LIFT biennial festival of international theatre comes to Tottenham

This June, LIFT are holding their biennial festival of international theatre across London. Half way through their six year Tottenham programme, LIFT have commissioned three Tottenham Original pieces: SESSION, Nightwalks with Teenagers and Small Wonders.

LIFT work with the Tottenham UpLifters, a group of 30 teenagers from Duke’s Aldridge Academy and The Vale School based on the Northumberland Park estate, who are taking part in the this year’s festival with an evening walking tour of the city.

The full festival explores London’s local, national and international identity, and includes ten commissions, five world premieres and eight UK premieres reflecting the international, social and political urgencies of 2018.

David Binder, LIFT’s Guest Artist Director, said ‘As a New Yorker I’ve always felt an affinity with London but never more so than in the last two years. Both of these great cities have had their identities challenged by their own countries and are fighting to remain, in all ways, open. It seemed irrefutable that LIFT 2018 would be more urgent and necessary than ever before in its 37 year history.

‘We want to offer an antidote to the recent times, giving chances to celebrate our diverse communities, dispel seeded fears and confront preconceptions… we welcome global citizens to create work as a signifier to everyone; whether you were born here, have made it your home or are just passing through, you belong here.’

Tottenham Original productions:

22 – 30 June, Bernie Grant Arts Centre Courtyard

Led by Tottenham’s youth, LIFT describe SESSION as ‘a battle cry and a love song, celebrating community, youth and belonging.’ Dan Canham of Still House joins forces with Steppaz Performing Arts Academy and Empire Sounds to create a night of dancing and live music where all are welcome. You’ll see and hear a mix of hip hop, contemporary folk and Afrobeats at this part gig, part social, part dance party. (You can read our interviews with Empire Sounds and Steppaz in DT issue 2, out at the end of May).

Commissioned by LIFT, produced by MAYK and LIFT. Presented by LIFT and Bernie Grant Arts Centre. Supported by Arts Council England.

Nightwalks with Teenagers
1 – 3 June, East London

Nightwalks with Teenagers is created in collaboration with the Tottenham UpLIFTers, their German counterparts, MIT OHNE ALLES, and their Canadian counterparts, The Young Mammals. Expect to be guided through the streets of London at night, uncovering undiscovered sights and untapped talents.

A Mammalian Diving Reflex/Darren O’Donnell production commissioned and presented by LIFT in collaboration with the Tottenham UpLIFTers, MIT OHNE ALLES (Ruhrtriennale) and The Young Mammals with Guest Tottenham Artists and Güneş Güven and Elsabet Yonas. Supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Goethe-Institut.

Small Wonders
2 June – 13 July, Bernie Grant Arts Centre

A brand-new show for families and children aged 5 – 11 years. Small Wonders, a collaboration between LIFT and Punkdrunk, is inspired by the local stories and dreams of the Tottenham UpLIFTers. Punchdrunk, specialise in unique form theatre where audiences explore epic sensory worlds. LIFT explained, ‘Small Wonders shows the power of our imagination and how the little things in life are sometimes the most important’.

Commissioned by Punchdrunk, LIFT and Bernie Grant Arts Centre.

LIFT Tottenham is supported by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, The Sackler Trust, Foyle Foundation, Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust and Noël Coward Foundation.

For details on the full programme and other events across the city, visit

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