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    My name is Josh McNorton and I’m a creative producer, curator and festival manager. My full-time gig is working for Nesta, the UK’s innovation charity, and managing FutureFest, a festival in London happening on 17-18 September. I’m a theatre nerd and I look forward to the ambitious and diverse programming that LIFT offers. In addition to attending lots of theatre shows, gigs and festivals, I love travelling, yoga, attempting to surf, and buying records.

    Here’s my #LIFT2016 playlist:


    Ever since I was a little kid, I have devoured books and films about the paranormal. I live in Tower Hamlets and the fact that this show is set in my local Cemetary Park is enough to get me very excited (and a little scared!).



    I’ve been invited to participate in the Talk Back for this show with the artist, Andrew Schneider, and The Gate Theatre’s Artistic Director, Chris Haydon, on 15 June. Chris has given me strict orders to not do any reading about the show or Andrew beforehand, so I can fully experience it. To quote Chris, “It will surprise the socks off you!”, which never happens to me. I can’t wait!



    One of the best parts of last year’s FutureFest was that we showcased artists and engineers exploring the possibilities of human-machine interaction. I’m a music lover, so I am very curious to see and hear the interplay between two dancers and “64 robotic percussion instruments”. Very cool.

    In 1982 Argentina and the UK fought the Malvinas – Falklands war. The battle was over after 74 days, but for some the conflict is still alive. ..

    In her trademark political and playful style, Lola Arias brings together British and Argentinian veterans of the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas war on a stage 8,000 miles from their remembered battlefield.

    The war of 1982, in which Argentina tried to regain control of the islands, had an enormous political impact: for Argentina it was a defeat that propelled the fall of the military regime; for England it was a triumph that saved the premiership of Margaret Thatcher. And for the islanders it was the way to obtain full British citizenship and a new constitution.

    And what happened to the soldiers? Some of them got medals, and some were forgotten. Some of them continue in the forces and others started new lives as psychologists, musicians, teachers, security guards. Today the only thing they have in common is that they are all veterans. But what is a veteran? A survivor, a hero, a madman?

    Digging deep into the personal impact of war, MINEFIELD is a collaboratively created new work that merges theatre and film to blur the lines between truth and fiction.

    MINEFIELD runs at the Royal Court Theatre from 2 – 11 June, book tickets. 

    On Monday Saatchi & Saatchi helped us launch LIFT 2016 in style with masses of balloons, yellow everywhere and food from Wahaca.
    We had a really good night, we hope everyone else did too and it’s been great to the excitement from everyone in response to our 2016 programme.

    image     Kevin Isaacs looking thrilled to launch LIFT 2016

    vips1     Richard Huntington and Beki Bateson

    vips4     Neil Batlett, Simon Mellor and Althea Efunshile

    vips3     Toni Racklin, LIFT artist Clare Patey and Judith Knight

    IMG_6754     Balloons = celebration

    image2     Our launch film

    vips2     Rajiv Nathwani, Enni Tuomala, Ross Sleight & Jonathan May

    Caleb Femi was the poet commissioned by LIFT to write the poem celebrating London used in the launch video.

    As well as writing his own poetry Caleb is a member of the SXWKS collective, a London based creative group of illustrators, photographers, videographers, musicians, poets and rappers. Caleb uses the skills and experience he has acquired from these creative endeavours to inspire the children he teaches as a secondary school English teacher and in the poetry workshops he leads in schools in East and North London.

    Caleb’s work is often described as vivid and honest and there is a clear essence of musicality in his delivery. Lately, Caleb has won the Roundhouse Poetry Slam and has exhibited two cross-arts shows, ‘Still Dreaming’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and ‘There Is A Place’ at Camden People’s Theatre. As well as his achievements in poetry, Caleb also has experience as a filmmaker. His inaugural documentary ‘What Did Love Taste Like in the 70s?’ was released in August 2015 and his follow up documentary ‘Heartbreak & Grime’ is due to be released this year.