wry and poignant experience. Don’t miss it.

After you’ve immersed yourself in Sun & Sea, explore further afield in Deptford where we’re hosting an unusual event where films, DJs and a community party become a kind of performance aesthetic all unto itself. You’ll have a rare chance to dive into the world of Kenyan multidisciplinary artists the Nest Collective. Highly versatile, their artmaking encompasses empathetic and evocative films, provocative visual art exhibitions, and hosting must-attend parties. For LIFT 2022, the Nest will take up residency in Lewisham where they’ll bring us into their world. They’ll premiere The Feminine and the Foreign, their docu-portrait film of 18 activists across London and Cape Town, which together form intimate conversations on migrant, queer and Black experiences. And they’ll be hosting a Nairobi-meets-South London day party, joined by DJs from Deptford’s AJAA radio in an incredible garden setting.

In three shopping centres scattered across London, interactive theatre maestros ZU-UK will refresh your experience of the everyday. They’re inviting you on a ghost hunt where you seek out spirits found in everyday products, and the hidden stories of how products make it into our hands are revealed while you play.

On a more intimate scale, Italian-Armenian artist Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin will draw you close, submerging you in personal and political visuals and voices. For the UK premiere of Գիշեր -gisher, they will collaborate with eight London-based artists, including choreographic trailblazer Jamila Johnson-Small. Calling on their shared South West Asian and North African (SWANA) heritage, Nardin assembles a collage of reflections on geography, the body, heritage and conflict in this performance that begins in a Sadler’s Wells auditorium and ends in a gathering around a fire.

Glasgow couple and artist duo Rosana Cade and Ivor MacAskill offer a different kind of intimacy, an autobiographical meta-theatre that’s full of tenderness and surprises. Surrounded by puppets and cameras in the Grand Hall at BAC, the artists attempt to recreate Pinocchio amidst Ivor’s gender transition. The result is The Making of Pinocchio, a cheeky, tender and sexy performance that shows us how to create and recreate the terms of who we are to the people we love the most.

Over in Brixton at the Black Cultural Archives, Finnish artists Sonya Lindfors and Maryan Abdulkarim will guide you to discover the radical potential of dreaming in a celebration of community that is part performance, part think tank and part space for collective imagination. Across the river, 11 up-and-coming creatives from across London – the UpLIFTers – are taking part in LIFT’s Young Producers Programme to devise, produce or present a multidisciplinary performance in a unique basement space in Shoreditch.

Each of these works asks you to shift your viewpoint, and they do it with a sense of adventure, curiosity and empathy. From all of us at LIFT and on behalf of our incredible partners across London, we welcome you. Enjoy uncovering these fresh takes, new views and unexpected perspectives.